Teaching Articles

How to take the LET in Saudi Arabia

After I finished my Professional Teaching Certificate at UPOU, I knew that sooner or later I was going to take the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). After a few online searches I found out that there was a Special Professional Licensure Board Examination (SPLBE) here in the Middle East. And so I began preparing for my LET journey.

Reviewing for the LET

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When I first saw the Table of Specifications for the LET exam, I was blown away. There was no way I could cram all that information in just a few months. So I set out to look for an online review center and enlisted the help of an old friend and co-teacher to help me refresh my Math skills.

I eventually found MyReviewCoach by Mind Gym. MyReviewCoach is the online branch of Mind Gym, a reputable review center in Metro Manila. They have 90% passing rate from past LETs and have a history of churning out LET Topnotchers. They upload reviewers and plenty of test drills so that their subscribers can practice as much as they want. I also bought an additional test booklet from Mind Gym.

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Truth be told, I wasn’t able to complete all the test drills because of my busy schedule as a full-time teacher. I seriously underestimated my teaching load this year. But I did use the reviewers a lot and I believe that it really helped me prepare for the LET. It certainly narrowed down the topics I needed to learn and save me the hassle of researching and filtering out important details. The reviewers were succinct. I definitely recommend MindGym’s MyReviewCoach.

Applying for the SPLBE LET Exam

I first inquired at the Embassy regarding the SPLBE and was referred to a representative at POLO, Sir Eli. I was informed that I should apply online through the PRC website, fill out the application form and complete the documents required:

  • Photocopy of Transcript of Records (with or without scanned picture and remarks “For Board Examination Purposes Only”)
  • Photocopy of Valid Passport
  • Four (4) passport-size pictures with complete name-tag in white background

I submitted my documents to him around June. The SPLBE is usually scheduled during the Hajj holidays, so that left me with roughly 3 months to review.

Around August, I was contacted by Ms. Mendoza from the Filipino Teachers Association in Saudi Arabia to inform me that my application was approved.

FTASA

Ms. Mendoza told me that I needed to prepare for the final checking of documents by PRC delegates a few days before the exam. She also informed me of the Exam fee of 45 USD and the incidental fee of 250 SR to pay for the costs that the Filipino Organizations will incur for the actual exam venue, proctors and other materials.

I paid the 40 USD Exam fee and 5 USD bank fee through my husband’s AlRajhi Tahweel Account. Then I went to the Embassy on the assigned day to finalize my application. When I arrived at the Embassy, there were numbered tables and we had to go through each step of payment verification and document checking. After going through all the steps I was given my Exam Permit or Notice of Admission (NOA). After that I paid FTASA the incidental fee. Before I left the hall, I was given a clear plastic envelope and a brown envelope with a pencil, a copy of the exam schedule, table of specification, Examinee’s ID and a Lunch Food stub.

Recap of Total Costs:
150 SAR or 40 USD – Exam Fee to be deposited  to PRC’s bank account in the Philippines
18.75 SAR or 5 USD – Bank fee (Philippines)
18 SAR                         – Al Rajhi remittance fee
15 SAR                         – ID Photo Printing
250 SAR                       – Incidental Fee (Filipino Organizations organizing the SPLBE logistics)
451.75 SAR

Taking the SPLBE LET Exam

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There were 20 LET examinees from Riyadh and we took the LET last September 25, 2015. We were instructed to not bring phones and bags but there were plenty of people who did. The proctors just asked us to turn the phones off and place the bags in front of the class.

The exam was three-part for Secondary Level Examinees, so it took us the whole day to finish the exam. There were breaks in between and I got to use my Lunch food stub. I also chewed on the same gum flavor that I used while reviewing.

Overall, I felt I did okay but not well enough to actually top the LET. I was confident enough with General Education and my Specialization but was a little confused by some questions on the Professional Ed part. All those theories can be confusing sometimes. I went home around 5pm.

Advice for would-be LETers

  1. Come prepared. Don’t forget your Notice of Admission (NOA) Slip. You will need it during the exam and later to verify your ratings.

  2. Bring 2 pencils with eraser, 1 black pen, a clear envelope and a brown envelope. They will take the brown envelope and return the clear envelope to you.

  3. I was a little sad to see that some of the examinees didn’t even bring a calculator, while some brought a non-scientific calculator. You can find a list of allowable non-programmable calculators on their website. I  used my Casio ES991 calculator.

  4. Bring your reviewer. We had plenty of time before and in between tests to review. I really regret not bringing my reviewer. I know it says on the PRC memo that reviewers, cellphones and bags are prohibited but, as I said earlier, your proctor will ask everyone to place their bags in front of the room away from you during the test. Just don’t be tempted to sneak in a cheat sheet because that will disqualify you from taking the test. Turn off your phone and reset all alarms. Phones are a big no-no.

  5. Answer the questionnaire first, then transfer your answers one by one to the answer sheet. Use your time wisely.

The Result

Waiting was never my strong point, but what’s the point of agonizing about something that I can’t machinate to move faster? Every once in a while people from school would ask me about the result which added to the anxiety. What if I failed!? Everyone seemed so confident about it.

We were told to expect the results around October 26 but the SPLBE LET results were released on November 5. I breathed a sigh of relief when I was told that I passed. My supervisors at the school were all pleased, and Hubby was so happy for me that he even joked about getting a tarpaulin printed. lol.

I was alarmed though that only 20 elementary teachers out of 65 examinees (30.77%) and 37 secondary teachers out of 109 examinees (33.94%) successfully passed the LET. People seem to think that the LET is easy but the numbers say otherwise. While there are many factors to consider, I think some of the examinees failed because they underestimated the exam and didn’t prepare enough for the LET. Like I said, some didn’t even bring calculators and we needed that to answer math questions quickly.

For now, I am just happy that I passed and my ratings were not bad. I’m a Board Passer! Yay! I am now officially, Teacher III. Alhamdulillah for Allah’s blessings upon me and the people he chose to help me. Special Thanks to Ma’am Joana for helping me with my Math refresher and to my Hubby for the tireless support.