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Is BIM skill upgrading for everyone? [part four]


Taking exams has always never been my favourite, maybe that is why I ended studying Architecture. Continuous assessment suit me better. However, I still have to contend with the series of exams coming my way. We were given a week to study and there were four papers in which we have to take. They were arranged according to the modules we were having and these are namely, BIM Implementation Strategies, BIM for Design Coordination, BIM for Design Analysis and BIM for Construction Planning and Coordination. The Examination dates were alternated between days, we have to be smart about how we crammed our brains with module contents, in which I struggled miserably. The Module contents had same difference, so I had trouble discerning one module’s contents with the other. Thus, it would be wise to setup a system of remembering and recycle them or group them together when remembering. The questions asked were typical of local education format, cram and remember, then regurgitate all onto the paper. Except for one module, which was opened book examination and thus the questions asked were applicative, scenarios were given and questions asked how would you resolve them. Personally, I preferred these applicative questions, where answers cannot be found in textbooks, maybe because I do not have an elephant memory. Last paper was 22nd Jun 2015, the examination hall was filled with a few hundred people, similar to the last few days. Apparently it was not just one Specialist Diploma that was having exams, there were 11 Diplomas having examinations. At first it was incomprehensible, but then when I reflected it against my University Days in Melbourne, the rows and rows of tables arrangements are similar. So here was I with my last paper, and unfortunately I caught a terrible cold, I mustered all the energy that is left of me on this day to finish up the paper. Afraid that I would be too zone out during the examination, I did not take any medicine, instead I brought a box of tissue to stamp out the flow from my nose. Clocked ticked by, it was average two hours per paper, I wrote as I scan through the questions, and selected the ones I remembered best. When the Invigilators announced to stop writing, I remembered vaguely I actually collapsed on the table…, how I got home that day is still a mystery.

Final Final Presentation

The Group work was finally submitted on 6th July 2015. I remembered the day when we dropped the report into the submission chute at BCAA. We were very glad that we have finally finished the report, but we still have one more hurdles to cross before we actually finish the Program in its’ entirety. There was still the Group presentation on BIM for Prefinished Prefabricated Volumetric Construction [PPVC].

The group presentation was scheduled on 8th July 2015, two days immediately after the report submission, in between the two days though we still had to stitched our PowerPoint presentation as one unified presentation. So I setup the PowerPoint graphics and format for everyone to use, deposited it in a Dropbox for everyone to download. It would had been easier if I have used Google Slides or One Drive, but still we managed. It was until the last minute [one hour before our schedule time to present on the 8th!] at the BCAA cafeteria, I was still trying to stitch everyone’s report together. It was fairly easy when we presenting, the critique panel was quite cordial with our presentation. So not much of a big drama, concluded comments were great harmonised graphics and presentation. Phew, and we are so done with the Group work. Just so you know the grading criteria is rather comprehensive and stringent, we were graded on Contents’ relevancy where we need to indicate cross-disciplinary collaboration, basically teamwork coordination activities. We were also graded on BIM works done to facilitate the project and the depth of coverage. Using BIM as an innovative approach to solve problems were also part of the assessment criteria. In a nutshell, whilst I was preparing the report, one needs to be very targeted in terms of effort, you need to align your report in accordance to the submission requirements, if not you will be shooting a moving target.


We finally received our result slips on 31st July 2015. My average grades per module was a B and couple of A. Not too bad, I was glad I passed. Five months of lessons, assignments and exams, I have finally completed the Programme. A lot grit and stress, but I managed. Fortunately, I had a supportive spouse which was a real blessing. With my wife Evelyn’s encouragement to upgrade and her continuous support, the five months, which I have endured, was made much easier. Thank you dear.

We have finally come to the end of 'Is BIM skill upgrading for everyone?' This is the last installment of the blog. I hope, with what I have shared, gives you some glimpses of what is expected when you decide to up-skill with BIM. Situations are different for everyone, and one of the few advantages I had was that my home was just a mere five bus stops away. Of course I had great team mates to work with on the Group project, some of my classmates were not so lucky, cause some folks are not so into the Programme, as the Organisation they worked in, made it compulsory for them to take the course.

Now that I have graduated from the Programme, Singapore Polytechnic [SP] has tasked me to run our own Specialist Diploma in BIM Management. I assumed the role as our SP Architectural Built Environment [ABE], BIM Manager and a Training Center was created with my content knowledge. Before the school decided to run the Specialist Diploma, I was also tasked to create BIM short courses for our Continuing Education Training [CET] Programme. With the changing Built Environment [BE] industry landscape, I have come to realise a lot of BE jobs will become obsolete. I am very blessed to be given the opportunity to upgrade by my organisation. Whilst some jobs does not create promotion opportunities, upgrading sometimes is about being relevant to your job role. I would suppose, this ever changing landscape is going be relentless, and thus we have to continuously up-skill to stay relevant. The only issue is do you have the stamina to stay ahead, as the digitised world will make many jobs obsolete whilst creating new unfamiliar ones.

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