“Excellence does not stop once you become a topnotcher. You have to keep the flame burning once you start with your career.” (Realization on being a topnotcher)


For a decade period, SLU’s performance in the May 2007 was the second lowest passing rate of 27% (69/257); the third least number of Louisian passers of 69; the sixth greatest number of Louisian takers of 257; and the least difference of -3% when compared to the national passing rate.

While the national performance in the May 2007 for a decade period was the fifth lowest passing rate of 30% (1,406/4,654); the fourth least number of national passers of 1,406; and the third least number of national takers of 4,654.

SLU’s performance all in all in the year of 2007 for a decade period was the lowest passing rate of 36% (196/541); the fourth least number of Louisian passers of 196; the second greatest Louisian takers of 541; and the least difference of +2% when compared to the national passing rate.

On the other hand, the national performance in the year of 2007 for a decade period was the fourth lowest passing rate of 34% (3,705/10,867); the least number of national passers of 3,705; and the least number of national takers of 10,867.


Randyl De Vera Tabajonda was one of the 257 Louisian takers during the May 2007 CPALE. He topped it with a rating of 89.29%, landing in sixth place. He is from Pozorrubio, Pangasinan same as the Louisian topnotcher in the same year in October and is currently working as the Technology Risk Consulting Manager at KPMG based in London, United Kingdom.

Randyl graduated second honorable mention and valedictorian during his elementary and high school, respectively. Afterwards, he finished Bachelor of Science in Commerce Major in Financial Management as Summa Cum Laude, and Bachelor of Science in Accountancy as Cum Laude, including academic and leadership excellence awards. He believes that SLU offers quality education and has an outstanding history in producing competent CPAs.

When asked about Tabajonda’s biggest struggle in college, he answered, “Balancing academic and extracurricular activities like leadership programs and volunteering.” Despite this, he asserts that joining organizations bears benefits. Though his lowest grade in college was auditing theory, he considered this as a challenge and made it as his strength by holding two auditor positions in student organizations.

During Tabajonda’s review, he also ranked second in one of the mock boards in Review School of Accountancy (ReSA). When CPALE results were released, his mother was the first person to know that he made it to the top. Furthermore, his motivations in life are his family and traveling around the world. One of the outright benefits of being a topnotcher that he could think of is on job opportunities. He said that when you are a topnotcher, firms will come looking for you, instead of you looking for them. Among the CPALE subjects, he obtained his highest rating in Business Laws and Taxation while he obtained his lowest rating in Practical Accounting 2 (Advanced Accounting).

Tabajonda’s professional titles and certifications include: Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified in Risk and Information Systems Auditor (CRISC), Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA), Master Project Manager (MPM), and Project Management Professional (PMP).


When tips on reviewing and studying were asked, he said, “Invest more time on a subject which you think you are not yet confident. If possible, read the subject at least three times. When I was reviewing for the CPALE, I used to: (1) Note the questions answered incorrectly at first try so it is easy to come back to these tough questions before the actual examination; (2) Rewrite topics with greater emphasis in small index cards so it is handy when I had spare time to familiarize myself with these topics; and (3) Take one day off per week for myself. Go somewhere else – travel, have coffee with friends, and spend time with family.”


“Just a reality check: Competition in the real world is pretty tough nowadays. As early as now, focus not only on academic excellence but on leadership skills as well. Do your best to strike a balance between the two as you have to be well-equipped on both as you progress not only with your professional career but also with your personal development,” when asked about Tabajonda’s advice to students.

On Tabajonda’s message to the next CPALE takers, he expressed, “Do your best, but at the same time, do not hesitate to ask help from God, from instructors, from reviewers, and from friends when you struggle whether it be physical, mental, or emotional. This journey will not be successful without the help of others. In return, thank these people after the CPALE.”

“Do what you think is right and just. At the end of the day, you are fully responsible and accountable for your actions.”

Article by Josiah De Guzman Bito

Digital Art by Stephanie Dulay Sierra


***Special thanks to Dana Ayesha Maiquez Santiago, Arianne Dalay-on, Jazel Kate Rillera Ramirez, and Rinette Ambrose Dizon Cura


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