Written by Leo Laset
I would be a hypocrite if I say that I haven’t been overjoyed and ecstatic about the academic success that my two kids have achieved.
No, they were not honor students in their respective high schools. Neither were they quiz bee champions.
Rather, both of them recently passed the UPCAT (2009 and 2010).
It’s not that I was not confident that they would, but because it was proven that despite their average academic standing in school, given the chance to go for the goal and to do their very best to achieve it, they were able to hurdle the toughest college entrance exam in the Philippines. I would like to share with you some secrets how my children qualified in UP. I call it the A-B-C-D way of passing the UPCAT:
1. Attitude not just Aptitude
It is a fact that my kids were somewhat pressured to pass the UPCAT since their father is a UP graduate and a former UP Math faculty. Now they couldn’t be overconfident either because they also knew that genes don’t matter. According to Dr. Dolores Ramirez, the Philippines foremost geneticist, among the genetically transmitted aptitudes, Science (34%) and Math (12%) ranked among the lowest. So you see, Chinese people aren’t good in Math just because they are Chinese. They are good in Math because they have a positive attitude towards Math. My children, as they were reviewing for the UPCAT, kept that positive mental attitude so that they wouldn’t feel the stress. Instead, they were challenged enough to work hard and so focused to meet their goal.
2. Belief not just Brains
Majority of UPCAT passers definitely got the brains. It takes a smart (I did not say “intelligent”) student to really qualify for the UPCAT. I can say that my kids are smart enough to attain UPCAT success but without a belief system, they have a lower chance of making it through. You see, UPCAT is highly competitive. You will be competing against 70,000 other UPCAT aspirants. First you need to believe in the Infinite Intelligence who is the source of all the knowledge and wisdom that you acquire. Second, you need to believe in yourself. You must make it a point to always say that you are already an UPCAT passer. And third, you must belong to a community of believers. Join the network of like-minded students that help one another to achieve the common goal of passing the UPCAT. The Online UPCAT Review (OUR) Community at www.upcatreview.com is the best venue to mingle with smart and determined students like you. Just like what my kids did!
3. Courage not just Confidence
I still remember the saying, “If you lose money, you lose much. If you lose a friend, you lose more. But if you lose courage, you lose all!” Anxiety is the number one killer in any written test. Many intelligent students fail in a major exam because of too much test anxiety. You need not only develop your self-confidence in taking the UPCAT but also your bravery to face and undergo the rigid preparation. I was a bit concerned when my kids showed confidence because a thin line between confidence and overconfidence separates the two. If they would have been overconfident, they might have lost the courage to go through the process of systematic preparation. Pride might have made them cowards to undertake the review program wherein they were enrolled to. It takes a brave student to discipline himself for the hard work that is called the “UPCAT Review”. Fortunately, my kids had overgrown their confidence and showed a lot of courage and determination to really go for the goal.
4. Discipline not just Desire
I’m pretty sure that anyone who is dreaming to pass the UPCAT has the desire to make it realized. And I would agree that you need that necessary desire to keep you motivated. But don’t be a Juan Tamad who’d just waited for the guava to fall from the branch. You cannot win the UPCAT game by not having the discipline of a champion athlete. My kids had shown not only a burning desire to pass the UPCAT, but also a “forced” habit to execute a thorough preparation for the UPCAT day. They had been answering and re-answering all the UPCAT review materials until they fully believe that they could handle any question that they would encounter in the actual test. Also, they religiously attended their review classes, both virtual and real.
So you must raise the bar a notch higher when you really aspire to be a genuine Iskolar Para sa Bayan. Remember the A-B-C-D way to your UPCAT success!