How to prepare for the UPCAT (University of the Philippines College Admission Test)
The preparation stage. This is what the majority of UPCAT takers usually miss. A lot of students and parents alike have always thought that the best time to prepare for the UPCAT is the summer months of April and May of the same year as the UPCAT’s which is usually scheduled during the early weekends of August. That might be applicable to those students who consistently made it to the honor roll of their respective schools. Why do I say that? This is because your high school grades will matter a lot. By how much? Forty percent (40%). Yes, 40%, my dear students. You see, if you just have been consistent of making high (take note: high, not just good) grades since your first year until your third year, then chances are, you have already overtaken the vast majority of your co-UPCAT examinees. That even if some of your fellow UPCAT takers have the same or even slightly higher raw scores than yours in some of the sub-tests, but they have much lower high school weighted average, then you might still get a better UPG (University Predicted Grade). Now, lucky for you if you have read this and you’re still in first year high school or sixth grade. You still have the opportunity to undergo this grand preparation that many take for granted. You will be motivated high enough to be in the honor roll (better to be the first honor of your batch). But what if you’re already in third year or you’re now in your senior year and you weren’t able to do your best (being a happy-go-lucky student) to produce decent grades good enough to be categorized as “average” (worse if “below average”)? You really have foregone the chance to get the edge in that whooping 40% slice of the UPCAT pie!
So what are you going to do? Forget about UPCAT? I strongly suggest that you reconsider the possibility of making it in U.P. Especially if you have that strong DAD (Desire And Determination). Don’t get discouraged by what you’ve just read. It’s still months away till UPCAT. It is still everybody’s ballgame as they say in basketball. What you can do is shift to PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) and believe that everything is possible.
Now,if you’re mentally psyched-up, then it’s time to act! We have received a lot of feedback from our former students in our UPCAT Review Program who are now studying in U.P. and many of them told us something like this:
“Sir, sana hindi na lang kami nag-UPCAT Review sa Review Masters… Pumasa tuloy kami sa UPCAT! E sobrang hirap palang mag-aral sa U.P.!”
( “Sir, we just hoped that we didn’t take the UPCAT Review of Review Masters… Look at what happened – we passed the UPCAT! But it’s very difficult to study in U.P.!”)
These students were not in the honor roll during their high school years. They were not used to really having that kind of study habits that honor students have. But I tell you, they are really very smart that given the chance (say, they weren’t addicted to DOTA), if they only focused on their academics, they might (like the majority of you out there) have beaten those in the honor roll. But why did they pass the UPCAT despite their “average” performance in school? It was because they persevered during the few months prior to UPCAT. They willingly underwent to extreme pressure called CRAMMING! Yes, reviewing a few months before the UPCAT is already considered cramming. But that’s the only way to make-up for the lost time and lost opportunity for being a happy-go-lucky student. A lot of “average” students still make it to U.P. because they know that the bigger chunk of the UPCAT pie rests on the UPCAT score which constitutes sixty percent (60%) of the University Predicted Grade (UPG).
Now, how can you get a high score in the UPCAT? If you’re a Math and Science wizard, have a wide range of vocabulary and very great comprehension skills, and have an IQ of at least 120, then the probability of getting a high score in the UPCAT is very high. But you might tell me that, “Hey, Sir, I’m just an average student – does it mean that my chance of getting a high score is low?” The answer is a yes and a no. Yes – if you won’t (by will and force) do anything about it! No – if you’ll be able to figure out the secrets of the other “average” students how they passed the UPCAT. They made it to U.P. despite the fact that in some cases, their valedictorian or salutatorian batchmate did not make it. This just proves that in the UPCAT Game, everything is possible. And we will tackle in our next issue the secrets of every average student who successfully passed the UPCAT the Sure Way!