The University of the Philippines College Admission Test or more popularly known as the UPCAT is a qualifying test administered to students who would like to study at the University of the Philippines.
Admission Into the University Through the UPCAT
If you decide to take the UP College Admission Test (UPCAT), you will be one among many thousands who aspire to enter the University of the Philippines. (Last year, there were over 70,000 examinees.)
The UPCAT consists of 4 subtests: Language Proficiency, Science, Mathematics and Reading Comprehension. Standardized scores on these subtests are combined with the weighted average of final grades in the first three years of high school to determine qualification into UP. Moreover, to implement the policy of democratization to make the UP studentry more representative of the nation’s population, socio-economic and geographic considerations are factored in the selection of campus qualifiers.
Qualifying for a Campus
In your application, you are asked to choose two campuses from among nine (Baguio, Cebu, Diliman, Iloilo, Los Baños, Manila, Mindanao, Pampanga, and Tacloban) and indicate them in order of preference. You will also indicate two degree programs per campus on your UPCAT application form and rank them in order of preference. Your application will be processed according to your campus and course choices and in the order you specified.
All applicants are ranked based on their admission grades and then screened based on the choice of campuses. The top-ranking applicants, based on the quota and cut-off grade set by each campus, will qualify. Entry into UP Diliman or UP Manila tends to be competitive because these campuses are chosen by more applicants. If you qualify for your first choice, you will no longer be considered for your second choice of campus. But if you do not qualify for your first choice, you are automatically considered for your second choice of campus.
Qualifying for a Program
Once you qualify to enter a campus, you are then screened for acceptance into one of the degree programs you chose. Different grade predictors are used for different programs. Campus qualifiers are ranked according to the degree program predictor. Top-ranking qualifiers are accepted according to the number of slots available for that program.
If you make it to the quota for your first choice of course, you will no longer be screened for your second choice. If you don’t make it to your first choice of degree program, you will undergo the same screening process for your second choice. If you still do not make it, you will remain qualified for that campus but must then find a degree program that can accommodate you. Remember, you are an UPCAT qualifier; you only need to find a program that will accept you. The campus Registrar’s Office will help you find that program. Qualification into UP is therefore a matter of qualifying for a campus, regardless of course choices.