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Friday, May 06, 2011

Preparing for the UPCAT Exam


I'm at it again. The same mistake I did many, many years ago. Geez, I feel old with that. hahaha. Anyway, I did the same mistake as I did many years ago because I didn't ask my child to choose a so-called "non-quota" course in UP. These days, each course has a quota. Some accept more students than others. Those are what had been known as "quota" courses. However, they accept more but there is a lesser chance to get in because there are more people who want to get in. It's just like comparing 50 persons out of a thousand and 10 out of a hundred. 50/1000 equals .05% chance and 10/100 equals .1 chance. She took the courses that had a higher quota so we had to make an appeal to get her in. Thank the Good Lord she did. Anyway, just so you know, here are my tips for taking the UPCAT Exam (and hopefully get into UP):

1. Take an UPCAT review. I suggest you get into one of those review centers. This is one mistake we made too. Ikee didn't go into review during the summer before taking the UPCAT. Thus, she didn't know that there would be Filipino in the exam. of course, I forgot that part too.
In a review center, they will tell you what to expect, how to fill out your application, and most questions you have will be answered by a qualified reviewer. But do your part. Study further. As in any major exam, do not rely on what you hear.

2. Check out the quota of each course. I don't think UP will release this data to you or anyone else. You can base in on the previous year's quota which will give you a better chance at estimating it. Google for it. The technique is to take a course that has neither a very high nor very low quota. Go for the ones in the middle. But if there is none, choose the lower quota.

3. Determine the campus that has the course that you want. It is best to stay away from the Diliman Campus unless you are very very certain of your grades, your test-taking ability, your financial status, and the course you have chosen. You will be asked to choose 2 campuses. If you prefer UP Diliman, don't choose UP Manila for the other campus and vice versa.

4. If you have skills or talents such as singing, dancing, art, writing, swimming, basketball, etc. you'll have a better chance at applying at the college of music, architecture and fine arts, physical education, etc.

If you have done these and still didn't make it, here's what you should do:

1. Wait for your grade. There is really nothing you can do unless you have that piece of information.

2. When you finally get your UPG, determine which campus can accept you. The UPG means university percentile grade and is your actual UPCAT score. There are campuses who put on waitlist those people who are within an acceptable grade. Each campus has a pre-determined acceptable grade for their waitlist criteria. Diliman has the highest. UP Manila's cut off came next with a grade cut-off of 2.5 while UPLB's cut-off is 2.8. Each campus has its own criteria so better call them. The phone numbers are at the back of the letter sent to you.

3. If you have the skills I mentioned above, go to the college where those are taught and ask for the UPG cut-off score for waitlisted applicants. You just might fit into their requirement. But, be sure you are exceptionally good in the skill or talent.

4. In case you do have a grade within the cut-off of a particular campus, go there and file for an appeal. Some, like UPLB, has the waitlist form posted online. However, the Manila campus required the applicant to secure the form personally. Some colleges will require an interview. After filing your appeal, check with the campus when they will release the results. If you need to undergo an interview, here are suggestions to prepare for it.

5. If your grade is below 3.0 (e.g. 3.1, 3.02, etc), dont' bother to make an appeal. Instead, study elsewhere and get your self an General weighted Average grade (GWA) of at least 2.0. Then apply for transfer into UP.

Preparing for UP requires studying well from your first year of your high school. Couple it with determination and perseverance your dream of getting into the best university in the Philippines just may come true.

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