Eyeing a particular science high school for your secondary education? Good for you. As with any academic institution, though, science high schools have certain yardsticks with which to measure enrollees. These can be fairly demanding as well.
All things considered, the application requirements in Philippine Science High School (PS), Manila Science High School (MaSci’s) and Quezon City Science High School (QueSci’s) are somewhat similar, albeit with some minor variations thrown in. To help you prepare, here’s a summary of what they will, generally speaking, ask of you.
The Incoming Science High School Students’ Screening Process
The screening process for all three schools typically has three different phases. The first phase involves meeting or exceeding the seventy-five percent cut-off score for that science high school’s entrance test. The second phase involves being among the top examinees in that same entrance test. The third and last phase involves passing the institution’s interview.
Before we proceed, do note that note that Philippine Science people have modified things with regard to the NCE or the National Competitive Examination-the prerequisite test for the said institution. The NCE has been simplified down to a single Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
When you really think about it, the screening actually begins way before you meet with the science high school administration-that is, the last year of your grade school life. You need to be part of the crème de la crème in your school in order to catch the eye of your target science high school’s administrators.
For example, Pisay looks for students in the upper ten percent of their class. This is based on grade 5 rankings, as confirmed by the students’ school principal. MaSci and QueSci require that you have a grade of at least eighty-five percent in Science and Math (plus English for QueSci), and grades of at least eighty-three percent in all other subjects.
Applying in a Science High School: When You Don’t Fit the Bill
You may be thinking, “May I still apply even if I am not exactly an intellectual elite in my class?” The answer is yes.
There’s a catch, however: you’ll need to pass school recommendation letters from people with clout in your grade school (teachers, guidance counselors or the principal). Also, your report card must reveal a certain aptitude for the hard sciences. Still, it’s highly recommended that you go for that upper ten percent if you can, as it makes for a pretty good advantage come science high school application time.
Here’s even more intriguing stuff: you’ll automatically be eligible for admission if you are among the Top Two or Three students (of if you are the top student) in your school. The criteria of the science high school will ultimately depend on the size of the school you’ll be coming from. Nevertheless, top students will still need to take a diagnostic exam.
Science High Schools’ Paperwork Galore
Passing the exam is just one part of the sci-high application phase; filling out the correct forms is another. Besides completely filling up the forms, set aside a couple of identical mug shots-ID pictures of size 1×1 (complete with name tags) and a true copy of your official report card (must have your grade school’s seal) for the science high school’s authorities.
You’ll also need to shell out one hundred pesos for the processing fee. Here’s the bummer: aside from the fact that it’s non-refundable, the fee will only be charged to applicants from private schools-public school students are exempt from this fee. It’s shrewd, but it’s par for the course.
Once you’ve sent in all the documents, the school will mail your science high school test permit to either you or your school principal.
Cutting It in Science High Schools: The Non-Quantifiable Stuff
With the science high school exam and the paperwork to keep you occupied, you’d think that’d be enough, right? Not quite. The science high schools will also conduct physical examinations and interviews to make sure that you’re of sound mind and body.
For one thing, you must be fit enough to handle the academic training that the science high school will throw at you. Passing out in the middle of an experiment won’t be of any benefit to you, after all.
It also helps if you can prove your “good moral character” as people like to call it. There’s a fine line between genius and madness, and the science high schools won’t appreciate it if their students go on to become evil geniuses someday.
Besides these things, there are other factors that science high schools often consider. One of the most important is that you be a native Filipino citizen with no immediate intention to migrate. You must also not be older than fifteen by the time the school year you’re applying for rolls around.
Prepare for Your Science High School Application ASAP!
And there you have the gist of the general requirements for entry into a science high school. It’s a tall order, but what else can you expect from the premiere institutions of secondary learning in the country? The sooner you can start preparing for these, the better. The application processes for science high schools can be very competitive, so any advantage you can give yourself, however small, will go a long way.