Is a UP entrance exam review your ticket to passing the UPCAT and getting into the University of the Philippines? This is a question that gets asked yearly by thousands of 3rd year and 4th year high school students [who wish to take every possible avenue to pass the UP entrance test] and their parents [who are concerned about the cost of UP reviews]. So, is enrolling in a college entrance review, UPCAT review in particular, really effective?
To answer that question, consider the following: the UPCAT or the UP entrance test basically covers all of the pertinent subjects taken during your 4 years in high school [trigo, algebra, arithmetic, geometry, gen sci, biology, chemistry, physics, reading comprehension, grammar, etc, etc, etc]. Now, if you slacked off during the past 4 years in school, can the 4 weeks of UP review compensate for it? Can you cram 4 years’ worth of education into 4 weeks of summer review classes?
In fact, this particular question gets asked too much that UP itself launched a study to investigate the matter. What it found out is the fact that, although UPCAT review classes raise the confidence and experience level of UPCAT takers, there is no conclusive evidence that enrolling in UP reviews or UPCAT review classes significantly increases the chances of a student actually passing the UPCAT.
In the end, UPCAT reviews are just that, UP entrance test reviews. They’re not a last minute magic brain booster pill, not an academic ‘nitro’ that suddenly increases your chances of getting into UP from 0% to 90% [regardless of what a UPCAT review center claims its UPCAT results passing rate to be], and certainly not a ‘cheat’ that undoes every bad grade you have gotten for the past four years.
Don’t get too depressed though and don’t go window shopping in Recto for fake UP diplomas just yet. UPCAT reviews may not be able to guarantee you a spot in UP, they can still be beneficial to a non-slacker who wishes to pass the UPCAT.
What exactly can a UP Review accomplish?
- Experience: At the very least, you’re not going to panic [tear up your UP entrance exam papers, jump off the window, poke the proctor in the eye with your pencil, etc.] come UPCAT time. Through an UPCAT review, you’ll get time and opportunity to adjust to the time constraints as well as pressures of the actual UP entrance test. Remember, a mental block during the actual UPCAT can just as easily kill your chances of passing the test as slacking off for the past 4 years.
- Focus: UPCAT reviews will also be able to help you a lot in focusing, organizing and scheduling your time, energy and efforts. That is, a UP review will give you a system of studying for the UP entrance test. At the very least, you won’t be spending hours just staring blankly at your stack of old high school textbooks or memorizing the periodic table or El Filibusterismo, only to find out that the things you have studied are not included in the UPCAT. Through a UP review, you’ll be able to hone yourself on subject matters that have a high probability of appearing in the actual UP entrance test.
Are UP reviews really effective?
Here’s the long and short of it.
If you have been a generally good student all your high school life (you listened to your teachers, studied your textbooks and diligently learned your high school lessons), UP reviews will be a great help. UP review classes will help you remember what you have learned in high school, give you that boost of confidence to sit the UP entrance exam and provide you with valuable experience that can help you finish the individual UP entrance test sections on time.
If you want to learn what you have failed (or were too uncaring) to learn in high school, however, no amount of reviewing for the UPCAT will help you.