It’s the day of the UP College Admission Test or UPCAT. You’ve settled your UP application papers, enrolled in a UP review, answered mock UP entrance tests until you had to stop or drop, sharpened your lucky pencils, offered eggs to the local church, and packed your snacks. You have also finished reviewing all of the crucial high school subjects so you will be ready for the UP math, UP reading, UP science, and UP language entrance test sections (among others),. You feel as if you’re on peak form and that you can take on anything UP will throw at you. That is until…
You get a taste of the bumper to bumper gridlock in the UP Diliman Campus 30 minutes before the exam. The cars are moving at a measly half kilometer an hour. Heck, walking is much faster; of course, that will drain the energy you need for your exam. Nobody’s talking, your mom is blaming your dad, your dad is blaming the government, and you are blaming your dad and your mom.
Just as you thought you’ve made it in the nick of time, you stare in shock at the sheer immensity of the University of the Philippines. You have no idea where your UP entrance exam room is. Your synapses fire fitfully and uselessly, and with each futile spark, trigonometry, biology, physics, and the quadzillion other academic mental notes disintegrate into ether. You pinch yourself, willing yourself to awaken from your UPCAT nightmare.
It is not a UPCAT nightmare, unfortunately; it is real. UP students have long grown accustomed to that time of year when they see high school adolescents walking around the UP campus crying their eyes out, scratching the barks of trees, tearing up leaves in frustration, or even staring blankly at everything and everyone with their glazed, shell-shocked eyes and whispering – who am I?
Be thankful that this year’s UP entrance test is still months away, and be even more thankful that you’ve stumbled upon this post. Read carefully and avoid UPCAT day brain freeze in the future by keeping in mind the following tips:
General Tips for UPCAT Takers
- As soon as you have received your UPCAT room assignment, schedule a trip to UP Diliman with your friends, classmates or parents. Of course, if you’re not going to take your exam in UP Diliman, then this point is moot. Just go to wherever your UP entrance exam testing center is and tour the place. The point is to get to know the place where you will be taking your exam – up to the tiniest details (building, room number, the most efficient route to your testing room, the nearest comfort room, etc.). You have to do this so that you’ll know exactly where to go come UPCAT day.
- As long as you’re in UP Diliman, UP Manila, UP Los Baños or whatever your UP testing center is, take note of the multiple entry points of the campus. This will prove to be of extreme importance on the UPCAT day itself.