While not as annoying as mathematics, science also gave me a challenging time during my school days. Some of my teachers helped me grasp the method behind the “madness” (read: the scientific discipline), while other teachers drove me to madness, period.
Science comprises a major portion of the University of the Philippines’ College Admissions Test (UPCAT). If you’d like to study the science behind passing the UPCAT, then read on.
What to Expect
As with the math portion of the UPCAT, the science portion contains stuff you should already be familiar with. Questions usually cover general science, biology, physics, chemistry and Earth science as well.
For example, you may be pressed for the different parts of the cell and their corresponding functions. The test may also ask you to solve for the amount of voltage or current in a particular situation, or it may ask you to describe what happens to an object that is in motion under certain circumstances.
Be careful, though: it may be terribly tempting to take the science portion for granted just because it doesn’t involve nearly as much computation as the mathematics section, so don’t let your guard down.
Strategy and Ba’s Dimensional Analysis
Follow the same general strategy that you do for other sections: pray beforehand, attack the easy questions first, go for the harder ones next. Budget your time, and be mindful of the fact that a fourth of a point will be deducted from your score if you answer incorrectly.
One blogger by the name of ba offered a helpful suggestion in the form of the “dimensional analysis method”—a rather fancy term for the process of elimination. The trick to science questions, ba contends, is to simply compare the answers you get from your own calculations with the options provided for multiple choice questions.
From there, just find the choice (rounded down or rounded up) closest to your computed answer and eliminate the rest. Exercise caution, as sometimes the question will include certain irrelevant bits of information just to confuse you.
If you’re looking for more UPCAT help, try asking around forums like http://www.peyups.com or http://www.pinoyexchange.com. Most forum members will only be too happy to answer your questions, especially if they’ve been through the UPCAT already.
You can also get some good responses on http://answers.yahoo.com as well. Blogs, such as those written by folks like Dine Racona (http://dine.racoma.com.ph/school/tips-for-upcat-takers-acet-too/), can also provide plenty of good feedback regarding entrance exams. Be sure to check out the reader responses, too—you may be surprised at the amount of insight that readers can offer there.
If you’re scouting around for review sessions, traditional word-of-mouth or sites like Sulit (http://www.sulit.com.ph) or OLX (http://www.olx.com.ph/) can help you find what you’re looking for. Just do a quick search for “UPCAT review” and you’ll come up with a gazillion possibilities.
In closing, remember that the UPCAT ultimately draws from your stock knowledge, so start stocking up on relevant information during your high school years. Once the UPCAT season rolls around, you’ll be glad you did.