If you’re one of several thousand people hoping to take and pass the UPCAT, you’re probably feeling a little nervous about the whole thing. It’s all right to feel that way—a certain amount of stress makes you want to do your very best.
The problem is when you experience excess amounts of anxiety. Fortunately, a few good strategies can help you overcome that and help you keep it within manageable levels. Take a look at some of them below.
Topics of Interest
Don’t worry, you won’t find anything really out of the ordinary in the UPCAT (as far as entrance tests go, anyway). Expect questions on mathematics, science, reading comprehension and language proficiency.
Language proficiency is arguably the easiest of all the sections, but don’t let your guard down for a moment. This section requires basic grammar know-how in both English and the vernacular.
Reading comprehension is a bit trickier to manage. One time-saving strategy you can employ is to refrain from reading the entire article. Just look at the questions and survey the article until you find the information you need.
The science portion involves questions on physics, Earth science, astronomy and biology, so focus more on those. Finally, UPCAT math deals with sub-topics like algebra and trigonometry. Keep those computation skills handy.
To Guess or Not to Guess…
If it’s one thing that sets the UPCAT apart from some of the other entrance tests out there, it’s the formula (right – ¼ wrong—that is, a fourth of a point will be deducted for every wrong answer you have. It may seem like a killer at first, yet the good news is that there are ways to deal with this.
First, make it a point to answer the questions that you are absolutely, positively certain about first. This will give you the double benefit of raising your score and boosting your morale for the harder questions. Tackle the latter next.
Second, give yourself enough time for reviewing your answers and changing them. Yes, there are penalties for wrong answers, but consider this: you’ll be getting a full point for every right answer as compared to a quarter point deduction for every mistake.
Besides, studies and experience show that you’re more likely to change a wrong answer into a right one instead of vice versa, so answer as many items as you possibly can and don’t worry about them!
An Ounce of Prevention…
If you feel you need extra doses of confidence, then redeem the time by taking review classes or answering practice tests online or on paper. Besides being readily available, they will give you an idea of what to expect and how to deal with it when the real test comes around.
Take the time to prepare early. By early, I mean doing well in your high school classes. Note that the university will also use your high school grades as a basis for your acceptance or rejection, aside from your performance on the UPCAT.
You can be your own best ally or your worst enemy, depending on how you approach it. Prepare well and prepare early, and you’ll stand more than just a fighting chance at nabbing a slot in the state university.