It’s not unusual to find forum members discussing the level of difficulty presented by the different college entrance exams. Opinions vary as to which test is the most difficult. On the flip side, there are those who believe that certain tests are among the easiest of the bunch.
Unfortunately, an implicit danger lies within these kinds of discussions. The temptation to rest on your laurels and think you can breeze through the University of Santo Tomas Entrance Test (USTET) is great, yet allow me to show you what the test is about and why you shouldn’t think that way.
The USTET shares a lot of sub-sections in common with other entrance tests—you’ll find the self-explanatory Mathematics, Science and Language Proficiency (English reading and comprehension) there. If you’re a prospective artist, you may also get some additional testing on abstract reasoning care of the College of Fine arts and Design..
Besides those, you’ll also find a sub-section that’s more uniquely UST: the Mental Aptitude section. It’s basically a formidable-sounding term for a general IQ test, yet it may likely be your toughest challenge in terms of time pressure.
Still, most USTET veterans claim that the exam doesn’t quite have the frenetic, pressure cooker feel of its peer tests, and that stock knowledge can help you get through it. That may be true, but beware: the Mental Aptitude, for example, has the shortest time limit available of all the sub-sections, while the Math section has the largest amount of items to solve.
For a more in-depth discussion of the different USTET sub-sections, please go here.
Preparing for the USTET
The first round of testing begins in August 2010, so it’s never too early to begin preparing for it. In fact, if you’ve been studying diligently all throughout your high school tenure, then chances are, you’ve already built up your stock knowledge sufficiently for this exam. Kindly check this article for more USTET preparation details.
There’s no harm, however, in seeking out extra help if you feel you need it. Your friends Mr. Google and the Yellow Pages will gladly help you with respect to finding review centers and such. Better yet, ask others who’ve attended these same centers for their feedback.
Due to the more general nature of the USTET, you don’t really need to look for “specialized” reviews. Most review centers offer instruction in all core academic subjects, anyway, and they only really vary in terms of their approach. Though it’s more about preparing for another entrance exam, this article here provides a checklist of general guidelines for shopping around for a review center.
When asking around, see if the review centers in question use Thomasian-authored textbook material in the sessions. Exposing yourself to this material will give you an advantage, as the USTET understandably draws a lot of content from books written by alumni and alumnae.
Here’s one final reason for not slacking off: the USTET also has a bit of a ranking system built into it, meaning that certain courses will be easier or harder to get into depending on the quotas set for them. Regardless of how easy or hard you think the exam is, give it your best shot and you’ll have no regrets in the long run.