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by ashe on UPCAT Sample Questions: Biology

U.P. Diliman Talent Determination Test 101

The eyes of incoming college freshmen are focused on the UPCAT, and understandably so.  There are, however, alternative tests they can take if their inclinations lie elsewhere.  Certain U.P. Diliman colleges offer talent determination tests (henceforth known as TDTs) in conjunction with non-UPCAT pen-and-paper tests for such students.

Unlike the UPCAT, the TDT is basically a practical application exam.  Depending on the college that the student applies to, proctors will ask applicants to showcase their talent (hence its name) by doing things like drawing, playing musical instruments and the like.

The interesting thing about this option is that it presents students with a choice.  The first option involves taking the UPCAT, passing it and then taking the TDT at the appropriate college to earn a bachelor’s course as normal.  The second option involves bypassing the UPCAT (or flunking it) and going straight for the TDT and a certificate or diploma course of choice.

In case you’re wondering, the diploma course differs from the certificate course by about one year’s time.  The latter consists of “pure” specialty (E.g. all music, all art, etc.) program courses, while the former includes general education courses.

The beauty of the option is that it allows you to benefit from U.P.’s ladder system.  Basically, the ladder system allows you to go from certificate course to diploma course to bachelor course and graduation as if you had passed the UPCAT in the first place.  It’s a great way to express and develop your skills and take a roundabout route to a bachelor’s course at the same time.

U.P. Diliman usually holds its TDTs in early April; applications formally start sometime in January.  While each college offers a TDT, the little details behind their respective application procedures are somewhat different.  If you’re interested in a specific program, call the U.P. trunkline at 981-8500, press 0 to talk to the operator and ask to be connected to appropriate college.

 Read More:

♦ UP Certificate in Fine Arts Program

♦ UP Sertipiko sa Malikhaing Pagsulat sa Filipino

♦ UP Certificate in Theater Arts Program

♦ UP Certificate in Sports Studies

♦ UP Certificate in Music Program


Ms. Connie Rongavilla of the U.P. Diliman College of Music

Ms. Dory of the U.P. Diliman College of Music

Ms. Marisse of the U.P. Diliman College of Fine Arts


While every effort has been made to keep this website accurate and updated, makes no guarantees about the veracity and accuracy of the information it provides. has been established to provide students and their parents an additional source of timely and relevant information.  It is not meant to serve as nor claim to be a replacement for the information portals of universities, schools, government agencies, private organizations, and any other entities we may have used as references.

Please be advised. Thank you.

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5 thoughts on “U.P. Diliman Talent Determination Test 101

  1. I’m currently waitlisted for my course in Creative Writing- does it mean that I can take the talent exam for it later? How does that work? Does my course even have TDTs? I noticed they weren’t listed up there, so I’m more than a little worried.

  2. I’m taking the UPCAT next week. My first choice is Film and the other is English Studies. I was wondering, can you only take the TDT if you chose a course that needs it? Or can I take it after the UPCAT?

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