Hey! First of all I would like to say that I love your site!! I learned a lot of tips for the last 50 minutes of reading this article and the comments (plus your replies).

by Nelly on 10 Less Known Facts about the UPCAT

UPCAT Alternatives


It’s a good idea to prepare for the UPCAT.  Sometimes, however, people can put too much emphasis on it, especially when there are other ways of getting into UP without taking the UPCAT or without passing it.


If you’re absolutely determined to attend the state university, you may want to consider taking a certificate course, such as music or fine arts.  A number of UP colleges offer these, and they will readily accept you provided you pass their screening processes.


Your best bet would be to inquire at the college of your choice because the specific processes tend to vary across colleges.  Nevertheless, a common ingredient involves passing a talent determination test of your more artistic capabilities.


Depending on your UPCAT performance, it’s also possible to get in if your grades are near the cut-off to get you waitlisted.  While it seems that everyone and their mother wants to get into UP, the reality is that some people will give up a highly-coveted slot in favor of another course or another school, and you can take that if it’s available.  It will take a certain amount of patient waiting and good timing, but it can be done.


The key is to keep the communication lines open between you and the department of your course of choice.  They will inform you if a slot opens up for you.  While waiting, you may want to shift to another course (ask the department for one that doesn’t lock you to it) in the meantime and then shift back to your original choice.  Even if that slot doesn’t open up, you still have a choice of pursuing the same course in one of the other UP satellite campuses.


If you’d rather not wait and jump into college life straight away, you also have the option of attending another college (another UP campus if you make its cut-off or another university if you don’t) in the meantime.  You can then transfer back to Diliman once you’ve earned enough units (specifically 33 academic units, usually in a year or so) and you’ve maintained an average there equivalent to UP’s 2.0 or higher.


Finally, there’s one other way for foreign students:  if you’ve taken your SAT and you have a grade of at least 1200 in Critical Reading and Math, then UP will accept that in place of the UPCAT.  There’s a catch, however:  you can only choose from a limited number of courses.  What’s more, you’ll only be allowed to do this after the UPCAT takers have chosen their courses.


If the UPCAT isn’t your cup of tea, don’t despair.  There’s more than one way to get into the state university.  Pray for wisdom and guidance, take a look at the options available to you, make your choice and keep trying!



While every effort has been made to keep this website accurate and updated, Academic-Clinic.com makes no guarantees about the veracity and accuracy of the information it provides.

Academic-Clinic.com 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.

Leave a comment

2 thoughts on “UPCAT Alternatives

  1. If I took the SAT test and passed it, do I still need to fill out the UPCAT FORM 1 and 2? Also, I’m originally from the Philippines but we recently moved in the US can I still apply as a non-foreign student? I do have relatives in the Philippines perhaps I can use their address?

  2. ” if you’ve taken your SAT and you have a grade of at least 1200 in Critical Reading and Math, then UP will accept that in place of the UPCAT. ”

    I am a foreign student wishing to apply to UP Manila, but I was wondering..Will they accept ACT scores as well? On its website, one of the requirements was “qualify in a college-qualifying national…examination.” I’m pretty sure the ACT is a college-qualifying national exam, but the site didn’t mention it So I’m confused. 😐 Help, please? Thanks in advance!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *