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Admission for Incoming UP Freshmen (Part 4-B: Pre-Enlistment and Batch Run)

By:  Janina Denise H. Torralba

In the first half of the fourth article, we discussed UP’s curriculum (since it is very different from other universities’ curricula, and is therefore quite complicated) and the basics of the pre-enlistment procedure. In the second half, we will read the fine print of pre-enlistment—from the mechanics to tricks that might help you get the classes you want.

Note: this type of enlistment for freshmen is not implemented in all UP campuses. If your campus implements this, you will need this information now. Otherwise, it is still best that you get early knowledge of what you will be facing in later semesters, so read on.

Selecting and Ranking

In choosing your bloc sections (assuming you will be allowed to) and your subjects, you will get to choose more than one. After making your selections, you will be asked to rank your choices in order of preference. The process of ranking is one of the trickier components of pre-enlisting, but there are ways to work around it. The following are common concerns when it comes to ranking, and it would be wise to read them now instead of asking your upperclassmen about it. UP highly values resourcefulness.

Q: How do I “rank” my choices?
A: You will see three or more vacant slots for each domain you must enlist in. Just click
the link in the last column that allows you to enlist your desired subject. To cancel it,
click the link at the end again.

Q: What is a conflict, and what if I get one?
A: A conflict occurs in the schedule when two or more classes share the same timeslot.
If you get a conflict, it means that any class with a lower rank will be canceled. Your
first choice, whether or not the conflicting classes are in the same domain, will be
prioritized.

Q: Is it okay to have a conflict?
A: Conflicts are unavoidable. Don’t worry, because the pre-enlistment module will make
all final decisions for you. You will only be granted one class in each domain, though,
so you will have to be careful with conflicting classes from different domains. It’s okay
to have conflicting classes from the same domain, but avoid conflicting domains as
much as possible. And remember, conflicts can sometimes be strategic!

Q: Is it okay to select and rank different schedules of the same class?
A: Yes. This is highly encouraged if you really want to get that class. Just be sure to make
your choices wisely.

Q: What is the “correct” method of ranking?
A: There is no single true “correct” ranking method, seeing as in the end, it’s your luck you
have to rely largely on. You have to contend with several other students who want to
get a slot in your desired class, and more often than not, many of you gravitate to a
certain timeslot for your class. Just remember to have a “safety net”; if your top choice
is highly in demand, make sure your other choices are not. It is inevitable to take risks
with your schedule, or even sacrifice dismissal times and break periods.

A common belief about the online pre-enlistment is that it is done on a first-come, first-served basis. This is true for some modules, but the process is random in others. (Manual enlistment is a different story, but you don’t have to think about that for now.) Whichever is the case for your enlistment module, hope for the best and find a way to work around your limitations.

Your Limitations

Pre-enlistment is a not-so-free free-for-all. There are certain subjects you cannot take based on certain criteria. Sometimes, students of a certain college or degree program are prioritized and given most, if not all the slots in a certain class. A class with slots that are meant for a certain college or degree program is labeled “Reserved For: (Degree Program)”.

In other cases, the class may be too closely related to your degree program and therefore has a very limited scope. A class like this would be labeled “Barred: (Degree Program)”. You have academic freedom in UP, but you can’t push it too far. There is no easy way out, and after all, you would not want to be stuck with the basics of your field.

Batch Run, A.K.A. Judgment Day

Typically, the pre-enlistment is supposed to last anytime from a week to a month, but there are cases when there will be server issues and curriculum updates, cutting the period short. While you’re waiting to know what your classes will be, you can keep rearranging your schedule as you like. Add a subject, replace a subject, resolve conflicts—it’s a free country, you can do what you want.

When the batch run begins, the pre-enlistment module might be down for a while. Be patient, and don’t fret. That will not put the odds in your favor. Just pray and wait until the website is up again, then check out what you’ve got. If you’re unhappy with the outcome in any way, relax. You can get it fixed on the day of your enrollment when you meet with your adviser. In a similar vein, your adviser might ask you to replace a class if it does not satisfy a component of your curriculum.

Final Tips

  • It’s okay to have only a handful of subject choices, but make sure that you aren’t contending with a high demand.
  • When a professor or venue is labeled “TBA”, it means that it is “To Be Announced” in due time not “Teodoro Benigno Aquino Hall” as some upperclassmen will try to convince you. If the label is “Concealed”, you’ll have to wait until the first day to find out who’s teaching you or where you will be taught.
  • Never forget to take travelling into consideration when planning your schedule, especially if you will be studying in UPLB or UPD! There is a fifteen-minute grace period in UP during which you are allowed to transfer from one class to the next, but not all professors follow this rule. You do not want to try running to and from opposite corners of your campus in under fifteen minutes.
  • Sometimes, you will have to make do with more than less-than-desirable schedules. You might also have to make do with a class that isn’t exactly appealing to you.
  • If given the option to go blocless, don’t take it. In some instances, a bloc is the only chance you have of taking certain required subjects.

Four Down, One to Go!

Aren’t you all fired up to officially become a UP student? You must be! Hold your horses, because you’re almost at the finish line. Stay tuned for Part 5 of the “Admission for Incoming UP Freshmen” series, Enrollment and Orientation!

Sources:

http://www.facebook.com/groups/updcrs/ (UPD CRS official Facebook group)
http://www.facebook.com/groups/UPCAT/ (UPCAT Takers 2011 Facebook group)

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Please be advised. Thank you.

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