There are people who seem to thrive under pressure, and there are people who wouldn’t dare touch it with a ten-foot pole. Regardless of which type of person you are, pressure is something you’ll need to deal with anyway when you face the Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET).
With its reputation as one of the most notorious “pressure cooker” entrance exams available today, the ACET serves as a source of anxiety for potential test-takers. Let’s see why this is so and what we can do about it.
The ACET may strike you as a strange test—strange in the sense that it has no specific Science section to speak of, unlike its contemporaries. Instead, you’ll get a smattering of general science questions here and there.
The Mathematics and Language Proficiency sub-sections are mainstays, and you’ll also get some Logical and Abstract Reasoning, plus General Information (current events and factoids) to make up for the lack of Science questions.
Like its classic rival, the ACET also has an essay portion. Unlike its classic rival, the ACET’s essay is only in English. Its topics can be anything under the sun—you may be asked about the upcoming elections or whether you think the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will push through.
ACET Review: Solo or with Friends
The ACET is a demanding exam, but adequate preparation can make it more manageable. You can do the lone ranger impression, organize a study group or sign up with a review center. Each one has its pros and cons, and the “best” method for you will depend entirely on your individual needs, preferences and resources.
Besides going back to your high school material, you’ll also want to polish up on your English essay-writing skills (This is where friends can prove most helpful.). There are many resources on the Internet with suggestions and even practice exercises to help you tweak your writing savvy. This article is one such resource, as is this one.
Aside from reviewing, there are other not-necessarily-academically-related ways of preparing for it. Have a look at some of the helpful suggestions in this article.
Centering the ACET Centers
There are times when you absolutely must seek out more specialized help. Review centers provide good alternatives, so long as you know what you want and what the center you’re targeting actually offers.
For instance, some centers may drill you more on the core academic subjects, while others may offer helpful extras like diagnostic evaluation and career assessment. Some may offer essay training (Keep your eyes peeled for these.) while others actually provide tours of the school in question.
I’ll take a closer look at review centers in another article, but for now, you may also wish to read this one. Even if it’s geared toward applicants of another school, it still contains many practical guidelines for sniffing out the right review center for you.
The ACET Secret
I’ll let you in on a little secret I picked up from my past experience: mind games are very much a part of Jesuit education, and the ACET is one fine example of that. In other words, you may think that you’re being tested on academics alone, but in reality, your future Jesuit instructors are also checking for certain good qualities in you: fluency, assertiveness, tenacity, calmness under pressure and what not.
Keep this principle in mind when preparing for the ACET, and it will help you during testing day and beyond.