Thank you po. Dream school eh, though I might want to go to UPD someday. ^^ Of course! Malaking tulong po sa 'kin ang academic clinic! In fact, my lowerclassmen ask me for advice and UPCAT updates, and I know all those thanks to AC. ^^ Yes, I see those. I read them often and share them with my batchmates. ^^

by Nicole Castro on www.facebook.com/academic.clinic

UPCAT Result: Degree Course with Available Slot

Every person who takes the UPCAT yearns for immediate acceptance into the course of their choice.  This doesn’t always happen, though.  Sometimes, someone gets a notice of a “degree course with available slot.”

What does this mean?  Let’s find out.

The Long and Short of It

In simple terms, it means that you’ve been placed on the waiting list for the course in question.  Note that this doesn’t mean that U.P. has rejected you; you’ve passed the UPCAT and you’re certainly qualified to study in the university.

The hitch is that your score ranking does not qualify you to get into your chosen course immediately.  Should a slot become available later, however, the school will notify you and you can grab it then.

Available Options

Fret not, as there is something you can do.  One option is to take another course—say your second choice—in U.P. while you wait, and then transfer to your first choice if or when a slot becomes available.  This can happen when an applicant who originally made the list decides not to pursue the said course, thus opening it up for you.

You can also do what I did:  I studied in another university (for the meantime) that offered me the same course.  Fortunately, I did well enough on that school’s exam so as not to be wait listed.  Should you decide to go that route, you can always try for U.P. again next time if you’re really crazy about studying there.

Remember:  don’t worry if the door you originally wanted to enter is closed for now.  God always has a way of opening other doors for you.

What to Do If You DON’T Pass the UPCAT

Sad, but it happens.  Some people (take that to read:  a lot of people) do indeed fail the UPCAT.  What if you’re one of those who do not pass the UP entrance test?

First and foremost, don’t jump out the window, hang yourself or blow up a mall using explosives strapped to your chest just yet.  All hope is not lost and your dream of a UP education can still come true.

Here are some tips, alternatives and strategies to get into the UP system regardless of the UPCAT result:

The Talent Determination Test

Contrary to popular belief, the UPCAT isn’t the only way to UP.  There’s a narrow path for creative individuals to get into UP and it’s called the talent determination test.  Better pray to God that you can draw, paint, sculpt, sing, play an instrument, or act very well.  Think American Idol and hone your skills, quick.

The TDT is held every summer in the colleges of music and fine arts.  They have their own application procedures, application fees and grading system.

Waiting List

Sometimes all it takes is enough courage or ‘kapal ng mukha’, post UPCAT determination and information to tip the scales and get you into the University of the Philippines.

First, get your UPCAT grades [to see if its near the cut-off grade] and go to the college of your choice and inquire about their waiting lists.  A number of UPCAT passers will opt to study somewhere else, so a slot might suddenly become available.  Moreover, a different course [one that’s relatively new or less known] in the same or different college altogether may need more students to fill up their required slots.  Sometimes they may require a contract locking you in to the course; even so, maybe you’ll end up liking this course better than your original choice.  Sometimes, no such contract is required; for those without contracts, you can just shift to the course you really like after your first year.

You can also try inquiring about the availability of slots in the other UP Campuses.  More often than not (that is if your UPCAT grade is near enough to the cut-off), sheer legwork and determination will find you a spot somewhere in the University system.  Failed to get into UP Diliman, try another UP campus like UP Los Baños, UP Iloilo, etc.

Transfers

If don’t sing or dance well or if you fail to find an extra slot in the vast/confusing UP system, you can opt to study in another good university during your first 3 or 4 semesters.  Make sure you earn great grades so you will qualify as a transferee to UP.

The above mentioned options are not the well beaten path towards a UP education, but they are just as effective as passing the UPCAT.  Be sure to try them out if you don’t pass the UPCAT.