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by Nelly on 10 Less Known Facts about the UPCAT

College Entrance Exams: General Science Coverage

Like the math portions of college entrance exams, the science portions also have a kind of pattern to them.  The tests draw from certain major branches of science, each with their respective sub-branches.

If you’d like a listing of the kind of high school science subject matter you’ll see on nearly every college entrance test out there, then look no further.  Here it is:

Biology

  • Classification/Taxonomy
  • Plants and photosynthesis
  • Bacteria
  • Cell biology
  • Animal biology
  • Heredity and genetics
  • Human biology and anatomy

Chemistry

  • The Periodic Table
  • Mixtures and compounds
  • Chemical reactions and solutions
  • Diagrams
  • Minerals and nucleotides
  • States of matter
  • Measurement

Earth Science

  • Rocks and minerals
  • The Earth’s interior
  • Bodies of water
  • The ecosystem
  • Fossils
  • Plate tectonics
  • Weather, climate, atmosphere
  • Volcanoes and earthquakes

Physics

  • Laws of Motion
  • Force
  • Light, sound and waves
  • Matter and energy
  • Magnetism and electricity
  • Measurement

Astronomy

  • Planets of the solar system
  • Other heavenly bodies: stars, asteroids, comets, black holes, etc.
  • Moon cycles
  • Lunar and solar eclipses
  • Galaxies and the universe

College Entrance Exams: General Math Coverage

To an applicant going through a lot of stress, math sections of college entrance tests may appear as odd assortments of numbers, problems and headaches.  Fortunately, there is an inherent pattern to it—a method to the “madness,” if you will.

Since the tests almost always draw from general high school math, here’s a listing of some topics and subtopics you can expect to see on most exams.

Algebra

  • polynomial factoring
  • ratio and proportion
  • word problems
  • simplifying algebraic expressions
  • matrices
  • linear equations
  • graphs and lines
  • rational expressions
  • exponents and roots
  • factoring
  • polynomials
  • squares
  • quadratic equations
  • inequalities
  • negative numbers

Geometry

  • dimension calculation (length, area, etc.)
  • Euclidean geometry
  • non-Euclidean geometry
  • angles
  • proof and logic questions
  • circumference, diameter, area, etc.
  • word problems

Trigonometry

  • trigonometric functions (sin, cosin, tan and inverse)
  • identities
  • laws
  • word problems

Arithmetic

  • MDAS = multiplication, division, addition, subtraction
  • Integers
  • fractions
  • percents
  • decimals
  • real numbers
  • values
  • algebraic principles
  • word problems

Others

  • statistics
  • sets
  • sequences/series (Fibonacci, et al)
  • probability = combinations and permutations
  • probability
  • logic
  • diagrams
  • lines, points, infinities