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by 13charlie on Twitter

DLSUCET Review Guide

A wise person said that life gives you the test first, and the lesson later.  I can’t help but wonder if that sage was referring to college entrance exams as well.  Granted, the test may cover high school material, but it still precedes your formal course.

Case in point:  the De La Salle University College Entrance Test (DLSUCET), for instance, contains a sub-section not found in some other entrance exams.  The skill set required to successfully deal with it makes this exam a tricky one to pass.  Before we delve into that, however, let’s take a closer look at the test as a whole.

DLSUCET Coverage

An unspoken rule demands that every college entrance test share similarities with respect to core academic subjects.  Thus, you’ll find mainstays such as abstract reasoning, language proficiency, reading comprehension, science and mathematics.

Don’t neglect any of those, yet watch out for the essay portion.  Besides the fact that it asks you to express yourself in two languages, the time limits provided will also keep you really, really busy.  The good news is that there are ways to manage it and all the other sub-sections well.  For more subject-specific DLSUCET strategies, kindly refer to this article right here.

While they refer more to the exam of DLSU’s classic rival, this article and this article nevertheless provide a more in-depth look at how you can improve your essay writing, regardless of the test that it’s for or the language that it’s in.

DLSUCET Self-Preparation

There are many ways of going about preparing for the DLSUCET.  The good news is that it’s still possible to adequately prepare for the DLSUCET without the benefit of a review center, especially if you’re on a tighter budget,.

Some things you can do involve buying reviewers from major bookstores, or looking up sites that give free sample tests and essay tips and strategies and try them out yourself.  Better yet, a grab a few friends and then challenge and encourage each other.  Studying as a group can work wonders regardless of the type of exam, as discussed in this article.

If you’d rather seek help from professional educators, look for a review center that offers essay-writing training in both English and Filipino along with the “regular” reviews.  There are a lot of review centers out there (several of which are strategically located around major universities), but not all of them may offer the training you want in the way (or price) that you want it.  Do a little research and ask around.

Final Tips

It may help you to think of essay-writing as simply expressing your opinion on paper.  Imagine that you are talking to a friend about a certain topic and sharing what you think and feel about it.  Write down what you think you would say, and that will be your essay.

On the whole, the DLSUCET itself may be thought of as a study in contrasts:  the exam may be tricky, even difficult, yet word has it that the university is a bit more forgiving in terms of slot quotas.  Prepare, pray, do your best and hope for the best, and that’s exactly what you will receive.

DLSUCET Coverage

It’s a wonderful feeling to being able to accomplish an important task at your own pace.  Unfortunately, entrance tests like the DLSUCET generally don’t allow you to do that.  Many are the tales of who ran out of time and ended up not finishing the test.

The good news is that you can adopt specific strategies to help you cope with the different sections of the DLSUCET.  Before you can do that, however, it helps to have an idea of what to expect from the test.

The Coverage

Strictly speaking, stock knowledge alone will not help you get through the DLSUCET.  While it does have its share of general high school math, English and science-related questions, the way some of the questions are presented will force you to rely on your other learned skills.

Some distinguishing traits of the DLSUCET include an abstract reasoning section and a logical reasoning.  The former will test your ability to recognize patterns, while the latter will throw statements at you and have you infer relationships between them.

The DLUCET also features a couple of essays—one in English, one in Filipino.  They will measure your ability to organize and express your thoughts quickly (in about fifteen minutes or so) succinctly and coherently.  Questions may be drawn from the entire gamut of social or current events.  Some test takers have reported answering questions ranging from the Abu Sayaff to the role of the youth with respect to media violence and sexism.

An Ounce of Preparation

Preparing for the DLSUCET will require a multi-pronged approach.  Those who’ve been there, done that will recommend that you review your past and current high school lessons for English, Filipino, science and math.

They also recommend reading—a lot.  This serves a two-fold purpose:  one, it helps you improve your word power (which is very handy for tackling the formidable vocabulary questions); two, it gives you more knowledge to work with for the essay portions of the exam.

Speaking of which, the best way to prepare is to prepare for the essay writing sections is to actually write.  Grab a friend, pick any socially relevant topic and begin writing.  Time yourself for fifteen minutes, and then review your work with your friend.  Repeat this over and over until you get the hang of it.  Raise the bar each time by gradually decreasing your time limit during every instance.

The abstract and logical reasoning sections may also be a bit tricky to prepare for, but they’re nothing that can’t be fixed with a little help from your friendly internet search engines.  Try and look for some free IQ or SAT test samples (with answer keys, of course) online and start answering them!

Harder to Finish, Easier to Pass

A DLSUCET veteran once remarked that it’s “harder to finish the DLSUCET, but easier to pass it.”  I have yet to verify the truth of this statement.  Nevertheless, the fact remains that the test is a long, challenging, pressure cooker kind of exam.

You need not worry, though.  With adequate preparation, rest, nutrition and prayer, you’ll have a pretty good shot at passing it and passing it well.


With universities gearing up for entrance test days, it’s no surprise that students and even parents have taken to the World Wide Web in search of exam tips and strategies.  The good news is that those who have been there and done are willing to share their experiences with those who will go through the test for the first time.

In another article, I shared more general tips on how to prepare for De La Salle University’s entrance test.  This time, I’ll be diving a little deeper into the meat and bones of the DLSUCET itself.  If you’d like more specific tips on how to do well on the exam, then read on.

The DLSUCET Makeup

Content-wise, the DLSUCET isn’t very much different from other entrance exams out there.  As you prepare for the test, focus on reviewing mathematics, science, reading comprehension, language proficiency and abstract reasoning.

For the math portion, concentrate on statistics, geometry, trigonometry and algebra.  Science will require some knowledge of formulas, too, so take the time to memorize those.  Abstract reasoning will basically test your ability to see patterns in shapes and squiggles.

For the language and reading portions, you’ll be asked to identify synonyms, comprehend text, correct grammar and write essays in English and Filipino, so increase your word power and polish those reading, writing and editing skills ASAP.

The Strategic Approach

Your two biggest enemies will be time pressure and your mental state.  The good news is that both are very, very manageable.  One strategy to help you budget your time properly is to take a quick, “big picture” look at the material.  Take in all you have to do and then allot a reasonable amount of time for answering them.

For example, if you’re given one and a half hours to finish a section, you can take a couple of minutes to survey the questions at a glance and plan your approach, fifteen minutes to go through the easy questions, forty-five minutes for the harder questions that require computations or essay writing, and the remaining twenty-eight minutes for reviewing your answers.

Different people have different comfort levels, so adjust the lengths of time according to your preferences and capabilities.  Of course, it also helps if you can simulate this so you have an idea of what to do during the actual test, which brings me to my next point…

Confidence and Competence

To help you psych yourself up for the big day, start practicing early and often.  Avoid the temptation to rely on your textbooks or stock knowledge alone—they won’t be enough to pull you through the test.  Build up your reserves of confidence by answering practice tests (ideally with answer keys).  These are available via the Internet or your local bookstore or review center.

Train yourself to answer them as quickly yet as cleanly as you can.  Once you’ve mastered answering them within a certain amount of time, raise the bar by doing the same thing in less time.  The trick is to incrementally decrease the available time you give yourself for answering the practice test so you get better and faster at nailing it.

Remember:  if you take the necessary steps to prepare, pray, and do your best, you will reap the rewards of your hard work.

Increasing your Chances of Passing the DLSUCET

Thinking of Enlisting as an Archer?  Going for the Green and White?  Good for you.  You’ll need to nail that DLSUCET first, though.  The entrance exam can be manageable, or it can be difficult, depending on how you go about preparing for it.

If you’re dead set on making your mark in DLSU, then by all means, read on.

Complacency is Deadly

The first thing order of business is to forget what you’ve heard about the DLSUCET being the easier than the UPCAT and the ACET.  Regardless of whether this is actually true or not is irrelevant; your job is to clear your mind of preconceived notions and to focus on doing well.

There are actually two good reasons for doing this.  First, just because some people have found the DLSUCET to be easier doesn’t mean that you will.  Truth be told, others have thought that La Salle’s exam was harder than the UPCAT or the ACET.  There’s only one real way to find out, and you’ll need to prepare beforehand.

Second, overconfidence puts you in a prime position for failure.  There’s always the danger that if you think it’s too easy, you’ll grow complacent in your preparations and in the way you take the test.  Be prepared, be confident, but be on your guard all the same.

Sharpening Your Axe

Preparations for the DLSUCET actually share a lot of things in common with preparations for other entrance exams.  For example, if you really wish to be ready for it, the best time to start reviewing for it would be during your freshman year in high school.  It makes sense, considering that one of the university’s application requirements is your Transcript of Records.

You may find this piece of advice strange, but I’ll mention it anyway:  take other entrance exams before you take the DLSUCET.  Yes, you heard me right.  “Practicing” with other entrance tests can do wonders for your self-esteem.  Passing them gives you a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of competence, too.

As an exercise in applying “The Secret,” repeat the following words to yourself everyday while you gaze in the mirror:  “I will pass the DLSUCET with flying colors.”  You may find it hard to believe at first, but persevere.  You’ll not only end up believing it; you’ll actually make it happen.

The Day before the Big Day

Take the time to get your stuff in order on the day before the exam.  Make sure your exam permit (Don’t leave home without it!) and your school identification are within easy reach.  Prepare your pen, pencil, sharpener and eraser, as you cannot pass what you cannot write on.

You may also wish to bring a jacket, a sweater, or something that can keep you warm.  There’s always a chance that you’ll get assigned to some uber cool room.  Believe me, freezing during an exam does not improve your chances of passing it one bit.

Finally, remember to pack some brain food (fruits, veggies, nuts, tuna etc.) and water for refueling purposes, as well as some medicine and tissue.  Now this is not to suggest that the DLSUCET will make you sick, but you’ll never know…

The Big Day

Get a good night’s sleep before the big day so that your mental powers will function at their peak.  Fill your gasoline tank (read: your stomach) with fuel in the morning so that your brain can think properly.  Offer your daily libation (i.e. visit the comfy room) before hand.  Most importantly, pray before the exam.  Divine guidance is a must!

Leave early enough so that you can get there at least thirty minutes before the exam, then take the time to relax and clear your mind.  Do some yoga or meditation to calm yourself down and to give yourself that feeling of empowerment.

After The Exam

Consummatum est.  You’ve done your best.  Now pray, relax, and chill out.

I’ll leave you with this bit of encouragement:  it is said that De La Salle University actually has more slots for enrollees than other schools (mainly Ateneo and UP), so there’s a pretty good default chance that you’ll make it.  If you’ve done your best, believe that you will, and the universe will move according to your beliefs.

What to Expect from the DLSUCET

DLSUCET stands for De La Salle University College Entrance Test.  This is the test you’ll need to sit (and pass) in order to become part of the elite body of LaSallites.  Therefore, if you are planning on studying at De La Salle, prepare yourself for the DLSUCET.

It seems that different people have different perceptions about the DLSUCET.  Some say it’s easy, others say it’s difficult, still others say it’s somewhere in between.

So which is it?  It depends upon a variety of factors – what’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander.  Regardless of what the DLSUCET’s real or perceived difficulty level is, there are still certain things that you need to watch out for.

Of Essays, Formulas and Weirdness

Like the entrance exam of its arch-rival, the Ateneo de Manila University (Ateneo de Manila University’s entrance exam is known as the Ateneo College Entrance Test or ACET), expect the college entrance test of the De La Salle University to throw a couple of essay questions at you – one in English and one in Filipino.  Brush up on your bilingual skills or you may just find your nose bleeding during the exam.

You may also come across a host of spatial reasoning and trigonometry questions, so be prepared.  Don’t worry if the seemingly random ordering of the questions seems weird in a frustrating sort of way.  In all likelihood, you’re not the only one who’ll be thinking that come test time.

For the science and math portions, the trick is not to rely on stock knowledge alone.  This is what your DLSUCET exam review sessions are for.  If there was ever a time to re-familiarize your brain with formulas new and old, it is months or even years before you take the DLSUCET.

Extraneous Variables

In another article, I wrote about the need to bring a jacket, a sweater or anything that can help keep you warm.  There’s actually a good reason for this.

If the Fates have decreed that your exam be held in the Miguel room, the temperature of the place will stop you cold.  Let’s put it this way:  are you familiar with those brain freeze drinks?  Imagine them on steroids and you’ll get the picture.

As with any entrance exam, you will encounter a deluge of vehicular and human traffic en route to the testing site.  Cultivating the habit of being an early bird early on will not only get you the worm but the peace of mind that will help you do well in the DLSUCET.

The Bottom Line

How easy or how difficult is the DLSUCET, really?  Ask anyone and chances are you’ll get a variety of answers.  The test’s perceived difficulty level will change depending on a person’s background, academic training, talents, skills, etc.

If there’s more or less a general consensus about the DLSUCET, it’s that the test is not as much a time pressure cooker as the ACET is.  This doesn’t mean that you should rest on your laurels, though.  You will still need to confront a plethora of test questions – and answer a majority of them correctly in order to pass.

In closing, allow me to leave you with this piece of advice:  some people who lamented their “poor” performance in the DLSUCET actually made it.  Worrying about the difficulty of the exam is not your concern.  Breaking it down into something more manageable is.  Prepare for the DLSUCET as best as you can, and then go out there and give it your all.