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Will Choosing a “Non-Quota” Course Increase my Chances of Passing the UPCAT?



Many parents have students have this very dangerous misconception when it comes to the UPCAT.  The short answer is NO – choosing a “non-quota” course will not, in any way, increase your chances of getting into the University of the Philippines.

To get into UP, you must first qualify for the UP campuses you have noted down as your first and your second choice.  This is done by getting a UPG or University Predicted Grade that is higher than the UP campus cut-off grade for that year.  It is when you qualify for a UP CAMPUS that your COURSE choices will come into play.

To Illustrate, suppose that a UP applicant wrote down the following choices in his/her UPCAT application form:


UP Campus Intended Course
1st Choice UP Manila 1st Choice D Dental Medicine
2nd Choice BS Pharmacy
2nd Choice UP Diliman 1st Choice BS Biology
2nd Choice BS Food Technology


Now let us suppose that after the UPCAT, this particular applicant got the following results:

UPG: 2.40

Math Subtest: 50

Science Subtest: 65

Language Proficiency: 55

Reading Comprehension: 70

As mentioned before, the applicant must first qualify for either of the two UP campuses that he/she has written down in his/her choices.  Although the UPG cut-offs of the different UP campuses changes yearly depending on a myriad of factors, let’s suppose that on the average, UPM and UPD’s UPG cutoffs are the following:

UP Manila: 2.20

UP Diliman: 2.285

Based on the above information, the UPCAT applicant’s UPG did not qualify for any of his/her Campus choices and if you don’t qualify for your 1st and second choice of campus, the UP admissions algorithm will not go to the next step which is to check your course choices.  Instead, it stops.. scratches your name from the list of UP hopefuls and prints out a rejection letter along with your UPCAT scores [in case you want to appeal for reconsideration].

Now, if only the UP applicant discussed above wrote down UP Los Banos as his/her 2nd choice, things could’ve gone differently.  You see, UPLB’s UPG cut-off is more or less 2.42.

UP Los Banos: 2.42

This means that UPLB would’ve been inclined to accept the applicant given that his/her University Predicted Grade is 2.40.  In this case, UP’s admissions algo would have then processed the course choices of the applicant associated with UPLB.


Degree Program with Available Slot

There are cases wherein an applicant’s UPG makes it through the cutoff of a certain UP campus but not the program cut-offs of the courses he/she has inputted as his or her first and second choice.  In this case, the UPCAT result would be DPAS of Degree Program with Available Slot.  It is at THIS stage that the course choices will matter.  Choose a high requirement program like computer science for example that has the following requirements:  Reading Comprehension – 75, Math – 85, Science – 85 and you will find your application rejected based on the subtest scores of the UPCAT result of the preceding section.

So to summarize, you must first qualify for a UP campus before you can qualify for a course.: )


Below is a graphical representation of the above discussion:UPCAT Non Quota