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by mrPCDAVID on Twitter

Practical Guide: Reviewing for College Entrance Exams

UP, ADMU, DLSU, and UST are calling.  Oh you want more than anything to respond – but there’s a hitch.  There’s the UPCAT, the ACET, the DLSUCET, and the USTET to go through.  These college entrance exams are like the proverbial eye of the needle that lets through only a few; namely, those who are well prepared to take their challenge.

Oh good, you are from a great science high school.  Then you probably have good background and should be fine during the college entrance exams.  Even with all your considerable training, however, you’d probably want to enroll in college entrance review seminars.  The human mind is a powerful thing, I grant you that, but sometimes it needs to brush up on things it had previously learned – especially when things as serious as your chances of getting into a premiere university is at stake.  Thus, be prepared (be very prepared) before you take any of your scheduled college entrance tests.

If this is your first time to prepare for an entrance test, fret not.  Here are a few guidelines to help you get started and to make the experience less of a hassle.

Reviewing Hard, Reviewing Smart

Your first order of business is to determine the specific college that you wish to attend.

Sure you are probably going to sit for as many college entrance exams as you can manage just to ensure that you’ll not run out of options.  Nevertheless, you need to have a priority list.  Rank your choices from your number one option to your last choice.

There are two reasons for this:  one, it will help you focus your efforts and your energy more on doing well on that college’s entrance exam; two, it will also determine your approach for the test.

If you’re going for review classes, it’s usually a better idea to attend the ones designed to help you ace a specific school’s exam rather than attending the more comprehensive review types.

Choosing Your Review Institution

It’s tempting to just grab the first review class that makes itself available, but flee the temptation to do so.  Ask around first.  Find out what review institutions have to offer and join the one that you think best suits your review needs.  If you prefer a smaller group or a private tutor, go for the one that provides what you want and need.

Practice Makes…

I hate to disagree with Ai Ai (you know what I mean, “since we can’t be perfect, why practice?“) but you need practice – and lots of it.

Focus on your strengths, but do allot some time to work on your weaknesses.  For example, if you tend to think that Math is a four-letter word (and it does not begin with the letter M), try practicing some mathematical computations with those who are more adept at them

Successfully completing entrance exams is a skill, and skills get better with practice.  One good way of gaining confidence early on is to challenge yourself with timed mock exams during your review classes or even when you’re “practicing” by yourself at home.  While practically all tests contain an element of time pressure, future UPCAT, ACET, DLSUCET, and USTET exam takers will find this tip particularly useful.

Besides these, you may also opt to take a refresher course to keep the lessons ingrained in your system.  There are review institutions that offer this, so again, ask around.

The Matter of the Mind

Napoleon Hill once said, “Whatever the mind of man can perceive, his body can achieve.”  Take the time to visit the exam venue long before the actual day of the exam.  Visualize each and every detail as if you’re taking the test on the big day.

Imagine yourself answering each question quickly and efficiently.  In your mind’s eye, see yourself passing the exam with flying colors.  This exercise in creative visualization can actually help you perform significantly better once it happens.

Prepare well, yet don’t let the preparations puff you up.  Always remember that great schools are highly selective, and that a lot of other people may just be as prepared as you are.  Always give it your best shot then keep your fingers crossed.

Moral Support and Divine Grace

Be sure to involve a support group in your efforts.  No one really succeeds alone.  Let your relatives and friends know what you’re doing so that they can cheer you up and on.  Their encouragement will be a big help to you.

Finally, remember to pray.  Besides the obvious benefits of doing so, prayer also calms the mind.  When your mind is at peace, the answers to the college entrance exam questions should come (subject, of course, to your actual knowledge of them, he he he).