Academic-Clinic is a big help for me. I’m going to take UPCAT this August. You’re a big help for students especially those who can’t make it to review centers like me. Thanks a lot! More power!

by Roxanne Guinto on

Philippine High School Scholarships

Getting a quality education isn’t easy, especially with the economy and the country what they are today. More and more parents have had to make compromises with regard to education by foregoing family expenses to fund tuition, or transfer their kids to a cheaper school. There is, however, another route out of the quandary – a high school scholarship.

Although the spotlight is usually on scholarships for tertiary education, there’s also quite a number for high school students. But because there are so few scholarships and many applicants, you can expect the competition to be particularly tough.

Science High Schools

Few are as reportedly tough as the science high schools. A program of the Department of Science and Technology, the science high schools are meant to develop the scientists and engineers of tomorrow. Since the program’s establishment in the 1970’s, that has meant a science and math program that’s much tougher than that of the average public school.

Over 20,000 applicants every year take the test for the science high school system but less than a couple of thousand are chosen for slots at campuses all over the Philippines. It’s not just the test, either. Before you can apply, your elementary school has to certify you as a student in the top 10% of your batch. And even after passing the entrance test, a panel will interview you as part of the screening process.

The benefits, however, are great. For starters, tuition fees are waved for all science high school students, regardless of location or economic background. Other costs like lab fees are also shouldered by the school, and it’s only extra expenses like field trips that need to be paid for by the students. On top of that is a need-based monthly stipend and an offer to avail of each campus’ affordable on-campus housing.

Before finally enrolling at any science high school, all scholars are required to sign a contract that includes clauses for:

  • return service, which can be fulfilled after you’ve earned your college degree
  • tuition refund, which means you’d have to pay back what the program spent on tuition and other costs should you decide to leave before graduating
  • a grade requirement, which states that you cannot continue with the program unless you earn a minimum grade in each subject at the end of every year
  • degree requirements, which stipulates that you’re required to enroll in a math-, science-, technology- or engineering-related course upon graduation from the science high school program

The science high school program is not one to be taken lightly. Biology, Chemistry and Physics are all taken up individually there, and each year focuses on one of the sciences. Math courses are also major subjects for all four years, and students in the program are usually well into the collegiate math curriculum by the time they graduate. A scientific research publication is also a major requirement for graduation for some campuses.

Graduates of the program typically go on to enroll in the country’s premier universities to earn their degrees. If you’re up to the challenge, the scholarships offered by the science high school program is worth pursuing any way you look at it.

City Science High Schools

Autonomous from the science high school system are the city science high schools that are managed by their respective local government units. Manila, Makati and Quezon City host some of the more notable City science high schools in Metropolitan Manila.

Like with the science high school system, City science high schools offer students free education and heavily subsidized miscellaneous fees. The requirements, conditions and curricula of the two systems are very similar. In fact, one of the few key differences is the fact that each City science high school conducts its own entrance examinations while science high schools hold a single one for all their campuses.

Philippine High School for the Arts

The PHSA is for budding artistic talent as the science high schools are to future scientists and inventors. The program, however, is much smaller; PHSA usually gets around just 30 students every year for their single campus on Mt. Makiling, Los Baños, Laguna.

Entrance into PHSA is no easier than that for the science high schools. In place of an exam, hopefuls have to do a performance or bring a portfolio as an audition to a panel of judges. A successful audition means an all-expenses paid education – stipends included – that focuses heavily on all aspects of the arts.

Coursework at PHSA is especially rigorous, as students are required to dabble in almost all known media and forms of art. All that is done right alongside the regular high school curriculum, science, math and all. A recital is a requirement to progress from one year to the next, and a major performance is needed as every student’s thesis for graduation. Even with just 30 students, not all successful applicants make it to graduation day.

Financial Aid Offices

Although the fact isn’t as well-known as it is on the collegiate level, many private schools – particularly the sectarian ones – offer scholarships to high-performing students who can demonstrate financial need. Even in supposedly exclusive schools like Ateneo de Manila High School and Miriam College, many students are able to attend the school because of a financial aid package or tuition discounts from the administration.

Take note that this almost always requires a combination of two things: high academic performance and demonstrable financial need. Financial aid officers are often partial to applicants who come from affiliated schools – the Ateneo Grade School to the High School, for example – but will make an offer to any applicant who can make the cut.

Quality high school education is hard to get, yes, but it’s by no means impossible if it’s just cash that’s the problem. There’s more than one way to get into the high school of your choice and thus get started on building up a resume for college.

Science High School Entrance Exam: Abstract Reasoning Portion Tips and Coverage

When I took my entrance exams in preparation for high school and college, I distinctly remember one particular section (aside from math) that almost drove me nuts:  the abstract reasoning portion.  The sight of shaded shapes and squiggles made me want to reach for my aspirin.

If I’d known then that there was help available, I never would’ve killed myself over it.  As with all kinds of tests, abstract reasoning exams sections have strategies and approaches all their own.  Check out some of them below.

Of Languages and Patterns

My godfather once told me that he once had trouble with math—until he came to understand it as a language.  In fact, any tricky subject, abstract reasoning included, has a language all its own, and that language can be broken down further into rules and patterns.

The key, then, is to understand, the pattern or the rule behind the question.  If you’ll notice, most abstract reasoning questions come in the form of sequences, with you being asked to find the missing part in the sequence.

Rotations and Reflections

Here’s a tip:  study the available parts of the sequence and look for similar elements, shapes, shaded portions, and their corresponding numbers.  It’s common practice for the elements in a set to get rotated around.

In these cases, it helps to think of one unit of sequence as the blade of an electric fan or a mirrored globe in a disco.  If you know in which direction the “blade” or “facet of the globe” is moving in, you can figure out what the missing portion is and where it’ll turn up.

“Sudoku” Relationships

Another approach involves studying the relationships between elements in a grid.  Oftentimes, you’ll see similar shapes strewn throughout that differ only in terms of shading or the particular direction that they’re facing.

Study the relationships between elements by taking them per row or column at a time.  If the grid is bigger than four by four, divide it as such.  And then, take a look at the available answers and, by process of elimination, select the one that the sequence seems to be missing.

Practices Makes…

The ability to understand relationships, whether it’s between things or people, is a skill.  Like all skills, it can be developed through practice.  Fortunately, you don’t have to look any farther than your friendly neighborhood Internet.

If you’d like to get your feet wet in the world of abstract reasoning way before the entrance exam date, or if you’d simply like to keep your skills sharp, here are links to a few resources I’ve found online:

1. Psychometric Success – This one contains some good questions to get you started, complete with an answer key and a brief history on the topic.

2. Logic and Reasoning Problems – This site has a good collection of reasoning problems, abstract and otherwise.  The areas of interest are slides 22 to 23 (pages 11 to 12), with answers on slide 116 (page 105)

3. Kent.AC.UK – Classified as “non-verbal reasoning,” this webpage has 20 questions worth of abstract reasoning, plus hints, strategies and an answer key, to boot.

4. YouTube video – Nope, this isn’t a pure sample of test questions.  It’s more of a visual guide designed to help you nail those abstract reasoning exams.

Science High School Entrance Exam: English Portion Tips and Coverage

In another article I wrote about science high schools, I underscored the importance of making one’s life like that of a laser beam (i.e., specializing in a certain field).  That doesn’t suggest for a moment, however, that tomorrow’s scientists are supposed to neglect their other skills in favor of the hard sciences.

Good scientists and mathematicians don’t just excel in math and science—they also know how to communicate their ideas clearly and effectively.  In today’s global village, it’s important that they do so in English.  That’s why science high school entrance exams have their very own English sections.

Word Play

The good news is that these sections don’t have to be intimidating, provided you know what’s coming.  Expect to be tested on synonyms, antonyms, error identification, analogies and reading comprehension.

The first two are pretty much straightforward.  Just tap into your vocabulary data banks and pick the best or opposite of the words they give you.  For instance, let’s say the item is the word “augment.”  Given a list of possible answers, you can choose the word “increase” as a synonym and “decrease” as an antonym.

Intense Scrutiny

Error identification requires a keen eye for detail—you’ll be asked to examine underlined words in sentences and pick out the mistakes.  To make things even trickier, there are items without any errors at all.  It looks a bit like this:

Shirley and his mother came over to our place for dinnerNo error.

A                   B                          C                        D               E

Unless Shirley was born biologically male and simply chose to undergo an operation later, it makes sense to choose B as the correct answer.


The analogy and reading comprehension sections will take you a little more time to get through than the other sections.  The former basically involves a sequence of words, and you’re supposed to guess the next correct word in the series.  Think of it as the English version of abstract reasoning.  As an example:

Doe:  Deer::  _____:  Bear

Note that the analogy questions may also ask for two words in the series instead of just one.

The comprehension section will you have you read essays or short stories and answer questions based on them.  The questions can be based on facts stated outright, or inferences drawn from the passages.  Expect the test to try and twist details around to see if you’re really understood what you’ve read.

Final Tips

One of the things I’m most thankful for is the fact that my parents got me into reading at an early age.  Even if you’re not a voracious reader by nature, it’s not too late to pick up the habit.  Start preparing for the English portion of the entrance exam by reading a lot.  Better yet, read to yourself aloud.

My father also came up with this piece of helpful advice:  whip out your dictionary and learn at least one new word everyday.  If you do this faithfully, your vocabulary will expand to three hundred and sixty-five new words after one year.

If you’re in the mood for some pre-testing challenge, grab one of those activity books you see in bookstores or go visit a site with word puzzles, such as or Merriam-Webster’s site.  When the time for the exam comes, you’ll be glad you did.

Science High School Entrance Exam: Science Portion Tips and Coverage

A wise man once said that it’s important to make one’s life like that of a laser beam.  Philippine Science, Manila Science and Quezon City Science are in the business of developing the “laser beams” (scientists) of tomorrow.  In fact, the first instance where you will see this clearly is in their entrance exams.

The good news is that there’s a pattern to the science portion of the entrance exams—a method to the scientific “madness,” if you will.  If you’re preparing for the tests and you’d like to get an overall picture of what to expect, read on.

The Long and Short of It

If you’ve been paying attention in grade school science, class, then you’re in luck:  you’ll see lots of familiar concepts during the exam.  Basically, expect science high schools to throw biology, chemistry and physics-based questions at you.

In a lot of cases, the questions you’ll encounter on the exam have something to do with familiar, everyday phenomena:  human body processes, the water cycle, moving objects and what not.  Of course, you will also get the “once in a blue moon” kind of questions—think total eclipses, speculations on hypothetical planets, venereal diseases, etcetera.

What?  More Computations?

Don’t lull yourself into a false security by thinking that this is science and not math.  There are still some computation-related questions involved.  For example, you may be given the formula for computing the amount of kinetic energy in a moving object, and then asked to solve for the total amount given a certain amount of speed.

Be sure to have your stock knowledge of simple formulas ready, as some questions will press you for answers without giving you the formulas at all.  They may, for example, tell you that a certain substance has a mass of twenty grams and a volume of one hundred cubic centimeters.

If you’re not familiar with the basic formula for deriving density (mass divided by volume), then you’ll have a trickier time arriving at the correct answer of .2 grams per cubic centimeter.

Visual Stimuli

As with the math section of the exam, the science portion also involves some handy-dandy charts, graphs and diagrams for you to study and draw inferences from.  For instance, a common physics question involves a diagram of a circuit, where your job is to determine the direction of the flow of electricity.

In most cases, the answers to the questions that come with visual aids will be starting you in the face—all you have to do is to look carefully at the pictures, consider the facts and draw your conclusions.  At other times, the answer won’t be so obvious, so you will need to combine observation with stock knowledge then.

Case in point:  you may be shown a picture of a burning candle with a test tube being lowered over it.  Of course, the candle goes out, and the picture doesn’t say outright that the act of lowering the test tube over the candle has effectively snuffed out the oxygen supply.

A Final Word

The science section may be less on computation and more on common sense than the math section, but don’t let your guard down for a moment.  Pray, keep your mind clear, review your computations and answers, think in a step-by-step fashion, and you’ll do just fine.

Science High School Entrance Exam: Math Portion Tips and Coverage

As a wide-eyed student trying to apply for a slot in a good high school, I tended to struggle through the mathematics portions of entrance exams.  Looking back, I think I would’ve appreciated some advanced warning regarding the test coverage.

The good news is that this help is now available to you.  Think of the guidelines below as ideas on what you can expect during science high school entrance tests and some tips on how you can do well on the exam.

Half the Battle

Math may be a very broad field in itself, but certain sub-branches of it have a tendency to pop up during science high school entrance exams.  Some of the most common math-related questions you can look forward to include items on arithmetic, basic algebra, geometry and even numerical reasoning.

The interesting thing to note is that not all questions will have you solving for numerical answers.  Some of them will simply test your stock knowledge of mathematical principles.  For example, you may be asked what a counting number or a greatest common denominator is.

Visual Stimuli

To add a little variety to the mix, the test may include such visual aids as sets, pie charts, graphs and other forms of diagrams for you to study.  For instance, you may be given some meter readings and asked to solve for the total amount of kilowatts used.

Of course, no math test is ever complete without the classic word problems.  They may involve any of the branches of math that I’ve mentioned above, but their overall purpose is to present a scenario and then ask you to solve for such and such amount.

For example, there’s the classic case of four people of varying ages, and you will be asked to determine who the youngest one is based on the given facts.  You may also be given the scenario of a farm with a certain number of animals and asked to count the total number of legs.

Tips and Strategies

Now that you know what to look forward to, you can plan your exam attack strategy.  Here are a few tricks I learned during my time in the school of hard knocks:  First of all, pray.  Anything that keeps the anxiety at bay and helps keep your head clear is extremely important.

Next, quickly scan through the test and tackle the ones that look easiest to you—things that you can answer with little to no computation involved.  Going for the more manageable questions first will help build up your self-confidence for the more difficult questions later.

Save the items that require lengthier computation and thinking for last.  Always review your work and recheck your computations—the most minor miscalculation can lead to the greatest of errors.

Finally, if you really don’t know the answer, eliminate all the clearly incorrect answers from the choices provided and take your best educated guess.

Been There, Done That

The truth is that the math exam won’t cover anything you haven’t already been exposed to before, so don’t worry about heavy stuff like calculus appearing in there.  If you’ve been paying attention in your grade school classes and you’ve been reviewing your lessons diligently, acing the math portion of the exam won’t be as hard as you may think.

UP Integrated School (UPIS) Entrance Exam Schedule

Chances are, you’re familiar with this process:  you pay the fee, fill out the application form at the high school of your choice, send in the proper documents, take the test, and then cross your fingers and await the results.

Still, there are some schools who have modified the general custom somewhat.  One such example is that of the University of the Philippines’ Integrated School (henceforth referred to as UPIS).  Allow me to show you why this is the case.

The UPIS Application System

The UPIS school system is the U.P. College of Education’s lab school, so it understandably differs from that of other schools.  For one thing, you are normally not allowed to apply for the high school straight away.

In fact, you’d better start off (literally) early because the only allowed entry point is the kindergarten level.  Sorry, UP High School hopefuls, but you’ll need to be patient with this one.

Note that I said “normally”—there are exceptions even to this exception.  For example, lateral entrants may be accepted if they’re children of returning U.P. staff members.  There was also a special case last February wherein the UPIS accepted fourteen high school freshmen.

Thing is, this was only done to fill in some vacant slots left by students who chose to enroll in other schools, as well as to recruit more varsity players for the UPIS basketball team.

UPIS Application Requirements

With such a system, you may be thinking that the application process is just as stringent for the kindergarteners.  Well, you’re right:  student hopefuls will be ranked according to their performance on a mental ability test, and the school will only select the top one hundred test takers.  Take note that sixty of these one hundred kids will be progeny of U.P. personnel.

There are other requirements, besides:  the child must be within the five-and-a-half to six-and-a-half-year-old range by enrollment time.  They shouldn’t be previous UPIS test takers, either.

The school’s application form will specify what other things you’ll need to submit, if any.  As of last year, the fee was set at three hundred fifty pesos.

UPIS Important Dates

January-February 2010:  estimated application period for school year 2010-2011

March/April 2010:  estimated entrance exam period for school year 2010-2011

May 2010:  estimated release of entrance test results school year 2010-2011

As of the time of this article’s writing, the UPIS Admissions Office has no specific dates for school year 2010-2011 yet, only approximations.  The folks have informed me that the exact dates of testing will only be determined upon the student’s application to the school, so it’s a good idea to check back with them often.

[***Important update:  Please find the schedule of the 2010 UPKAT at the post, UPIS Important Dates for 2010.]

Further Inquiries

There’s a lot more to the UPIS than what I’ve mentioned here.  If you have more questions about the institution and its unique system, schedule or application process, feel free to visit the official website for more information.

Alternatively, you may also call the school at 9297797.  If you absolutely must talk to the school folks in person, though, just drop by the campus along Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.

Quezon City Science High School Entrance Exam Schedule

Each school has its own benchmarks for potential students hoping to study in its halls.  Of particular note is the strict standard set by the science high schools:  Philippine Science, Manila Science and Quezon City Science.

Not to be out done by its contemporaries, Quezon City Science High school (hence forth known as QueSci) has some important facts for student applicants who wish to grace its campus.  Before we proceed, please note that the information below is tentative and subject to change.

The QueSci Application System

The application period for school year 2010-2011 at QueSci is all set to start this last quarter of 2009 (The Admission Office staff estimate it at anytime from September to November).  Before you rush out and apply, though a caveat:  the institution’s application system is a little different from that of other schools’.

For one thing, QueSci will not hand you your application form right away, even if you ask for it.  Present your Grade 5 report card first and the school will then screen you—specifically, they’ll have to check and see if the grades on your card meet their standards.

In order to qualify, you must have at least an average of 85 in Math, Science and English, and at least an average of 83 on all other subjects.  Furthermore, your overall weighted average must be at least 85, too.

Assuming you meet those requirements, they will then hand you the application form.  Fill it up, pay the fee (around two hundred fifty pesos or so, as of the time of this article’s writing), give them some 1 x 1 ID pictures, and proceed with the rest of the process.

QueSci Testing Dates

Another interesting thing to note about the QueSci system is that involves a multi-phase exam.  That’s right:  you need to go three phases of exams, and only if you pass the preceding phase(s).  .

The three exams consist of the first, more general test, a second subject proficiency test (focusing specifically on Math, Science and English) and an oral interview.  There’s actually a fourth exam—a medical exam—after the oral interview, but this last phase is more for formality’s sake.  If you reach this part, it means you’ve passed all three preceding phases.

As of last year, the first part of the multi-phase exam kicked off last December 5, 2008, with the second and third phases in January and February, respectively.  A similar schedule may be followed this year, depending on how things go.

Releasing of Results

Expect QueSci to release the results of your labor about a month after the oral interview (The case of last year’s set ended up being released just last March 2009.).  As of now, no exact date has been given, so check with the QueSci Admissions Office every so often for updates.

You may call either 4250287, 9220739 or 4536619 during office hours.  Preferably ask for either Ms. Hilario or Ms. Cayetano, as they’re the people in charge.  Unfortunately, QueSci currently has no official website you can visit.  Feel free to visit the unofficial Multiply site if you wish, though:

If you’re feeling adventurous, you may also opt to visit the high school compound along Misamis Street, Barangay Santo Cristo, Quezon City.  The QueSci Admissions Office will post the details of the exam results on the school bulletin boards once they’re ready.

Suggested Reading:

1.  Science High School Entrance Exam: Abstract Reasoning Portion Tips and Coverage
2.  Science High School Entrance Exam: English Portion Tips and Coverage
3.  Science High School Entrance Exam: Science Portion Tips and Coverage
4.  Science High School Entrance Exam: Math Portion Tips and Coverage
5.  Increasing Your Chances of Passing the Philippine Science High School Entrance Test
6.  The Science of Applying for a Spot in a Science High School
7.  Philippine Science High Schools’ Culture and Campus Life
8.  What to Expect When Studying in a Science High School
9.  Financing Your Studies in Philippine Science High Schools
10. The Advantages of Studying in a Science High School

Manila Science High School Entrance Exam Schedule

Being one of the members in the science high school triumvirate, Manila Science (henceforth referred to as MaSci) joins its peer institutions in training promising young scientists of tomorrow.

While qualifying for MaSci is a challenge in itself, the interesting thing to note is that MaSci’s application process is somewhat reminiscent of QueSci’s, only with some modifications here and there.  Let’s take a closer look at it.

MaSci Application Process Facts

The document requirements are fairly straightforward:  a couple of 1 x 1 ID photos with your name tag on them, a certified true copy of your report card (aka Form 138) complete with a seal, and written certification from your school’s principal vouching for your good moral character.

This is where it gets tricky:  MaSci is looking for students with at least an average of 85% in English, Science and Mathematics, and an average of at least 83% in all other subjects.  I cannot stress the importance of this enough—fall short in this area and you’re disqualified from applying, even if you pass the entrance exam.

MaSci Important Dates

November 2009-January 2010:  estimated application period for school year 2010-2011

a Saturday of mid-January, 2010; 8 a.m.-12 nn, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m:   estimated testing date for entrance exam, school year 2010-2011

March 2010:   estimated posting of exam results

As this is a science high school, expect the entrance test to focus heavily on the hard sciences (Science and Mathematics) and English.  Even when you pass the exam, don’t think that the process is all over—you’ll still need to go through an interview and a medical examination afterward.  MaSci will only announce the dates for the latter two after you pass the initial screening.

Intriguingly, it’s possible to skip the entrance test altogether—IF you belong to the crème de la crème of your particular elementary school.  That is, depending on the size of your grade school, you’ll need to be either the top dog or among the top 3 graduates in order to qualify for this “freebie.”

Another catch is that you’ll still need to take a diagnostic exam when MaSci deems it necessary.  You’re also supposed to let the school know that you really wish to apply there before the end of March 2010.  Otherwise, you’ll forfeit your chance.

Download Links and Then Some

If you’d like to check out the application form, just click on this link for it.  On the other hand, this link will allow you to download a copy of the school agreement.  In the event that you’re having trouble with the above links, go to this page and try downloading them from there.

MaSci has put up a convenient page where Internet surfers can check out its the latest entrance exam results.  It currently has the 2009 results posted on it, so if you’re applying for school year 2010-2011, check back sometime March of next year.

Got Further Inquiries?

For the most recent, up-to-date information, I highly recommend that you give the MaSci staff a call at (02) 525-6197.  Try calling sometime around November 2009, as more detailed information with respect to the 2010-2011 process should be out by that time.

Alternatively, you may also drop by the MaSci campus itself during office hours (8 a.m – 4 p.m.), as the school also tends to post exam results and other information on its various bulletin boards.  The school grounds are located along Taft Avenue, corner Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila.

Suggested Reading:

1.  Science High School Entrance Exam: Abstract Reasoning Portion Tips and Coverage
2.  Science High School Entrance Exam: English Portion Tips and Coverage
3.  Science High School Entrance Exam: Science Portion Tips and Coverage
4.  Science High School Entrance Exam: Math Portion Tips and Coverage
5.  Increasing Your Chances of Passing the Philippine Science High School Entrance Test
6.  The Science of Applying for a Spot in a Science High School
7.  Philippine Science High Schools’ Culture and Campus Life
8.  What to Expect When Studying in a Science High School
9.  Financing Your Studies in Philippine Science High Schools
10. The Advantages of Studying in a Science High School

Philippine Science High School Entrance Exam Schedule

There are quite a few things in life that depend on ranking.  Being accepted into the Philippine Science High School (PhiSci) is one of them.  It’s no surprise, really, considering that the institution helps local budding mathematicians and scientists to realize their full potential.

As is the case with its science high school brethren, the beginning of a PhiSci’s student’s high school life starts with a stringent screening process.  Let’s take a closer look at that.

Conditions for PhiSci Eligibility

Keep the magic number ten in mind:  PhiSci draws the line when it requires potential students to be part of the upper ten percent of their graduating class, based on their Grade 5 ranking.  This ranking must be certified by their respective school’s principal.

What if the students don’t belong to the cream of the crop, though?  The good news is that PhiSci will still consider their application, provided they show proof of their skill in English and the hard sciences (i.e., through letters of recommendation and report cards).

Furthermore, student hopefuls must also take and pass the National Competitive Examination (NCE).  This is basically a Scholastics Aptitude Test (SAT).  The exam will focus on four main components:  Verbal Aptitude, Abstract Reasoning, Quantitative Ability and Scientific Ability.

Requirements for Application

The requirements don’t stop there, though:  For one thing, they must be Filipino citizens with no intention of migrating in the near future.  They must also be no older than fifteen years by the June 30, 2010.  Good health and good moral character (again, written certification from school authorities is needed) are also musts.

Document-wise, PhiSci will ask for the usual 1 x 1 ID pictures, the report card and the completed application form (in duplicate).  A one hundred peso processing fee applies to students coming from private schools; it’s automatically waived for those from public schools, though.

The cool thing about securing and filing an NCE application form is that you’re not limited to the PhiSci campus alone.  Just search out any regional office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) or a regional PhiSci campus in your area.  Take a look at this list for the one closest to you.

Important PhiSci Dates and Further Inquiries

August 31, 2009:  deadline for application filing for school year 2010-2011

November 7, 2009:  NCE date for school year 2010-2011

February 2010:  estimated release of exam results

As of this writing, the application process is already underway, with the deadliest deadline being the last day of August, 2009.  There’s no official release date for results yet, as everything will depend on a variety of factors (such as the number of test takers).  The Admission Office folks estimate that the results should be out by February 2010.

Things may change sometime between then and now, so it’s always a good idea to keep communication lines open.  Feel free to get in touch with the PhiSci folks at 9240639, 9291603, 9265701 or 4341066.  Facsimiles may also reach them at the first two numbers.

Alternatively, you may also visit the campus grounds themselves.  The main one is located along Agham Road, Diliman, Quezon City.  For the regional campuses, just visit this page to find out how you can get in touch with them.

Suggested Reading:

1.  Science High School Entrance Exam: Abstract Reasoning Portion Tips and Coverage
2.  Science High School Entrance Exam: English Portion Tips and Coverage
3.  Science High School Entrance Exam: Science Portion Tips and Coverage
4.  Science High School Entrance Exam: Math Portion Tips and Coverage
5.  Increasing Your Chances of Passing the Philippine Science High School Entrance Test
6.  The Science of Applying for a Spot in a Science High School
7.  Philippine Science High Schools’ Culture and Campus Life
8.  What to Expect When Studying in a Science High School
9.  Financing Your Studies in Philippine Science High Schools
10. The Advantages of Studying in a Science High School

Phisci, MaSci and QueSci Admission Procedure Basics

Have you ever felt as if life was just one big test?  Whether you’re a student or a member of the workforce (or both) any vocation comes with certain requirements that need to be met in order to get to the so-called “next level”

Being admitted to a Science High School is no different.  One of these major requirements involves the taking and passing of admission exams.  Fortunately, you don’t have to remain in the dark about them.  This article will help shed a little light on the entrance tests for some of the science high schools available in the country.

The Admission Exams:  Then and Now

The exam to pass for Philippine Science (PSHS) is known as the National Competitive Examination (NCE).  It’s aptly named—you’ll be competing with around seventeen thousand other students for a highly-coveted slot in the school.

Prior to 2008, the NCE consisted of a two-step process.  The first phase involved a Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) while the second phase involved a Science Math Aptitude Test (SMAT).

PSHS has recently streamlined the testing process, though.  As of 2008, the NCE now consists of one and only one exam:  the SAT.  This exam measures four different areas of academic competency:  Verbal Aptitude, Quantitative Ability, Abstract Reasoning and Scientific Ability.  To learn about the application schedule of Philippine Science Highschool, click here.

On the other hand, Manila Science (MaSci) and Quezon City Science (QueSci) both feature exams designed along the same lines.  Their aptitude or achievement tests contain sections in English, Mathematics and Science.  To know the application schedule for Manila Science Highschool and Quezon City Science Highschool, click on the links provided.

The passing grade for the latter stands at seventy-five percent, and that’s only for the first screening.  Student hopefuls must be among the top two hundred fifty examinees in the second screening, and must also pass the interview portion in order to quality.

Beating the Odds

The Science High School entrance exams may seem intimidating at first glance, but just like any entrance exam, there are ways of evening the odds in your favor.  Allow me to share some tips with you based on my own experience with them.

If you’ve been paying attention to your grade school classes in Science, Math and English up to this point, then you have a really good chance of doing well.  It’s even better if your grade school has let you take an SAT at some point, as the science high school exams are similar in construction.

If you think you need to sign up for review classes or courses, then by all means, do so.  There’s no harm in asking for help if you really need it.  Having “mock exams” can be a big confidence booster.  Just make sure not study on the day before the exam—cramming won’t help you at all.

The other preparations mostly involve common sense.  If you believe in God, make it a point to pray and ask for His help.  Sleep early the night before the big day.  Eat a good breakfast on the morning of the exam.  You’ll be given a break in the middle of the testing session, so pack some healthy snacks and water to feed your mind.

Be sure to bring some sharpened pencils, a sharpener and an eraser.  The examiners will likely provide you with writing instruments, but it helps to have some of your own.  More importantly, keep your exam permit where you can easily find it.  Not having it on hand will get you into trouble.

Plan your travel time so that to arrive at the test venue some thirty minutes before the exam.  That will help you relax and psyche yourself up for it.  During my time, the volume of traffic was terrible.  Learn from my mistake and leave your house early enough.

Proper Perspective

In closing, I leave you with a bit of perspective:  this will be good training for your college entrance exams and for your college days as well.  Graduates of these science high schools all agree that their time in Pisay, MaSci or QueSci served them well when they got to the universities.  It may be difficult now, but it will all pay off someday.

Now go out there and knock those exams dead!

Suggested Reading:

1.  Science High School Entrance Exam: Abstract Reasoning Portion Tips and Coverage
2.  Science High School Entrance Exam: English Portion Tips and Coverage
3.  Science High School Entrance Exam: Science Portion Tips and Coverage
4.  Science High School Entrance Exam: Math Portion Tips and Coverage
5.  Increasing Your Chances of Passing the Philippine Science High School Entrance Test
6.  The Science of Applying for a Spot in a Science High School
7.  Philippine Science High Schools’ Culture and Campus Life
8.  What to Expect When Studying in a Science High School
9.  Financing Your Studies in Philippine Science High Schools
10. The Advantages of Studying in a Science High School