Hayy, tuwang-tuwa po ako sa website nyo. Laking tulong sa pag-take ng entrance tests. :D Tuloy nyo lang po yan, marami po kayong natutulungan sa paghahanda sa college. Myself included. ;)

by Abbie Escarilla on www.facebook.com/academic.clinic

UPCAT Review – Your Ultimate Guide


Finally, an ultimate guide to UPCAT – and by ultimate, I mean you won’t have to look elsewhere for any other information about UPCAT.  This is actually a compilation of posts done by several UP students and graduates who still remember their UPCAT experience.

UPCAT Application

First things first- When is the UPCAT, when is the start and deadline of application and what are the requirements?  You can check that info in this post:

UPCAT Schedule for AY 2012-2013 admissions

It may come as a surprise to some students but UP has actually created an online portal where students can pre-register for the UPCAT.  This cuts some of the steps from the application process and makes it easier for the student to keep up with any UPCAT related updates.  To read more:

UPCAT Online Application / Registration

UPCAT Application Frequently Asked Questions

Some UP hopefuls are also concerned about what courses to write down on the application form.  In fact, some base it on what they have heard about quota and non-quota courses in UP.  To know more about these terms, click the following link:

Are There Still Quota and Non Quota Courses in UP?

UPCAT Quota and Non Quota Courses

 Will Choosing a Non Quota Course Increase my Chances of Getting into UP?

Pre-UPCAT Tips

Getting into UP is not a one-size-fits-all college solution.  Believe it or not, there are certain types of students that may adapt very well to the college culture in UP.  So before you seriously consider UP, read this first:

Is UP for You?  Assessing your Chances in UP

Some students carry a lot of misconceptions about the UPCAT.  Here is an article that discusses well.. some of the lesser known things about the UPCAT:

10 Less Known Facts about the UPCAT

Here are some basic things that you need to know about the UPCAT:

UPCAT 101: Basic Facts about the UPCAT

What to Expect from the UPCAT

How Hard is the UPCAT?

For those who are aiming to do well in their UPCAT exam, here are some things that you need to know:

How to Ace the UPCAT

This article are for those having a long term plan regarding getting into the University in the Philippines, you can apply some of the strategies here as early as first year highschool:

How to Increase your Chances of Passing the UPCAT

Contrary to popular belief, it is not solely your UPCAT score that gets you into the University of the Philippines.  Your UPCAT score will only comprise a certain percentage of your total performance or your UPG, the rest depends on your high school grades as well as socio-economic factors:

You UPG and Your UPCAT Score

UPCAT Tip: What is the University Predicted Grade

Here are some other frequently asked questions about the UPCAT:


Managing Pre-UPCAT Anxiety

UPCAT Review Center VS. Self Study

UPCAT Correct-Minus-Wrong: Is it better to guess or leave the question blank?

On UPCAT Coverage

This section deals with the subjects matters that will most likely appear in the UPCAT.  Below are some general tips:


UPCAT Tips: What to Study

UPCAT Tips: Preparing for the Test

UPCAT Coverage

The following links are specific subjects that will appear in the UPCAT.  Remember that, the subject concentration of the UPCAT may vary from year to year so be prepared for any eventuality.

UPCAT Math Portion Tips and Strategies

UPCAT Science Portion Tips and Strategies

UPCAT English Portion Tips and Strategies

Finally, here are some additional resources that will complement your UPCAT review:

UPCAT Help: Resources for UPCAT Test Takers

Where to Find Answers for your UPCAT Questions

Free UPCAT Reviewers

We have have free UPCAT reviewers / sample exams in our site.  Please dont forget to share the quizzes with your friends.^^

Download Free UPCAT Modules and Readings


General Science: http://academic-clinic.com/2011/04/upcat-sample-questions-general-science/

Biology: http://academic-clinic.com/2011/04/upcat-sample-questions-biology/

Chemistry: http://academic-clinic.com/2011/04/upcat-sample-exam-chemistry/

Physics:  http://academic-clinic.com/2011/06/upcat-mock-test-physics/


Basic Math: http://academic-clinic.com/2011/04/upcat-sample-test-basic-math/

Algebra: http://academic-clinic.com/2011/04/upcat-review-questions-algebra/

Trigonometry and Geometry: http://academic-clinic.com/2011/04/upcat-review-questions-sample-trigonometry-geometry-quiz/

Advanced Algebra and Statistics:  http://academic-clinic.com/2011/06/upcat-sample-quiz-advanced-algebra-and-statistics/


Parts of Speech/General Grammar Rules: http://academic-clinic.com/2011/05/upcat-review-questions-sample-parts-of-speech-general-grammar-rules-quiz/

Syntax and Mechanics: http://academic-clinic.com/2011/05/upcat-sample-questions-syntax-and-mechanics/

Diction and Vocabulary: http://academic-clinic.com/2011/05/upcat-reviewer-sample-quiz-diction-vocabulary/

Reading Comprehension: http://academic-clinic.com/2011/06/upcat-mock-exam-reading-comprehension/

On UPCAT Review Centers

Around the month of March or April, UPCAT takers for the year usually start registering for the summer UPCAT reviews.  Choosing the right one may not be an easy task especially now that there are more than 30 UPCAT review centers in Metro Manila alone!  Below is a practical guide on the do’s and don’t’s when choosing an UPCAT review center:

Choosing your UPCAT Review Center:  A Practical Guide

You can compare and contrast the UPCAT review programs of different review centers by clicking this link:

UPCAT Review Centers:  Review Program Summaries

Moreover, here are some write ups that will give you a glimpse on what to expect from your UPCAT review:

UPCAT Review Guide

Overview of UPCAT Review Centers

Here are some learning tips that you can use to maximize your UPCAT review:

Maximizing your UPCAT Review Classes

Lastly, a frequently asked question about UPCAT reviews.. Some say you don’t need them, some say you do..  read on to learn more about this topic:

Are UPCAT Reviews Really Effective?

UPCAT Day Tips

Some tips for the UPCAT day itself.  The first 3 articles focuses on driving directions to UP while the last 2 gives you some general tips about what to do and what not to on the day of your exam.

Hassle Free UPCAT Day

Driving to UP Diliman for the UPCAT

Taking a Jeepney to UP Diliman

UPCAT Day Tips for UP Diliman Test Takers

UPCAT Tips: A Test Day Survival Guide

Post UPCAT Tips

The succeeding articles are all about tips AFTER your UPCAT starting on where to find your UPCAT results, how to interpret your results and what to do after knowing it:

UPCAT Results: Where to Find It

UPCAT Results and the Next Steps

Types of UPCAT Results

UPCAT Result: Degree Course with Available Slot

UPCAT Pending Result

Below are some tips for those who, unfortunately, did not pass the UPCAT.  Do not despair, there are still some things you can do to get into UP.

UPCAT Alternatives

What to Do If You DON’T Pass the UPCAT

U.P. UPG Cut-Off Scores and Reconsideration

UP Reconsideration Process

How to Get your UPCAT UPG Score

And for some UPCAT passers, you might get invited to the UP summer bridge program.  Read the article to learn more about it:

UP Summer Bridge Program 101

Last but not the least, here is the link to our current project on Facebook – our 101 UPCAT Tips.  New tips are added weekly and we expect to complete the 101 tips sometime this coming July.  Please support our 101 UPCAT tips project by clicking like on the photos or tagging yourself or your friends on Facebook.

101 UPCAT Tips Project on Facebook

If you have anything to add to our ultimate guide to the UPCAT, please feel free to leave your comments below.  Moreover, if you find this article an informative read, please don’t forget to share this free resource with your friends.^^  Goodluck on your UPCAT!

UPCAT Review Guide

Doctor Harold J. Sala once said that “you can never know everything there is in the world, though there are some things you can’t afford to be ignorant of.”  Part of the fun lies in discovering more things as you go along, especially when they involve college entrance exams.

In a previous article I wrote about the UPCAT, I included some pointers on what to expect from the entrance exam and how to prepare for it.  This article will take another look at additional nuances of UPCAT review centers and your own part in test preparation.

On Reviews Schedules

There are about as many review centers as there are thumbprints, each with their own way of preparing you for the UPCAT.  Nevertheless, one thing you should know about them is the fact that review center schedules are always in a state of flux.  That is, the frequency and duration of sessions can change depending on the time of the year.

Ask any review center’s staff member and they will tell you that peak season tends to fall around the summer months of April and May.  The fact that kids are freer means that review sessions can last for half a day or a whole day, and can take place several times a week.

In comparison, review sessions conducted during the early school months of June and July are usually relegated to a few hours on Saturdays, or maybe an hour or two after classes, depending on the center in question.  This means that if you want a more comprehensive UPCAT review, try aiming for a spot in one of the summer review programs.

Click here to view the list of UPCAT Review centers so that you can easily compare and contrast their programs: UPCAT review centers


For the Sake of Completion

Schedules aren’t the only things that differ between centers and seasons—coverage does as well.  All review centers advertise good review sessions, but check the packages if they offer exactly what you’re looking for.  The completeness (or lack of it) of the packages will make or break a review center for the careful canvasser.

If you’re absolutely new to the canvassing scene, though, we humbly recommend that you look for a review center that “goes the extra mile.”  Some review centers may offer extras above and beyond the normal academic review sessions:  diagnostic tests, simulated exams, career assessment, seminars on study habits, and even U.P. campus tours.

One other factor thing worth looking for is the presence or absence “exposition” seminars or courses” about UPCAT-related topics.  For example, do the review centers explain what the UPG is to students?  Do they guide the students through the U.P. application process?  The UPCAT isn’t just about academics, and any review center worth its salt will have something to say about other relevant subjects.

Other Things You Need to Know

In a nutshell, what is advertised as “the best package” may not be so if it doesn’t effectively fit your specific needs.  How do you reconcile the two?  This article will help you answer that question.

Finally, do remember your part in the preparation equation.  The review center is there to help you, but ultimately, you are responsible for making sure you are ready.  Move the process along by studying smart as well as studying hard.

For instance, snack on “brain foods” that stimulate clear thinking.  Review not only subjects but also effective study techniques (mnemonics and other memory aids, SQRR, Pareto’s Principle, etc.).  Manage your review time effectively, and whatever you do, don’t cram.  With a good helping of strategy, you’ll likely be more than prepared for the moment of truth.

Here are some UPCAT sample exams in our site:

UPCAT Sample Exam:  General Science

UPCAT Sample Exam: Basic Math

UPCAT Sample Exam:  Biology


UPCAT Coverage

For students who have yet to go through the “Stations of the Cross” (read: the entrance exams of the country’s top universities), the coverage might all look the same to the untrained eye.  While these exams do share certain things in common, they also possess specific characteristics that distinguish them from each other.

Understanding those differences will help you prepare for the exams more effectively.  Let’s take a look at the distinguishing characteristics that make each test what it is, starting with the UPCAT.

Paying the Penalty

Perhaps the most infamous thing that the UPCAT is known for is its right minus ¼ wrong penalty.  Having to contend with time pressure is stressful enough; dealing with the fear of being penalized for your errors makes it doubly so.

So what do you do when you really don’t know the answer?  UPCAT veterans recommend taking your best, educated guess instead of just leaving the item blank.  The reason:  you’ll nab a full point if you get the correct answer.  If you leave it blank, you forfeit that full point; if you make a mistake, you lose only a fraction of that full point, so the odds are in favor of taking that risk.

The penalty may seem a little daunting at first, but the key to overcoming your fear of it is to polish up on your concepts and your skills.  The math and science portions will test your conceptual knowledge, but the language proficiency sections will challenge your bilingual skills.

Concepts Galore

The good news is that the UPCAT will draw upon your stock knowledge gained from high school lessons.  If you’ve been paying attention during your high school classes and you’ve got the notes to back you up, you’re already well armed.  All that remains is to hone your mind and keep it sharp by reviewing the math and science concepts listed on this webpage and this webpage, respectively..

Here’s a trick I recently picked up from those who’ve been there, done that:  you may find it more efficient to answer certain math and science questions by using the process of elimination instead of computing.  If you think it will take you more than a minute and twenty seconds to solve a problem, try plugging in different multiple choice options until you arrive at the correct answer.

Note that this doesn’t work for all questions of this type, so use your discretion.  As with all things, practicing beforehand helps.

Facility for Language

Unlike the ACET and the DLSUCET, there is no killer essay to accomplish at the drop of a hat, so focus more on developing critical reading and comprehension skills in both English and Filipino for those lengthy walls of text.  You’ll find questions written in the vernacular interspersed between questions written in English, so prepare accordingly.

One good way to prepare for this is to read—and I mean, a lot.  Reading strengthens those synaptic links and keeps the language part of your brain sharp.  Learning some speed reading techniques can help, but they’re not absolutely necessary for finishing the UPCAT on time.  to see the general english coverage of college entrance exams, click here.

A Final Word

The UPCAT is actually passed or failed long before the actual test date arrives.  If you stock up on knowledge, pray and apply the proper strategies, you’ll have a pretty good chance of landing that much-coveted U.P. slot.

UPCAT Tips: What to Study

Yes, the UPCAT is supposed to measure how well you mastered your lessons in high school. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should go back and read every single shred of the notes you gathered from your freshman year. Since you’re probably dealing with your senior year academics at the same time as your UPCAT review, there’s an advantage to studying just those topics that you really need.

UPCAT Math Tips

Too many people overreact with regard to the math portion of the UPCAT. A large chunk of test takers even go through review regimens that include higher mathematics like advanced trigonometry or calculus. You could follow in their footsteps, but the edge you get from all the extra studying isn’t worth your pains.

For most of the UPCAT, all you’ll need are the more basic concepts. That includes topics like basic number theory, particularly the critical sets of numbers and their corresponding notations and properties. Basic to intermediate algebra should also be part of your review regimen, as many of the techniques involved can be used in other areas. Simply knowing how to perform certain operations can already save you a lot of trouble on the test.

Go back to your previous lessons on intermediate algebra, especially the ones that had functions. The ability to work with and manipulate different functions and equations is something that any UPCAT taker should have. At this point, your factoring skills should already have been sharpened to help make all the different procedures easier.

Some geometry is also required for the UPCAT, but restrict your review to just the basics. You’ll definitely need to know about the basic 2D and 3D shapes, as well as each of their properties. That should help you get through most of the test already.

Though it’s a considerably smaller part of the math section, practicing your trigonometry can give your UPCAT score a boost up. At the very least know the basic trigonometric values and identities so that you’re not left guessing numbers come test day. You don’t want to spend too much time here, though, as there’s not very many of these items.

Read more:  ♦UPCAT Math Coverage      ♦UPCAT Math Tips and Strategies

UPCAT Science Tips

 Unfortunately, a good number of parents also tend to overreact when it comes to this part of the test. No, you don’t have to study all the way up to subatomic physics and genetics to ace the UPCAT. Countless test takers have gotten through knowing much less.

In Biology, you’ll need to know all about classification, evolution, biological interactions and a little Anatomy. There’s little point in going any deeper to topics like biomolecules and heredity; even if those lessons are covered in the UPCAT, you’ll have to study so much to gain so few points.

Chemistry is also part of the UPCAT but, like the rest of it, there’s no need for you to go overboard with your review. Stoichiometry, the atomic model, basic chemical interactions (including neutralization and combustion), thermochemistry and a little organic chemistry can pull you through the UPCAT. Once you finish with the properties of the periodic table, it’s time for you to stop reviewing Chemistry and start doing something else.

Test takers will tell you that, although it’s still a part of the test, Physics doesn’t seem to be so big a component. As long as you know how to work with waves, forces and the kinematic equations, you’ll do fine on the UPCAT. Most of the Physics questions in the test have to do with objects in motion, though you’ll see an odd optics or thermodynamics question here and there.

Read more:  ♦UPCAT Science Coverage     ♦UPCAT Science Tips and Strategies

UPCAT Language Proficiency

 Here’s where reviewing can get a little iffy. Unlike with the sciences or Math where you have to master concepts, the Language Proficiency part requires you to have skills. When you have to do things like critical reading and abstraction, that’s a very big difference. No clear-cut routine is suggested for Language Proficiency, but that doesn’t mean you can review without any structure.

Practice your reading comprehension, particularly looking for and understanding context clues. This’ll make a large chunk of the exam easier for you, and will serve as a backup plan when you encounter vocabulary words you’ve never seen. Critical reading is also a must; learn to spot cause-and-effect pairings as well as critical events and key characters.

Speed reading isn’t really a very crucial skill to passing the UPCAT, but it has a definite plus. There’s a lot of reading to be done in the test, many of them involving big blocks of text. Knowing how to skim and speed read can save you a lot of time and give you larger leeway to carefully think about your answers or review.

Vocabulary is one part of the UPCAT that many find difficult, not in the least because of the quality of English education in the country. One thing you should never do is to just memorize every single word with a corresponding definition. Instead, find words from an UPCAT reviewer, identify their definitions yourself and then use them in conversation. You’ll have better recall that way, especially if you do it in batches of 5 or 10.

Read more:  ♦UPCAT English Coverage     ♦UPCAT English Tips and Strategies

Where to Get Review Materials

 For private and science high schools, most of the topics in the UPCAT will have been covered by late third or early fourth year. Hopefully, you still have your old notes and handouts with you so that you could go back over them. They’re a great resource for UPCAT review because they’re often already summarized for easier studying. Otherwise, you may want to look into your old books or consult your previous teachers.

♦ Download Our Free UPCAT Reviewer

When reviewing for the UPCAT, don’t make the mistake of memorizing raw facts and examples – they’ll be of little help to you. What you should study are the concepts and the ideas involved so that you can adapt your thinking to any question that comes your way.  Enrolling in a good UPCAT review center should help you a lot in organizing the things you have to study for the UPCAT exam.  To see tips on how to choose a good UPCAT review center, click here.

There’s really nothing too special or hard about preparing for the UPCAT. If anything, the process is only made difficult by the sheer volume of material you have to study. By trimming down your review topics and studying only the lessons that you have to, you should be able to pass the UPCAT – and do many more things besides.