by Jonah Bongcayao on www.facebook.com/academic.clinic

UPCAT Review Center: High Achievers Tutorial and Review Center


UPCAT Review Price: P6,500

# of Hours: 76 Hours (Lecture & Drills) + 10 Hrs (online Reviewers and Modules

# of Sessions: 19 Review Sessions (including Grand Review Program)

# of Students per Class: 15students per batch (Kamias Branch), 30 students per batch (Taytay Branch)

Passing Rate: No Data

Comprehensive College Entrance Test Review for UP,ATENEO,DLSU and UST. Topics like Mathematics, Science with Physics, English and Abstract Reasoning . Includes: Test taking tips Test assistance Personality Test Career Orientation Diagnostic Test Review materials and modules are included.


Review Slot Reservation: Website Reservation, Bank Deposit, Office Reservation

Review Batch Schedule: April – August

One on One Review Schedule: June –December


Review Venues:

  • Quezon City: #38-F Kamias Road
  • Taytay Rizal: SAN BEDA COLLEGE TAYTAY RIZAL CAMPUS (Official Review Center of San Beda College since 2002 )
  • Caloocan


Office Address and Contact Information:

Telephone Number: 426-3496 or 348-9724

Mobile:  0922-8059724

Office Address: #38-F Kamias Road Quezon City, Philippines 1102

Fax: Skype: high achiever
SkypeID: highachiever
YM : dhigh


Website: www.myhighachiever.com

Social Media Sites:






Email: info@myhighachiever.com


Detailed Review Schedule




2012 College Entrance Test Review Batch Schedule: (as of Jan 18,2011 10:00AM)


Batch 1:        April 11 –  April 27,2012       M,W,F,Sat   (9slots to go) 
Batch 2:        April 19 –  May 3,2012          T,Th,Sat
Batch 3:        April 24 –  May 12,2012        T,Th,Sat
Batch 4:        April 25 –  May 9,2012          M,W,F,Sat
Batch 5:        May 2   –  May 19,2012         M,W,F,Sat


Batch 6:        May 8   –  May 26,2012         T,Th,Sat


Batch 7:        May 11 –  May 26,2012         M,W,F,Sat
Batch 8:        May 15 –  June 2,2012         T,Th,Sat
Batch 9:        May 20 –  June 3,2012         M,W,F,Sun
Batch 10:      May 23 –  June 3,2012        Tue,Wed,Fri,Sat,Sun


Batch 11:      To be announced April 2012     EN)        









Disclaimer:High Achievers Review Program does not ensure the success of passing the entrance examination of the reviewee but provide them necessary tools and materials to prepare the reviewee in handling their College Entrance test.


Endorsed by Hon.Vice-Mayor Herbert Bautista for educational seminar for the youth
Champion, Q.C. Youth Achievers Awardee
National Youth Congress- UP Diliman
Featured: Entrepreneur Magazine, June 2008 issue,volume 8 number 83, page 50-51.
Featured: Kabuhayang Swak na Swak, ABS-CBN Channel 2, aired: June 14,2008
Featured: Radyo Negosyo, DZMM 630, Saturday, July 12,2008

UPCAT Review Center: Young Einstein Learning Center

Tagline :

“We empower students to excel.”  We give students the right tools to excel, not only in their academics, but in life as well.  We want to mold students to become future proactive leaders of the country, by training them to think analytically and creatively, and be part of the nation’s solution to success.  Included in the review package are two major conferences – the leadership conference and the career conference.

# of Hours of review: 100 Hours

# of Sessions: 21 sessions (19 sessions of 4 hours each, 2 sessions of 8 hours each, plus scheduled online tutorials with the faculty)

Maximum Students per Class: 15 to 20 students per class

Price: Available upon request through our office contact numbers & email

Discounts and Promos: Huge discounts of up to P3,500 from now until February 17, 2012 – We have scholar’s discounts, group & individual discounts, science high school discounts.  We also have on-going FREE diagnostic tests on scheduled Saturdays for incoming 4th year HS students.

Perks and Extras

*  diagnostic exam – included

*  simulation exam – included

*  review modules – review books included

*  career seminar – included

*  leadership conference included (with talks on personal goal-setting, effective time management, test-taking skills, mind-mapping, speed-reading, memorizing)

*online tutorials – included

*additional exercises online

Registration Dates Enrollment on-going, but discounts are available (rates vary at different deadlines) from now until March 15, 2012!

Review Schedule April 11, 2012 to May 2, 2012.  Quezon City: MWF and MTWThF,

Makati: MWF.  We also do in-campus review programs (minimum of 20 students), where we bring our teachers to your school for the review program. Pls contact us if your school is interested.


Review Venues Quezon City and Makati (center-based review).  We also do in-campus review programs (minimum of 20 students), where we bring our teachers to your school for the review program. Pls contact us if your school is interested.

 Maps (link) 


Contact Info :

telephone: 6924980 (landline), 09178357636

fax: none

office address: Unit 808 Emerald Square Condominium, JP Rizal St corner P. Tuazon Avenue, project 4, Quezon City.

other office venue during summers: 2nd flr Maripola Bldg, Perea Street, Legaspi Village, Makati

email: info@yeinstein.com

facebook url: www.facebook.com/yeinstein

twitter: www.twitter.com/yeinstein

website: www.yeinstein.com

Instructors’ Qualifications: Faculty come from UP and Phil. Science High School


Free UPCAT Review: The UP Kalilayan Core Program

When someone does something nice for us, it’s natural to want to pay that person back.  What do you do if that’s just not possible (say, the person anonymously donated money to you.)?  Another option is to pay it forward.

Organizations like U.P. Kalilayan are in the habit of doing so.  One of their favorite methods involves their UPCAT review—an outreach activity dubbed the Core Program.  There are some interesting nuances behind this program, as you’ll soon find out.

Org Background

U.P. Kalilayan has its roots in Quezon province.  Four Lucena City students founded the organization some 35 years ago.  Its purpose is to promote the growth of the said province through projects such as medical-dental missions and programs like the Core UPCAT review.

The interesting thing is that the current roster of organization members consists of former high school students who participated in and benefitted from the Core Program.  They are now paying it forward out of gratitude.

UPCAT Review Background

The main purpose of the Core Program is to introduce UP Diliman as the top state university to aspiring college students from Quezon province.  It actually started back in 1993.  Its 23rd session will commence this 2011.

U.P. Kalilayan sometimes holds more than one session per year depending on logistics and circumstances, and 2011 is one such year.  The program itself consists of three phases:  a career orientation, the review proper and an exhibit.

UPCAT Review Requirements

The org doesn’t require much from potential participants, save the following:

  • They must be Quezon province students in their third or fourth year of high school.
  • They must present their official school IDs.
  • They need to pay a 50-peso registration fee.

Incidentally, the registration fee will cover their food and all the materials they will use in the review sessions—projectors, booklet, brochure, etc.  The booklet is essentially their review and answer sheet, while the brochure contains a description of the university along with other pertinent bits of information.

UPCAT Review Registration

U.P. Kalilayan usually sends out invites to high schools in Quezon  province.  The interesting thing to note here is that the school officials are the ones who determine whom the participants will be—not the students themselves.  The criteria vary between schools, though they have been known to select their top students.

After the participants have been chosen, all they need to do is to confirm their program attendance via call, SMS or e-mail.  The number of participants is limited to a total of 250 students or so distributed evenly across all high schools.

UPCAT Review Coverage

U.P. Kalilayan usually reserves the career orientation for the morning session. In it, the org introduces participants to different university students and professors via video.  The latter folks talk about U.P. courses, organizations, traditions and other relevant facts about university life.

The mock exam and review proper follows in the afternoon of the same day.  Just like the real UPCAT, the mock test features questions on science, mathematics, abstract reasoning, reading comprehension in English and Filipino and so on.  The students then review the answers to the questions with the org members’ guidance

Finally, the org finishes up by treating the participants to an exhibit of the best that the university has to offer.

UPCAT Review Schedule

This first session of this year’s Core Program will be held on March 12, 2011 from 7:30 in the morning to around 5 or 5:30 in the afternoon.  This is exclusively for district 1 third year high school students.

District 2 fourth year high school students need not worry, as a second session will be held just for them sometime in June of 2011.  The schedule is still being finalized at the time of this article’s writing; it will likely take place a couple of weeks before the actual UPCAT day.

UPCAT Review Venue

Core program review sessions are held in the ORN Hall of Luis Palad National High School in Tayabas Quezon until further notice.

Org Contact Details

For more information on the scheduling and other important aspects of the program, contact Mr. Jiru Rada at jirurada@gmail.com or mobile number 0935-1734339.  You may also contact Ms. Danielle Maano at d.maano@yahoo.com or mobile number 0915-7935071.


Mr. Jiru Rada of U.P. Kalilayan

Free UPCAT Review: REV-UP! The UP Sandiwa College Entrance Review

If it’s indeed true that birds of the same feather flock together, then all it takes is a little sleuthing to find the student organization that’s right for you.  In fact, the rosters of certain orgs are composed entirely of students from a certain province or region.

For instance, Tarlaquenos studying at the University of the Philippines can check out UP Sandiwa.  Besides serving as a safe haven and fun group for students from Tarlac, the org also engages in activities related to social consciousness, as you will see shortly.

Organizational Background

UP Sandiwa is an organization of and for students who hail from Tarlac.  Like other orgs who conduct UPCAT reviews, it’s geared toward academic and socio-civic activities, especially those that involve the welfare of fellow Tarlaquenos.  In fact, the org has been busy with such projects for the past 17 years.

One of the most recent achievements of the org was the LOVEstROCK Valentine concert held last February 2010, wherein it promoted such values as social responsibility and love for country.  To this day, the org continues to uphold its core thrust of nurturing UP scholars, knowing fully well that the latter are the first to serve their country.

Organizational UPCAT Review Background

REV-UP is the UP Sandiwa entrance exam review program designed to put the org’s core principles into action.  It conducts this annual program in conjunction with the city government of Tarlac and the Rotary Club of Tarlac Metro.

The emphasis of the program is on knowledge and technique—that is, its purpose is to equip Tarlaqueno high school seniors with the tools they’ll need to pass the entrance test of their chosen university (especially the UPCAT).  It consists of six sessions and even includes a free reviewer.

Review Venue

The last REV-UP was held for three consecutive weekend sessions at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Sto. Cristo, Tarlac City.

Registration Requirements

UP Sandiwa has some very manageable requirements for would-be participants.  Students must hail from Tarlac and must have valid school IDs.  That’s all.


REV-UP covers familiar high school subjects such as:

  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
    • Geometry
    • Trigonometry
    • Statistics
  • Science
    • Biology
    • General Science
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
  • English
    • English Grammar
    • Reading Comprehension
  • Filipino
    • Filipino Grammar
    • Pag-unawa sa Binasa

The program itself consists of three main parts:  an orientation career assistance program, the review proper and a mock exam.  UP Sandiwa will even throw in free reviewers for participants.

Kindly note that UP Sandiwa members take responsibility for preparing all the materials in the program.


Last year’s registration started on June 26 2010, 12 noon at the DBTI gym, Tarlac City.  The org makes use of a SRS or Sandiwa Registry System–an information system especially made for Rev-UP.  This system (the brainchild of alumnus Jap Salvador) acts as a warehouse of information regarding the participants and performed functions such as class management, student grade rankings, attendance checking, etc.

Basically, the SRS assigns student numbers and classrooms to participants.  The students proceed to the Don Bosco Technical Institute gymnasium to register from seven to eight in the morning.  There they will receive assistance from UP Sandiwa staff members.  The participants then input relevant info (their names, schools, etc) into the SRS terminals, and the system takes care of sorting them out.

Review Schedule

During the last REV-UP series, UP Sandiwa held review classes on July 3 and 4 and July 10-11, from 9:00am-4:00pm on Saturdays, and 9:00 am-12noon on Sundays.  The only exception was the first week, where the Saturday session was held from 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. while the Sunday session was held from 9:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

At the time of this article’s writing, the UPCAT review schedule for 2011 is still being ironed out.

Contact Details

For inquiries or clarifications about UP Sandiwa or its REV-UP program, kindly contact Ms. Kristine Cunanan at sandiwa_updiliman@yahoo.com or 0915-3314517


Ms. Kristine Cunanan of UP Sandiwa

Free UPCAT Review: RISE-UP! The KKK College Entrance Review

My father often spoke to me of his humble beginnings.  As a member of a large family from a fishing village in Bicol, my dad longed to study at the state university, graduate with honors and become successful in the business world.

The good news is that he was able to do so.  The better news is that philanthropic organizations like Kabataan Kontra Kahirapan (KKK) are currently helping aspiring college students (especially aspiring U.P. students) to do the same.  One of their strategies involves helping young people prepare for the first hurdle in their collegiate journey–the UPCAT.

Organizational Background

As an organization, KKK believes in promoting social justice and protecting people’s democratic rights.  It lives out these beliefs by engaging in a variety of service-oriented activities, one of which involves helping public high school students make it into the college of their choice.  The RISE-UP (Reinforcing Indigent Students’ Entry to the Universities of the People) program is one of the important activities in their repertoire.

One of KKK’s most notable enemies is poverty, and the organization is striving to overcome that enemy by equipping people—particularly the youth—with the necessary attitudes and skills they’ll need to effect social change.

Organizational UPCAT Review Background


The RISE-UP program is KKK’s way of leveling the academic playing field for poor yet deserving students.  The organization is keenly aware of the financial and social challenges these students encounter as they attempt to apply for a slot at their chosen university.  Thus, the program was designed to support them in this respect, to stimulate thinking and enhance their confidence in a collaborative learning environment.


The project itself consists of volunteer-supported and hosted review classes, a mock exam, a free U.P. Diliman campus tour and other bonding activities.  Third year public high school students are eligible for participation.  The recipients of the program are encouraged to target state universities as their colleges of choice.


It’s also interesting to note that KKK keeps communication lines open between itself and the students after the review sessions have officially ended.  The organization has follow-up measures in line with the program in the form of assistance with college applications, help in adjusting to university life and other things.

Review Venue


The review venues have varied somewhat over the years.  The original site was at U.P. Diliman itself.  Last 2010 (and in recent years as well), the KKK opted to hold the sessions at Santa Elena High School (SEHS) in Marikina City and in Bulan National High school (BNHS) in Sorsogon, Bicol.  Through the years, KKK has built up its credibility as a service-oriented organization.  This has led to partnerships with both SEHS and the Sangguniang Kabataan in Barangay Concepcion Dos, Marikina City and with BNHS.  Together, these institutions provided logistical support for RISE UP.

Registration Requirements


Students need to present the following in order to participate:

  • Accomplished application form
  • Parents or Guardian’s written consent
  • Photocopy of School ID
  • Photocopy of grades (final grade if possible)
  • Financial documents (ITR, affidavit of indigency, etc.)
  • Two used books for the KKK book drive project

KKK maintains that participants must come from a poor family and must be studying at a public high school.  Besides these, students are encouraged to share a 500-peso counterpart fee for the program.  This usually covers reading materials—everything else (food, equipment rentals, venue charges, campus tour, volunteers’ expenses, etc.) is covered by the RISE-UP program.



Review sessions normally cover the main subjects found in the UPCAT:

  • Math
    • Word problems
    • Algebra
    • Geometry
    • Trigonometry
    • Calculus
  • Science
    • General Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
  • English
    • Language
    • Reading Comprehension
  • Filipino
    • Wika
    • Pagbasa
  • Abstract Reasoning and Logic


As a bonus, KKK also includes other educational activities such as:

  • Orientation sessions on social issues (environment, poverty, education, etc.)
  • Team-building sessions
  • Homework
  • Activities related to Global Action Week on Education (Big Read)
  • PETA-sponsored theater plays on social awareness


KKK has a selection process in place for all would-be participants.  An organization representative is assigned to visit various public schools and collect their application forms.  A committee then screens the prospective students and determines the final list of participants.

Interestingly, the organization encourages potential participants to apply online.  Applications may be sent to kabataankontrakahirapan@yahoo.com.

Review Schedule


Last 2010, KKK held Metro Manila review classes from April 19-24 and the mock exam last April 27.  It also hosted Bicol review sessions last May 24-30, with the corresponding mock exam last June 1.

There’s no schedule for 2011 yet at the time of this article’s writing, so kindly check with the contact persons listed below.  KKK estimates that the official schedule for next year’s RISE-UP sessions will be announced sometime January or February 2011.

Contact Details


If you have any questions about the 2011 schedule of RISE-UP or about any other specifics of the program, kindly get in touch with Ms. Claudine Claridad at 0917-8298766 or claudine.claridad@gmail.com.  Alternatively, you may also contact Mr. Richard Candano at 0919-3957858 or richard.candano@gmail.com.


Ms. Claudine Claridad, KKK Chairperson

Mr. Richard Candano, KKK Secretary General

Free UPCAT Review: UPCAMP by UP IE Club

When I mention the phrase “UPCAT review” to you, what usually goes through your head?  Extra expenses?  Study sessions along Katipunan Avenue?  Those are part and parcel of the overall picture, but they’re not all there is to it.

The good news is that not all UPCAT reviews require payment; nor are they limited to far-flung provincial areas.  Case in point: the UPCAMP of the Diliman campus’ Industrial Engineering Club (henceforth referred to as the IE Club).  Read on to know more about it.

Org Background

The IE Club was founded in 1967, and since then, it became a recognized and respected organization of the UP College of Engineering.  The organization’s roster swells to more than a couple of hundred members each school year.

Its participation in various meaningful activities (including the aforementioned UPCAMP) has earned it such prestigious awards as the Engineering Organization Excellence Award and a slot in the National Youth Commission’s Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations.

Org UPCAT Review Background

The IE Club designed the UPCAMP as a bridge program.  Its purpose is to provide free career guidance services and free entrance exam reviews for deserving seniors of different Quezon City high schools.

The program was first conducted in 2002 and is still being carried out every year.  Through the UPCAMP, the IE Club hopes to accomplish at least three objectives:  one, teach up to 150 students across several sessions; two, grant these students a 100 percent passing rate; three, develop a sense of “personal care” in them.

Review Venue

The camp is usually held at a Quezon City high school.  The IE Club conducted the 2010 edition of UPCAMP at Don A. Roces High School.

Registration Requirements

Students must meet three main requirements in order to participate in the camp:

  • They must be public high school students in their third or fourth year of secondary education.
  • They need to belong to the top 10% of their batch.
  • They must have plans to apply for a college of their choice.

The IE Club usually only accepts students from the host school and other invited schools, students from other schools and special cases (walk-ins, extra students, non-registration compliant students) may also be allowed on a case-to-case basis at the discretion of the club.


The UPCAMP review usually focuses on the four main UPCAT test sections.  These are further subdivided into the following topics:

  • Math
    • Algebra
    • Word Problems
    • Geometry
    • Trigonometry
  • Language Proficiency
    • English
    • Filipino
  • Reading Comprehension
    • English
    • Filipino
  • Science
    • General Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics

The program consists of a diagnostic exam and lectures.  Hand-outs will also be given to the participants.

The logistics process is as follows:  assigned IE Club members divide the student community into nine sections, with four of them being the Honor sections (reserved for the top 40 performers on the diagnostic exam).  One to two tutors from the club are assigned to each section. Any further arrangements may be made according to the tutors’ discretion.


Registering for the UPCAMP is as simple as sending an SMS or e-mail message to the IE Club members in charge.  The message must express one’s desire to attend the camp.  IE Club folks will send out invites to students and their schools, anyway, so the confirmation message is all that’s really needed.

Review Schedule

The most recent review schedule in 2010 took place on June 19 and every Saturday thereafter up to July 24.  Each session was conducted from eight in the morning till one in the afternoon.

The one for 2011 is still being planned, so kindly check with IE Club Committee Members for details.

Contact Details

For additional details on the UPCAMP and the IE Club in general, feel free to contact the following people:

Contact Person Title Mobile Number E-mail Address
Arjay Cansana President 0927-6289780 arjay.cansana@upieclub.net
Mico Carino VP, AcadComm 0915-9857590 mathboy_pb@yahoo.com


Kenneth Ednalino 2010 Project Manager 0916-5008494 lunaizers@yahoo.com


Arjay Cansana of the UP IE Club

Mico Carino of the UP IE Club

**UP Orgs,  Share your Free UPCAT Review Event, connect with us on Facebook.

Choosing your UPCAT Review Center: A Practical Guide


It’s UPCAT season again.  Let’s say that you have a 50/50 chance of passing the UP entrance test.  In that case, the choice of an UPCAT review center can make or break your hopes of getting into UP.  The scales could tip either way.  Choose the correct UP entrance exam review center not only will you get into the premier University in the country, you [or better yet your parents] will also benefit from the significantly lower tuition rates.  Choose the wrong UP Review center and not only do you squander your chances of getting a head start, you will have also wasted a perfectly good summer.

This begs the question:  how exactly do you choose the best UPCAT review center?

Different UPCAT review centers will answer differently depending upon their strengths and weaknesses; naturally, they’ll always tell you that they are the best choice for your UP review needs.

Different criteria will also give you different answers.  Several factors that will come into play are price, proximity of UP review classes,  locations, and add-on features, etc.  These will have different weights among the parents of UPCAT takers.

The following is a discussion of the factors that you should consider if you want to increase your chances (or your child’s chances) of passing the UP entrance test.  Remember to the following tips when evaluating a potential UPCAT review center for yourself or your children:


The following are the factors that are rather useless when evaluating college entrance test review centers:

Passing Rate:

Don’t ever, ever, ever think that the passing rate advertised by a particular UP review center is the most important or even a trustworthy criterion for choosing your UPCAT review center.

Of course, the passing rate is important, but keep in mind that the college entrance exam review center industry here in the Philippines is unregulated by the government.  This means that UPCAT review centers can (and do) pretty much use any of the many standards used in computing passing rates.  Some review centers use a variation or one of the following:

  • number of passers in their star section over the number of students in that section
  • number of sci-hi student passers over the total number of sci hi students in all UPCAT review classes
  • number of passers from current and previous years over the number of current review students

Basically, some review centers are not above lying to entice students and their parents to enroll in their UPCAT review program.  They can actually claim any passing rate, and you will not know any better!  In fact, UP itself has posted a special notice about UPCAT Review Centers.

Unless you have counted and verified the total number of students enrolled in that center for that particular batch and unless you have counted and verified that the passers have indeed enrolled in that particular center and batch, how can you be sure that the UPCAT review center is giving you a straight answer?

Imagine 2010 presidentiables counting their own votes, he he.  Review centers counting their own passing rate is a very good example of a conflict of interest.

Years in the Business

You can easily check the number of years that an UPCAT review center has been in business.  Even if a UP review center has been around for a hundred years or so, however, what will that tell you?  Will the number of years in business be a good determinant of the effectiveness of the UP review center’s instruction?  In some cases yes, but I’ve seen review centers that have survived more than 5 years all because of its advertising base [as opposed to its quality of review].  Consider that UP itself is not the oldest university in the country, but it’s definitely the best.

Referrals vs Comparison

Most parents and students depend upon the referral of friends, relatives and even classmates/ co-reviewers when it comes to choosing their UP review centers.  When choosing among any other products or services, referrals can be very effective.  However, unless the source of referral has enrolled in or have heard about enough UPCAT review centers to make a decent comparison, don’t put too much stock on UPCAT review centers referred by friends, relatives and acquaintances.

In this sense, UPCAT review services are much like wedding photography services.  Most people will only avail of it once, which is not enough of a basis to make an informed comparison.

If you want the best UPCAT review center there is, do your own comparison shopping.  Contrast and compare the features of the different UPCAT review programs and choose what YOU think is best for you.

Titles of Instructors

Unless the instructor has been acclaimed as one of the best teachers in the Philippines, all their extra titles (e.g. PhD, M.A., M.S., Eng’r, Doctor, etc.) won’t help you pass the UPCAT.  Titles are impressive, and a lot of people put great stock in them.  Consider this, however.

Does it take a PhD or a doctoral degree to teach high school math or science effectively?

No, unless your taking the entrance exam to the nuclear quantum supergeek college in the Philippines [which doesn’t exist btw].  Choose review programs with effective, engaging and creative instructors instead.  You’ll find that you’ll be able to learn more from him than that mumbling grumbling PhD professor who likes staring at the blackboard more than making eye contact with his students.  Keep in mind the ability to effectively teach students is very different from IQ.

Registration Rate

Quality costs money.  The college entrance exam review, especially the review for UPCAT, is not like some new Nike shoes that will not have any long-lasting effect in your life [unless you trip over them and fall down the stairs, breaking both your legs and busting your kneecaps].  Passing the UPCAT is more important than shoes, yet some people are willing to pay for Nike originals than a quality UP review program.

If you want quality UPCAT review classes, then don’t expect them to cost you only a few hundred pesos.  UP Free reviews exist if you want refresher courses.  However, if you want the real McCoy, pay for UP review classes.  Better yet, be prepared to shell out some hard cash for them.

Should you win a spot in UP, the college tuition savings alone will repay your small investment now a thousand fold.  So do you really want to have a better shot in getting to UP or do you want to save money?  Answer really carefully.

Review Location

The same goes for review location.  Choosing an UPCAT review center just because it happens to be conveniently located is just like choosing to give birth to a baby at home instead of going to the hospital because you didn’t want a long commute.


Given the lack of industry standards as well as the lack of government regulation in the UPCAT review center industry, your only hope of weeding the chaff out of the grain is to do your own research and study.  Easier said than done, you might say.  Well here are a few pointers to get you going in the right track.  Use the following criteria to choose the right UPCAT review center for you or for your child.

Review Program

Do check out the review program of the UPCAT review centers you are considering.  This is a good way of filtering out the fly-by-night, mosquito or copycat review centers in your list.  Moreover, this will also give you a good idea of the relevance and scope of the UP review program being offered.

A good review program includes not just a comprehensive and relevant discussion of the academic subjects covered in the UPCAT (namely, UP Math, UP Science, UP Reading, UP Language) but also college seminars that are relevant and helpful to students who are about to traverse several crossroads of life (how deep, he he he).  The following are some useful seminars for incoming college freshmen:

  • Career Path Seminar: This should give you an insight as to which college course is the best for you.  It takes taking into account not just future salary potential but your own strengths and weaknesses, your inclinations, your hobbies, and your interests.
  • Diagnostic and Simulation Exams: The first will give you the means to evaluate your initial chances of passing the UPCAT and how much work needs to be done in order to increase the odds in your favor.  The latter will give you your final UPCAT predicted grade as well as a glimpse on how effective the UPCAT review was for you.

In a good review program, the difference between your diagnostic and simulation exam will be large [this means that you’ve learned a lot during the review].  Hopefully, by the time you take your simulation exam, your review grades are hitting the 80 – 85% mark.

Watch out for review centers giving out simulation exams that are much easier than the diagnostic exam!  This should warn you that the review center is skewing its results for its own gain.

  • UPG seminar

Contrary to popular opinion, your high school grades and your UPCAT grade are not the sole factors that are considered by UP in determining whether or not you will be accepted to UP.

A lot of other factors such as your province, your family’s income bracket, your school, your course choices, your campus choices, etc. are also taken into account.  Answering these questions optimally in the first place just might give you a lot more edge over other students who have taken the summer UP review.  This is why you should look for a seminar about UPG or university predicted grade when choosing your review center.

  • Instructional or Game Type

How the review is conducted will also play a large part on whether you will learn much from the UP review classes or not.  If the classroom type/instructional method did not work for you for the previous 4 years in high school, then what are the chances that you will find the same method in a review class useful?

If you find it a lot easier to memorize Ragnarok unit stats, damage points and level up stats or if you find it easier to learn more from GKNB or Pera o Bayong than in school, then a game-type review may be a better fit for you.

  • Traditional or Peer-to-Peer

Studies show that peer-to-peer instruction is a lot more effective in learning than the traditional classroom-type review.  By peer-to-peer instruction, we mean classes that involve peer-to-peer interaction, group studies and group work.  Traditional classroom instruction, on the other hand, is teacher-focused and students are pretty much on their own.

Why is peer-to-peer more effective?  Just think.  Won’t the facts stick better when it’s your crush discussing thermodynamics with you?  Your heart will be on overdrive and your adrenalin will be pumping so chances are high that you will recall more of your lessons.  Peer to peer instruction also doesn’t have the age or status hindrance present in traditional learning settings.

This is not to say that instructors should be removed from the review program altogether, but do look for a review program that inserts peer-to-peer instruction during no-review days.

Review Materials

Do check out the quality of the review materials that are being offered by the UP review center.  More often than not, they are a reflection of how organized, comprehensive and structured the review program is.  For example:

  • Xeroxed Modules: This may be an indication that that particular review center has plagiarized the review materials of another.  It may also be an indication of a slipshod review program where modules are rife with duplicate questions, errors and typos.
  • Reviewers: The availability of original reviewers aside from the usual exam modules is an indication of a well-planned review program.  Do check if the subjects are well-summarized and organized.  You wouldn’t want to spend 6 years reading a reviewer that’s supposed to summarize your high school subjects!
  • Additional Sources: As most review classes are not held daily and you’ll have an extra day here and there for yourself, do look for review centers that includes take home assignments and quizzes as well as additional sources that will further increase the effectiveness of the review.
  • Blackboard Instruction or Presentation/Demos:  The inclusion of Demos, PowerPoint presentations, hands-on experiential learning activities, exhibits, etc. are also plus points when it comes to choosing the best UPCAT review centers.  These show that the center has taken the time, money and effort to make the review as effective, painless and interesting as possible for the students.  Moreover, with presentations, you get more value for your money as time will not be wasted waiting for the instructor to stop scribbling on the board.

Effectiveness of Instructors

At the heart of effective reviews are effective instructors.  Do they engage their students while teaching?  Do they use analogies to make the concepts simpler?  Do they make full use of illustrations, group work, etc?  Do they discipline those that are unruly in class so that learning for those that do want to learn is not compromised?

More often that not, you will be surprised at how far the actual review is from the ‘best/great/excellent review’ these centers promise in their brochures.

Length of Review

Put simply, the length of the review is usually directly proportional to the amount of learning the students benefit from.  Our research into this matter shows that it will take a minimum [note the word minimum] of 60 hours of review in order for all the pertinent subjects to be covered.  So make sure to include the length of the review in your consideration when choosing your review center.

Think of your choice of an UPCAT review center as memory pills capable of helping you prepare for your exam.  Some will have all the ads, fanfare and razzle dazzle shown in the media but prove to be actually ineffective in doing its job.  Some will be generic, cheap but just as ineffective as the best of them.  Some will be the genuine product and yet some will be like those meds given by quack doctors.  Whatever your choice may be, do tell us about how it turned out when the UPCAT results are posted. 🙂