ACADEMIC CLINIC!!!~
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by 'Jade Espinar' on www.facebook.com/academic.clinic

UPCAT Tip: What is the University Predicted Grade

By now, you’re probably already aware of the fact that the University of the Philippines considers many factors when admitting students.  One of these is the University Predicted Grade (UPG).  But what exactly is the UPG and how much of it really gets factored into your UPCAT grade? Let’s find out.

Strictly speaking, the UPG is a composite score—it is a combination of the applicant’s High School Weighted Average (HWSA) and the UPCAT score.  Between the two, the UPCAT score carries the bigger: sixty percent of the UPG.  The HSWA makes up the remaining forty percent.

The History Behind the UPG

Interestingly enough, the UPG never existed prior to 1976.  In fact, the practice from 1925 up to 1970 was to simply use either the senior high school grades or ranks or the UPCAT scores as the quantitative criteria for admissions.

The year 1970 saw a change in the admission system.  A resolution, approved by the University Council, provided for a new system.  This was put into effect during the 1971-1972 academic year.  Basically, it called for a combination of the applicant’s scores from the College Admissions Test and an average based on three years-worth of high school.

The ratio was something out of Pareto’s Principle:  the total rating combined eighty percent of the applicant’s UPCAT score with twenty percent of the applicant’s high school rating.  It wasn’t exactly the UPG yet, yet it was effectively the UPG’s precursor.

Thing is, this new system had some unfortunate results.  For one thing, students had an even harder time getting into the university.  The institution sought to refine its admission system further, so in 1976, a venerable mathematics professor by the name of Romeo L. Manlapaz came up with a solution to the problem.

The UPG Formula

Professor Manlapaz employed a highfaluting technique known as multiple regression analysis to come up with this new system. Like the previous system, it was a combination score.  Unlike the previous one, however, this one added a predictive ability factor known as regression weights. The professor dubbed the resulting number the UPG.

Being a mathematics professor, you’d expect the good professor to come up with a formula for his brainchild.  Well, you’re right.  The formula for the UPG is as follows:

UPG = K – W1 x S Engl

– W2 x S HSWA

– W3 x S Math

– W4 x S Read

–        W5 x S Engl x S Sci x S HSWA

In case you’re wondering, K is the constant in the equation.  The terms S Engl, S HSWA, S Math and S Read stand for the standard UPCAT scores in English, HSWA, Math and Reading Comprehension, respectively.

The S HSWA is a mini-formula in itself. It’s computed by multiplying the HSWA by 85 and then dividing the resulting value by five. The applicant’s grades from his or her first three high school years make up the HSWA.

Finally, the five Ws in the formula above are the regression weights mentioned earlier.

A Final Word

Sounds complicated, doesn’t it?  Maybe it is, but the computation shouldn’t really be your concern.  Leave that to the university. Your job is to make sure that you do well enough in high school and pass the UPCAT as well.  As to how you can do the latter, that my friends, is best discussed in another article…