There’s word going around that the University of Santo Tomas Entrance Test is relatively easier when compared to certain other entrance exams out there. That may or may not be the case depending on who you ask. One thing’s for sure, though: you’ll still be up against hundreds of thousands of other applicants vying for slots, regardless, so it’s never a good idea to rest get complacent.
As with other things, it pays to not only work hard, but to work smart as well. Here are a few guidelines to help you pass that exam with flying colors and increase your chances of landing that much-coveted university slot.
Preparing for USTET
Repeat after me one hundred times: I will not cram a few days before the exam. Seriously, winging it a day before the big event will get you nowhere. The real preparation time for the test starts months – even years – before the USTET day. If need be, and if you have the budget for it, you may wish to consult a review or testing center. There’s no shame in for asking for assistance whenever and wherever it’s warranted.
Start adding stuff to your stock knowledge as early as possible, as the test draws primarily upon that. You may want to review a few weeks before the testing day, just to keep things fresh. The only time I’d advise you not to review would be the day before the big day, and there’s actually a very good reason for that.
The Law of the Lid states that even when you do your best, there’s an absolute limit to how much you can accomplish on your own within a specific time span. There will come a point wherein feeding cramming every available bit of into your brain won’t help.
Instead, take it more slowly and get the things you’ll need in order: a couple of Number 2 Mongol pencils, an eraser, a watch, and your test permit (a jacket is optional for testing rooms with temperatures below zero.). You’re allowed to nibble on something while you’re taking the exam, so pack water and some brain-boosting snacks like fruits or nuts to keep you in the game.
Once those are out of the way, take the time to do a relaxing activity. Meditate, watch some inspiring movies, play games – do whatever it takes to get you into that optimal mental state for the following day. Finally, pray for wisdom and get a good night’s sleep so that your brain will be primed and ready.
Make sure you stock up on fuel adequately before the exam. Depending on the time of your test, though, you may wish to avoid wolfing your meal down (save that for afterward). Pigging out before an afternoon exam isn’t recommended, as the blood your brain needs will sink to your stomach. If it’s in the morning, however, a good breakfast will go a long way.
If you want to get the worm (figuratively, that is), leave early to avoid the rush. It’s never a good idea to get caught in a sea of human traffic or otherwise en route to the testing center. Time your departure so that you can arrive about an hour before the test and psych yourself up.
Now get ready: the tricky part is just up ahead.
The key to successfully completing the exam is to answer the questions as quickly as you can without sacrificing carefulness in the process – that’s why your watch is there to help you budget your time. Immediately go for the questions you feel most confident about answering.
Once you’ve breezed through them, go back and answer the ones you’re not quite sure of. If need be, take your best guess. Do your best to set aside time to review your answers and stick with that. Chances are you’ll probably change a wrong answer into a correct one.
Congratulations. You made it! Stretch and breathe a prayer of thanks to your Maker. Since you’ve run the gauntlet, take the time to relax. And whatever you do, don’t worry about the results. If you’ve seen the movie “The Secret”, then you understand why this is important.
In case you haven’t seen the film, its basic premise states that what you visualize and focus on in your mind eventually manifests itself in reality. If you’ve done your best to prepare for the test, and you’ve done your best during the test, and you believe that you have done well, that is exactly what will happen.
Now go out there and conquer that exam!