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What to Expect from the USTET

Last updated: July 16, 2009

what to expect from ustetIt’s amazing what you can get from cartoons.  For example, one of the programs I remember watching as a kid was the animated version of Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days.  In it, main protagonist Phileas Fogg utters the memorable line, “The motto of the wise is:  be prepared for surprises.”

I never forgot that line, and I believe it’s something that can be applied to real life as well.  Take the USTET, for instance.  If you know exactly what you’ll be getting into, facing it on exam day will hardly count as a surprise.  If that’s exactly what you want, then read on.

USTET Subtests

You may be interested to know that the USTET actually tests your stock knowledge more than anything else.  Surprised?  If you’ve been paying attention in your high school classes, chances are you’ll do pretty well.  And if not, well, there’s always time to review.

As with most entrance exams, the USTET is divided into five main portions:  Mathematics, Science, Language, Personal Information and Mental Aptitude.  Let’s take a look at each of these in turn.

Challenging the Challenge

The Personal Info section is pretty self-explanatory.  If you know your own name, your own school, and a host of other important bits of data about yourself, you should be able to clear this section in no time at all.  Unless you’ve been stricken with amnesia, this is the least of your concerns during test time.

Mental Aptitude is where things start heating up.  If you’ve taken any IQ tests in the past, this is what the section will feel like to you.  It consists of about eighty-five items worth of general stuff and lasts for approximately an hour, so don’t dilly-dally.

The one-and-a-half-hour Science section is one of the more focused aspects of the USTET, yet is still general enough to draw upon your stock knowledge.  Around sixty items will be thrown at you here.  Don’t worry, you won’t get anything like rocket science or quantum physics.  Summon your high school lessons in biology, chemistry and physics to your aid and you should do fine.

The Language portion contains the same number of items as the Science section and lasts for the same amount of time.  Have you been reading the test questions carefully so far?  If you have, then well and good.  Do so especially for this section, as reading comprehension is the in thing here.  Some of the sections will involve identifying errors, while others will consist of grammar and vocabulary.  Don’t let the nosebleed-inducing words intimidate you—keep at it!

Finally, the Mathematics section is the longest section in the entire test.  It still consists of sixty items, but the computations you’ll need to do will require additional time.  You have about two hours for this, so keep calm and keep going.  Expect questions related to algebra, geometry and basic trigonometry, among others.  Don’t worry about anything like calculus, but don’t get complacent, either.

A Final Word

If there’s one other thing you should expect with regard to the USTET, it’s the horrendous amount of vehicular and human traffic on the day of the exam.  You also, unfortunately, may end up in a room designed to freeze your socks off, so be sure to prepare accordingly.

Finally, keep those all-important testing permit and USTET brochure handy.  The former item will authorize you to take the exam (duh!) and will note your room assignment, while the latter item will tell you exactly what you need to bring on the day of the test.

Now that you know what’s coming, taking the USTET need not be scary endeavor anymore.  Ready yourself in mind, body and spirit, and then, get out there and knock ‘em dead!

Writer’s Disclaimer:  The information that follows is the most recent information that the writer was able to acquire with regard to USTET content.  It is entirely possible that the said content may have changed sometime between the time of the research and the writing of this article, so be warned.

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  4. What to Expect from the UPCAT
  5. The USTET and UST Application Process
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  13. USTET Review Guide
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  15. USTET Reconsideration Process


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9 thoughts on “What to Expect from the USTET

  1. i am from the US and i am thinking about taking the entrance exam at UST but im not sure if the type of info on the entrance exam would be similar to that of the SAT…i was wondering if there was any way of knowing what to study or how to study over here in the states

    • @magno,

      Good day!

      I called the UST Office of Admissions. The person I spoke to said that the following are the particular subjects that you should focus on when studying for the USTET:

      • General English
      • Math
      • Science
      • Mental ability exam or IQ test

      I hope this helps! :)

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