Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Are you taking the UPCAT (U.P. College Admissions Test) or the Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET)? Then read this!

By Sigrid Salucop

There are many review centers to go to if you are planning to take the UPCAT (U.P. College Admissions Test) or the Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET) but apart from a rigorous review what else do you need to actually pass? This has been a question among many high school students for years but the best way to review is to take it in stride. This article is not only advice for those who will be taking the next UPCAT or Ateneo entrance exam but for those who will be taking the exams next year or the year after next.

A good environment for studying is the no. 1 factor. For parents who want their children to go to UP or to Ateneo, you should be able give your children enough time to play rather than nagging them to study all the time. Nagging your children will not only affect their performance in school but may also hinder them from admission in the best universities in the country.

Advice for High School Seniors

• Review Centers

Attending a review center is advised for high school seniors. There are many review centers to choose from but you should research on which one is the best to get the most out of your money. Do not go to a review center just because all your friends are going there, ask your parents for help and see which review center you think is the best.

Most high schools usually hold reviews for students months before the exam so you should take advantage of this opportunity. Listen to your teachers and to what they are trying to teach you because every bit and morsel of knowledge counts.

• Reviewing On Your Own

Aside from the reviews outside, you should also review on your own time and at your own pace by reading books on physics, geometry, algebra and the sciences. If you feel you need to improve on your vocabulary and your grammar, you should get an English reviewer -you can buy one at any bookstore. Other fields you have to concentrate on include abstract reasoning and general knowledge. Buying reviewers on all subjects is also advised.

• Reviewing Independently

Not all students get a high score if they do their review in review centers. This is because the learning process differs from one student to another. If you have decided to review on your own because you feel you will be able to concentrate more, you should arrange your schedule and read or review on certain subjects at a certain given time. For example you can improve on your reading comprehension from 7 in the morning to 8 am and then switch to Math the next hour. You should also include taking practice tests in your schedule so that you can hone your mind.

• Relax your Mind

After an hour of reviewing you should give your mind time to rest. A 15-minute break is advised especially for those who are reviewing on their own. If you feel you no longer understand what you are reading, it is best for you to take a nap or watch TV for a few minutes.

• Eating Right

To keep your mind in tip top shape, you should eat right. Do not abuse your body by not eating at all because you will be needing nutrients and lots of strength for your review and the exam itself.

Advice for Younger Aspirants

If you want to pass the UPCAT or the Ateneo entrance exam you should read lots of books, not just technical ones but books that enhance your overall knowledge. Do not box yourself in with the books that your teachers provide you –go to the library and read what interests you. Whether it is literature or a historical account, it is certain that you will learn new words and new things by reading books.

Reading lots of books at an early age is a good foundation for students aspiring to go to UP or Ateneo. You should remember that knowledge does not come overnight so keep in mind that in everything you do, you have to learn something. You can watch documentaries and educational shows instead of wasting your time on sitcoms or soap operas. Watching educational shows will eventually pay off after a few years.

Listen to your teachers because every bit of knowledge they impart will be the foundation of your learning experience. This will greatly help you in your UPCAT or other admission tests even if you still have a year or two to go before actually taking the exams.

Before D-DAY

You should not review anymore a day before the examination. Cramming is a sin and it will not help you in any way. You can browse your notes if you want to but do not study like you did days before. Get some rest on this day because you need to relax your mind and your body -doing this will help you concentrate the next day. You should also sleep early so that you have ample time to prepare in the morning. Be sure however to prepare all necessities like pencils, your exam forms and your school ID before going to bed.


Eat breakfast but do not eat too much. If you are scheduled to take the exam in the afternoon you should eat enough so that you have energy for the examination,

Prepare a snack that has a lot of sugar. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a banana will suffice. You should also get a bottle of water and a bottle of juice. The brain needs a lot of sugar to work perfectly so make sure that your snacks can give your brain an energy boost.

Tips and Warnings

• Overconfidence

Do not be overconfident even if you are the best in your class. Do not think that you know it all because there are thousands of students who will be taking the exam in your area alone and by those numbers, you really will not know if you are better than any of these students. A dose of overconfidence will not help you at all. Instead, concentrate on the exam and on your goals.

• A Dose of Inspiration

Inspiration is key for many students and if your parents are your inspiration or going to UP or Ateneo is your inspiration, you should think about these if you feel like giving up.

• Do Not Cheat

Do not cheat, sneak notes or copy from the person sitting next to you. Cheating will cost you dearly and it may even cost you your future.

• No Sleeping During the Exam

Do not sleep during the exam. If you feel drowsy, you can ask for permission to go to the comfort room. Wash your face and then go back to your examination area.

• Shading

Your exam will not be checked manually so be careful with your shading. Make sure that your shading is dark enough for the computer to identify it. If it is too light, the computer may not be able to see it.

• Do Your Best

If you do not know the right answer to a question, go to the next and work on that question later. If however you are already out of time just select what you think is the best answer and then move on to the next exam upon the go signal of the proctor.

• Follow Instructions

Read instructions carefully and make sure that you follow them. Many have failed in entrance exams because they did not follow instructions.

For more information on the Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET) , check out this link at the Ateneo de Manila University website:

For more information on the UPCAT (University of the Philippines College Admissions Test), check out this link at the University of the Philippines System website:

(Sigrid Salucop is a freelance writer. She graduated B.A. Public Administration from U.P. Diliman)


  1. Hi!
    If you need UPCAT Reviewers go to:

    You can also search “UPCAT Reviewer” at and download
    UPCAT Reviewer Practice Test 1 to 5.

  2. thanks for the tips hope it work!!!

  3. I did not enroll in any review center and I did not even studied my lessons for UPCAT but still, I PASSED . I'm a UPCAT 2011-2012 passer. sometimes, It is just your destiny to be in UP. :)


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