Is There Really A Secret to Passing UPCAT?

6:46 PM

The UP College Admission Test (a.k.a UPCAT) will be held this coming August 4 - 5, which will fall on a Saturday and Sunday. I can't help but be excited for those of you who will be taking the exam. A college entrance test means you're four (or more) years closer to getting into what the adults call the real world

I'm not so sure how many high school students are actually reading my blog. But if you're one of them, well first things first: I wish you the best of luck! I can imagine how nervous you probably are since not too long ago (ooowwws? haha) I was one of those senior high school kids, who like you, applied to the University of the Philippines.

Click "Read More" for the rest of the entry plus complete outfit details

UP is said to be the premiere university in the country. (Emphasize on the word "said to be." I purposely didn't claim it as a "matter of fact" because I honestly believe that a lot of schools are equally competent in giving quality education and have produced successful individuals as well.) Due to this "reputation," tens of thousands of students all over the country take their chances on possibly acing this entrance exam with hopes of studying in their "dream" school.

So let's go back to the title question. Is there really a secret to passing the UPCAT?

In my case, I believe I owe everything to studying and reviewing religiously for the exam. I bought all sorts of review books and sample tests, kept on reading and went to church almost every single day. Coming from a middle class family, my main motivation for passing UP was so I could go to a college that my family could pay for (the tuition fee then cost P300 per unit). UP had everything I wanted and needed - it offers good education, it's affordable and it's conveniently five minutes away from my house.  

I studied really hard. I prayed even harder. That's my secret.

But since it's only less than 48 hours away before the big day, what's left for you to do? Well I texted some of my UP friends and here are some of their tips:

1. Enjoy yourself the day before the exam. 
Either take a trip to the mall, hang out with your friends, watch a movie or go on a date. According to my boyfriend JR, there's no use studying until the very last minute. "All the studying you need is the one that you've been doing since first year high school and everything you'll use at the exam is basically just your stock knowledge."

2. Rest well and have a good night's sleep.
It's okay to have a little fun the day previous to your exam date. However, don't stay up too late or exhaust yourself by partying or drinking. My friend DJ Boom of 91.5 Big Radio says, "Don't think about it too much." The more you do, the more you'll have a hard time sleeping!

3. Eat!
Mahirap mag-exam nang gutom. You need proper nourishment to keep your mind from functioning well. My friend Judd Figuerres (videographer), said chocolates serve as brain food (and so do peanuts daw)!

On the day of the exam...

4. Go early. Really early!
I live five minutes away and guess what? Yeah, I still got stuck in traffic at 5:00 AM during the UPCAT day. I'm telling you, the University Avenue will be fully packed with almost non-moving vehicles. If you're not familiar with UP and you'll still need to find your way to your assigned college, then you really have to go there as early as you can to buy you some time to locate the place or end up walking till you get there.

5. It's better to "guess" than to leave a question completely blank.
Kim Camelo (friend and construction business owner) reminds you to avoid stressing over the "right minus wrong" rule because it will only ruin your performance. Your wrong answer actually merits only a 0.25 deduction (anyone, correct me if you will on this matter) which means if you get one item wrong and another one right, the score should be 0.75 and not zero. This information also stated on Geek Speak.

Come the time of desperation and you really don't know the answer... Maybe, this infographic could help you. ;p

Infographic source

At the end of the day, I strongly believe that studying/reviewing and hard work are still the most important components of success so I really wish you guys did your homework. I know how it is to truly aspire for something so I'm rooting for everyone and will be praying for all of you, UPCAT takers. 

DJ Boom adds, "Whether you make it or not, as long as you did your best, you have nothing to feel bad about." I agree. After all, UP is NOT the only university. Fight! (30)

While we're at it, allow me to promote Cinemalaya Goes UP from August 1 - 14! Being an advocate of Philippine indie cinema as well as its independent artists are one of the things I'm really passionate about. 

These outfit shots were taken a few weeks ago when I went to Greenbelt MyCinema to watch the private screening of The Animals a Cinemalaya film entry by Gino Santos together with Aisa and her girlfriend Mitch. The Bloggers United team was asked to support it and the director invited the co-founders at the event. Of course, I would never say no to an indie film since I also work in the same field.

Dress F21 | Faux leather vest Thrifted | Boots F-STOP

It was raining hard so I grabbed the opportunity to finally wear my faux leather jacket with faux fur lapels and my latest favorite red metallic boots.

Although I have a few technical issues about The Animalsover all, it was a good one nevertheless. Actually, all films in the Cinemalaya festival have their own quirks and styles and are so distinct from each other so I really suggest let's try to watch almost everything.

If you haven't watched any Cinemalaya films yet (or would want to watch more), then it's your chance to catch it at the UP Cine Adarna this month. Let's support the local indie film industry! 


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  1. I agree on those tips!! Especially, enjoying the day before the exam. Now, I'm regretting for not enrolling in UP. :(
    BTW, cool boots Melai!

    1. Lemuel! Thanks! And hey, that's okay! Things happen for a reason :)

  2. Thanks for the tips ate! :> I'm taking the test sa saturday, Wish me luck! :D

    1. Therese! Galingan mo ha :) I'm wishing all the best for you guys!

  3. I will be taking the UPCAT tomorrow and your tips just lifted my spirit up! I absolutely love them. Thanks for the motivation you gave me!! :)

  4. Thank you so much! I'll take the test tomorrow. Wish me luck! :D

  5. Love this post!

    In my case, I relied on stock knowledge. I didn't have particularly good grades in high school and only knew two mathematical formulas: the pythagorean theorem and percentiles. Everything I answered was derived from these two. The rest was from reading lots of books outside of school. May sarili akong mundo noon. Hindi ako maka-fit sa grading system ng high school ko, and ironically very few people from our school passed UP.

    1. Hey Bea! You don't know how much I admire you! Galing! PHD ka naaaaa. Halimaw ka! :) I envy your intelligence and hard work. Congrats dear!! Hangang-hanga ako sayo :)

  6. I remembered how it was not such a big deal for me (stupid high school kid, I know) I think I wanted to go to Ateneo more than UP. But God has other plans! Thank God for that! He really knows best!


I appreciate anything you have to say. Thanks for dropping by. It means so much to me. Love, Melai

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