Part Two of My UPCAT Experience
Hello hello!!! Gravity, two days to go before Day 1 of THE DAY!!!
Anyway, you nervous UPCAT takers are in for another treat, because three other successful UPCAT takers have been so generous with their time to encourage you with your upcoming endeavor.
Let’s begin with Engr. Jeffrey Paulo Perez’s (who insists on being called “Jeffrey” from now on, because mas tutyal daw pakinggan ang “Jeffrey”, bilang papunta na siyang Belgium in a month..Huhuhu!) UPCAT experience.
(took the UPCAT in…basta a not-so-long time ago; graduated cum laude from UP Los Banos with a degree in Chemical Engineering despite:
1. being president of three student organizations
2. and moments like telling the jeepney driver “Para!” prematurely just to give another Chem Eng student lascivious looks while the latter was playing volleyball at DL Umali Freedom Park, and of wearing eyeshadow to class)
I only had one dream in high school—to get into UP. Back then, I believed that being an Iskolar ng Bayan will be an affirmation of my insatiable hunger for knowledge, a validation that I am meant for greater things, and, most importantly, a proof that all of our family’s sacrifices have finally paid off.
Just days before UPCAT 2014, let’s see how terrorific I was during that fateful day.
My UPCAT schedule was set on a Sunday at 6:30 AM. I did not have that much sleep the night before. I was very anxious even though I have prepared myself academically. I was assigned [to take the test] at the CEM Function Hall, which I decided to visit a day before just to make sure that I won’t get lost.
On exam day, I arrived at the assigned room 30 minutes before the examination starts so that I will have time to calm my nerves. There were already a lot of students when I got there. I felt so out-of-place because everyone had someone to talk to (or someone to panic with). They also crammed extra topics that they think will be essential for UPCAT. I had to plug-in my earphones and blast some feel-good music so that I won’t feel nervous and distracted.
Then, a few minutes before 6:30 AM, the examiner asked us to enter the room and proceed into our assigned seats. My seat assignment was near a tower-type air conditioning unit. Fortunately, I brought a jacket with me because I heard there was this kid who peed in his pants while in the lecture hall. The first subtest administered was Science. In our batch, most of the questions came from General Science and Physics, a few from Chemistry and a little bit on Biology. Of course I was very happy with the question mix since it was like competing once again in Science and Chemistry Olympiads. Furthermore, there were questions on optics and sound, my two favorite topics on Physics. Nevertheless, I was very confident with the first subtest. There were a few items which I was not really familiar with so I had to use my powers of deduction (Naaaaaaks! In short, hinulaan ko.).
I was aware of the “Right Minus 1⁄4 Wrong” rule, but I still decided to guess the answer for the other questions. Why, you ask? Statistically speaking, there is a very high chance of getting the answers correctly if you can eliminate other choices. While reviewing for UPCAT, I noticed that most of the choices in college reviewers can be narrowed down into two – leaving you with a 50:50 chance of getting a correct answer. As one of my colleagues in Brain Train, Sir Jhabs, pointed out, the deductions we would incur will be trivial if we “scientifically” guess the answers. I am not saying that you guess the answer for every blank item. I think it would be better if there are SOME questions that you choose to answer. If you feel guilty because you guessed “too many” items, most probably the others did the same thing. Remember that your UPCAT scores are in percentile so guessing MAY increase your rank.
The next subtest was Mathematics. Now, this one is a tricky subtest. Many questions were from Algebra and Geometry (especially the shaded areas). I think the subtest was constructed so that many students won’t be able to finish. I, for one, finished just in time, meaning I had no time to review some of my answers. So you better be fast and not think twice if you want to finish the exam in time! Just remember all the shortcuts and techniques we taught you so that you won’t be MA-BA-GAL (Hi Sir Mark!). And, yes, that’s the Brain Train Advantage!
For Language Proficiency and Reading Comprehension, they were a combination of English and Filipino questions and passages. Also, there were some editorial cartoons and caricatures that were asked to be interpreted. I can say that the difficulty of the last two remaining subtest during our batch was moderate, not too easy but not too difficult.
I did not bring food during the exam because I know I won’t have time to eat. Just like what I did in my Philippine Science High School Entrance Test, I brought a chocolate bar and bottled water, in case I got hungry. I also did not eat heavy breakfast so that I won’t feel drowsy or go the comfort room to do some “dirty business”. After the most grueling five hours of my life, I emerged feeling victorious in the depths of that highly academic lair. I felt like a winner because I know I just conquered one of the most difficult college entrance exams in the country. And, most of all, I felt satisfied because I know I am already one step onward to a bright future, no way but UP!
Layne Joselle Banez
(took the UPCAT in 2012; now a BS Computer Engineering sophomore in UP Diliman)
Before I took the UPCAT, a few of my upperclassmen friends from UPLB told me to bring a flashlight for there is a tendency that a brownout occurs during the test. My reply to them was a big laugh, cause who in the world would bring a flashlight for a test.
Then here comes the day I took the UPCAT, August 4, 2012, I fell in line once I got at my assigned room, got inside and was seated after some minutes (like 30 minutes hahaha!), then finally started answering the test which I prepared for for months!
As I was answering the test confidently since I have the Brain Train advantage (you got that too, right?), the electricity went out while I was in the middle of the math test. Well, imagine how we, test takers, reacted. We just continued on answering the test! It’s like nothing happened! Hahaha! But actually, I got a bit annoyed and distracted but I just didn’t show that I was. Who wouldn’t when you’re answering a hard part of an exam and it’s very dim and hot?
Gladly the electricity was back when I was in the middle of answering the science test.
So UPCAT takers of 2014, the best tip I could give you is bring a flashlight.
Just kidding! Actually, if any unexpected occurrence happens while you’re taking the exam, remember that exams like the UPCAT never comes in twice and more or less your future depends much on that exam, so no matter what happens in the span of 5 hours, just FOCUS on the test and keep on answering the exam, but of course do listen to the proctor whenever he/she has something to say.
Paolo Yves de Silos
(took the UPCAT in 2011; now a BS Chemical Engineering junior at UP Los Banos)
UPCAT…? UPCAT…? UPCAAAAAT!!
It was August 7, 2011 at 1 PM when I took up the examination. My parents drove me to UP Diliman just to experience an astonishing traffic jam in Quezon Ave. due to thousands of examines and their family supporters. I can remember it because my mother and I ran all the way to Malcolm Hall just to get on time.
The UPCAT exam starts on the dot, so no one can afford being late. Likewise, do not forget to go to the comfort room before the exam starts ‘coz time waste in peeing is time waste in answering! Now that I’m in my 3rd Year in UPLB as a BS Chemical Engineering student (my first choice by the way), I realized that UPCAT is the EASIEST examination you could experience in UP. No puns intended. So for all UPCAT takers there, just relax, study hard, have fun before the exam, and pray! Good luck future Iskolars ng Bayan! 🙂
Hope their stories inspired you guys and gals!!! Galingan and keep on praying!
Tell me what you think!
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