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Road to UPCAT 2024: What to Expect and How to Prepare for It
Career & Money

Road to UPCAT 2024: What to Expect and How to Prepare for It

Hey there, future college student! Have you heard the exciting news? The University of the Philippines (UP) just announced the UPCAT 2023 results, marking the beginning of the next generation of UP students.


Now let’s talk about the UPCAT 2024. The upcoming UPCAT is significant because it’ll be the first pen-and-paper admission test since 2020. With the challenges of the past couple of years, the return to the traditional signifies a sense of normalcy and paves the way for a fresh start in pursuit of higher education.


If you’re one of the ambitious individuals preparing for the UPCAT next year, this article is for you! Here’s everything you need to know about the process, from prerequisites to post-test recovery.

First of All, What’s UPCAT?


UPCAT, or the University of the Philippines College Admission Test, is the entrance examination all aspiring UP college freshies must pass to enter the school, no matter their preferred campus. There are four test categories: Language Proficiency, Reading Comprehension, Science, and Mathematics, all in English and Filipino.


To get a sense of the scale of the competitiveness of this test, around 100,000 people apply to the UPCAT every year. Despite this, the college’s 17 campuses only accommodate about 15,000 freshies, resulting in an acceptance rate of about 15%. The percentage goes even lower if you’re interested in the Metro Manila campuses.


But don’t despair! With dedication and hard work, there’s always a chance of getting accepted to your dream UP college.


Application Process and Requirements for UPCAT 2024


The UPCAT 2024 application opened on March 8, 2023, and closed on April 20, 2023, but here’s a quick recap of what the application process looked like for those who may need it.


Checklist of required documents

For Filipino applicants, here are all the documents you or your school submitted during this period.


Category of ApplicantRequired Documents
All applicantsFully accomplished:
  • Form 1 Personal Data Sheet
  • Form 2A
  • Form 2B High School Record
  • A certified true copy of the Permanent Secondary School Record (F137/SF10)
IF a high school graduateHigh school diploma
IF graduating in 2024 from a local high schoolDepEd Certificate of Recognition or Permit to Operate
ONLY IF transferee from another local schoolCertified clear photocopy of the Permanent Secondary School Record (F137/SF10) from the other school with all the grades earned therein

Application Process and UPCAT Schedule


  1. Fill out application forms. Sign in to the UPCAT 2024 portal website and complete all the necessary forms.
  2. Claim test permit. You can expect your test permit on the portal website and should receive an email once it’s ready.
  3. Take the UPCAT. The UPCAT will be on June 3 or 4, 2023 split into morning and afternoon sessions. The test runs for around 5 hours.
  4. Double-check. Once you’ve finished the exam, ensure that you have all the required documents and forms.

How to Prepare for the UPCAT


Every person has a unique approach to studying, but you can try these tips to find what works for your learning style and preferences.


1. Set a study schedule.

A study schedule gives you a structure to stay organized. Consider making a solo schedule if you prefer peace and quiet, or a group review if you want to collaborate with others, like in UPCAT review courses.


When it’s time to study, clear your environment of distractions and ensure you’ve got everything you need to minimize the chances of interruptions. Have your snacks, reviewers, and prepaid Wi-Fi source ready.


2. Do practice tests.

Mock exams are invaluable in familiarizing yourself with the format of the UPCAT. Take advantage of available practice materials and dedicate time to complete full-length mock exams.


3. Use online resources.

Plenty of online tools are available for every subject included in the UPCAT. If you want a deeper explanation of a topic, you can browse knowledge apps to give you solutions or in-depth guides in whatever format you prefer—visual or auditory. You can also look for online testimonies from past test-takers for more information.


4. Strategize per subtest.

The UPCAT’s subtests may require different strategies to optimize. Develop test-taking techniques based on your mock test performance, such as eliminating wrong choices and strategically skipping difficult questions to manage your time effectively for sections you find difficult.

What to Do on the Day of the Exam


So the fated day has finally arrived, but you might feel like you’re not as prepared as you want. Don’t worry! Here are some key actions to take to make this day a memorable one.


1. Arrive early at the test center.

Give yourself ample time to reach the test center, accounting for any possible delays or traffic. Arriving before the expected time can also help you settle in and calm your nerves.


2. Bring only the necessary items.

You’re only allowed to bring the following items into the testing room:

  • Test permit

  • School ID or valid government ID

  • Two quality pencils

  • Sharpener

  • Eraser

  • Snacks


3. Listen to and read all instructions carefully.

Before starting the exam, listen to everything your proctors tell you and carefully go through the test instructions. Read everything at least twice to ensure you don’t forget anything crucial.


4. Stay focused and manage your time.

Keep calm and rely on your preparations as you answer the test. Trust your instincts and approach each question with a clear and logical mindset. Pace yourself, and don’t be afraid to skip particularly tough questions, which you can go back to later.

What to Do After Taking the UPCAT


Congratulations on completing the UPCAT! You’ve put in tremendous effort, and now it’s time to take a breather before considering what comes next.


UP typically releases the UPCAT results several months after the exam. You can check the official UPCAT website or UP’s official channels for updates on the release date.


If you passed the UPCAT

Congratulations, you made it! Celebrate your achievement and get ready for the next steps. Keep your eyes out for official announcements on enrollment procedures and deadlines from the university. Be sure to check your email for further instructions.


If you didn’t pass the UPCAT

Don’t be disheartened. Remember that the UPCAT is one of the country’s most competitive tests; only a few applicants pass. UP is only one pathway to quality education. Explore alternative options, such as applying to other universities, taking bridge programs, or alternative courses. Seek guidance from school counselors and mentors for valuable advice and support.

Overcoming the UPCAT with Globe


As you come down from the sleepless nights spent studying for the UPCAT and the adrenaline of taking the test, it’s time to reflect on your journey and the destinations ahead. Preparing for college admission tests is vital to unlocking your potential, but remember, the exams are only the first step on your educational journey.


Globe offers education solutions, including exclusive data promos, to help students stay connected in this increasingly digital schooling system. Subscribe to these promos via the GlobeOne app, so you never have to worry about missing a synch class again!


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