The College Entrance Test Cheat Sheet

Nope, no dirty cheating going on in here—just the ultimate guide to surviving (and acing!) that college entrance test.
by Jikka Defino   |  Aug 10, 2013
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It's that time of the year again! Right after the UPCAT, a lot of other college entrance tests (CETs) are sure to follow. Here are a few things you need to know about some of the country's CETs plus a few tips to get in your dream university!

UPCAT (August 3-4)

The University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) is probably the most well-known CET in the Philippines. (There were over 83,000 examinees this year!) It consists of four sub-tests namely Language Proficiency (both in English and Filipino), Science, Mathematics, and Reading Comprehension. It is also unique for its being "right-minus-wrong." However, admission doesn't rely solely on your UPCAT scores–your high school marks count as well.

ACET (September 21-22)

The Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET) is known for its "unfinishable" nature. Try to improve on your time management skills if you want to make it. Sub-tests include Mathematics, Reading Comprehension, Language Proficiency (which requires you to write an essay), Abstract and Logical Reasoning, and General Information (which includes questions on science and current events).


DLSUCET (September 29 & October 6)

An interesting thing about the De La Salle University College Entrance Test (DLSUCET) is that a lot of people who feel bad about their performance in the exam actually make it. Nonetheless, this doesn't make the DLSUCET an easy on. In fact, it has earned the reputation of being one of the hardest entrance tests in the Philippines. Sub-tests include Mathematics, Language Proficiency, Science, and Reading Comprehension. Just like the ACET, the DLSUCET requires examinees to write two essays (one in English and one in Filipino) so better brush up on those skills!

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USTET (August 25, September 29, December 1)

The University of Santo Tomas Entrance Test (USTET) has a general reputation of being the easiest among all four. Having said so, complacency might just be your worst enemy so be sure to prepare! Sub-tests include Science, Mathematics, English, Filipino, and Mental Aptitude (a.k.a an IQ test).

Preparing for the exam:

  • Mental. One cannot put enough stress on how important this is. Read up and practice solving problems in advance. Recall and review. And unless suffering from information overload is okay with you (which I highly doubt), avoid cramming!
  • Physical. The environment can either be your friend or your foe. If there's no seating arrangement, sitting near a window will help keep you relaxed. Wear comfortable clothes, a wrist watch, and bring a jacket just in case it gets too cold in the room. It's also good to bring bite-size sweets and water so you have something to munch on in case the proctor allows you to eat during the exam.
  • Psychological and Spiritual. Get plenty of rest the day before. Clear your mind and believe that you can do it. Last but not least, a prayer or a short mantra goes a long way!
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