The American counterpart of the British IELTS, the TOEFL is a test administered by the Educational Testing Service or the ETS, the same educational company that administers the SAT and the SAT Subject Tests. It is primarily used as a means to test English proficiency for students who wish to study in the United States.
The process of registration for the TOEFL is not too different from that of the SAT. Simply go to the ETS website, create an account, and sign up for one of the test dates and testing centers, some of which are located here in the Philippines of course. Payment method is using a valid credit card. Testing fees vary by country, but in the Philippines, it is $200 (Yes, almost 9000 pesos!), regardless of whether you take it in NCR/Manila, or other cities like Baguio or Cebu.
So you just finished taking our UPCAT Practice Test, and we told you that you did pretty well. You walk into the University of the Philippines Campus (or other test centers) with your Mongol 2 pencil and lunch in hand. You go home tired and crying, then you wake up one morning going maniacal because you passed the UPCAT. Congratulations.
Or rather, meh. What a square way to get into the most quirky university in the country. How about you start your UP career, down to the UPCAT, with bang? Here are a few suggestions for your UPCAT outfit of the day (which is #OOTD, for the uninformed), if you've prepared, it's not like the way you dress will matter too much anyway:
What you woke up wearing
Not very high effort stuff, in fact, it's no effort at all, and you're likely to find yourself wearing this at least once in your forthcoming UP life, given the hellish summer term that the new academic calendar just gifted us. Whether it be your 4th grade PE shirt and UP-wannabe basketball shorts, or your boxers paired with a hoodie, it's all good.
Cosplay/Dress like someone else
While turning up in a 6 foot tall Gundam suit might not be the best of ideas, coming to the UPCAT in Akatsuki robe and freshly dyed hair might turn your competitors' eyes enough to nab a few points away. If that's not your thing, try a Kim Jong-Un get up–shouldn't be too out of place in the most reputably leftist of student bodies, shouldn't it?
Okay, so this one might seriously (aka surely) get you kicked out of the test centre, but if you think it's worth a shot, then go for it. Nothing says you started your UP career with a bang like the bangers in your mash after all.
Learning languages may be fun, but in a time when money talks and utility always trumps everything else, people learning new foreign languages have to make a calculated choice. Not everyone, after all, can be so thorough a polyglot, with most only able to maintain fluency in a handful of languages that they constantly use, so we compiled this list of languages that for reasons that are economic and geographical, will likely be the most useful for business people and owners from the Philippines.
1. Mandarin Chinese
Whether you love it or hate it, the era of Chinese economic dominance in East Asia is here, and it's probably here to stay and grow. Despite its well publicized slowdown in GDP growth, China is still expected to grow at decent rates, and is set to overtake the US as the world largest economy within our lifetimes, joining the ranks of developed countries as their GDP-per-capita and standards of living rise. The Chinese economy is simply too large of an entity for any business in East Asia, including the Philippines, to ignore if they plan to grow, and it's likely that Chinese businesses themselves will be engaging in increasing amounts of trade and investment in neighbouring countries in an attempt to expand. Chinese may be torturous for anyone to learn, true, but the benefits of having the ability to communicate clearly with those under such an economic behemoth are too large to be missed.
Having Mandarin Chinese fluency is not only useful if you're engaging with businessmen from the People's Republic. Mandarin Chinese is a major language in Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore–all major regional partners of the Philippines.
Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia, respectively, are the languages of two of the largest economies and political players in Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Malaysia, and with the upcoming integration of the Southeast Asia market, expect a greater volume of trade and engagement with businessmen from these two countries.
The two languages are not mutually intelligible, and learning one does not necessarily guarantee that you will understand the other, but they have enough similarities to make it easy to learn both. Also, Bahasa Indonesia has a reputation for being one the easiest languages to reach a conversational level in, so in terms of value for your time, and you personal situation, this might just be the language for you.
Yes, French still matters. And not necessarily because France has experienced a resurgence that made French literally the lingua franca once again, but because of her old colonies that are on the rise. French is an official language in countries like the Congo, Canada, Cameroon and Ivory Coast, which are all countries that have much economic potential and could be global players within the next few decades.
French is also linguistically similar to English, which makes it an relatively easy language to learn bar some aspects of it.
Japan may indeed give of an appearance of a spent economic power that has nowhere to go but down, but it is still a very relevant player in East Asian business. For one, Japan is still the number one trading partner of the Philippines, and many Japanese businesses are deeply involved in the Philippine economy, ensuring that the Japanese decline aside, Japanese will maintain its relevance as a business language for the coming years.
Where to learn? We've also compiled a list of foreign language classes available to the public in the Philippines. Check out our article Foreign Languages Classes in the Philippines!
Foreign language skills are increasingly in high demand, as a more globalised economy allows businesses to branch out and people from different countries to contact each other for work or business. A strong BPO sector in the Philippines also helps prop us this demand for capable communicators in different languages. As such, we have listed some courses available for students and employees who wish to have another language under the belt that could help them become more employable or earn additional academic qualifications.
German - Deustche
German classes are available at the German Federal government Goethe Institut in Manila. Classes across all levels from Beginner to Advanced are available for both students and working adults.
More information at: http://www.goethe.de/ins/ph/en/map/lrn/deu.html
Japanese - 日本語
-The Ateneo de Manila University offers Beginner to Intermediate Japanese Language courses or lessons, called "Nihongo for Everyone." There are four modules throughout the year, and each module costs Php 5000, which should be paid with your registration form at any Metrobank branch or the Ateneo Cashier's office. More Information at http://www.ateneo.edu/ls/soss/japanese-studies/nihongo-everyone
- The University of the Philippines' Department of Linguistics offers Extramural classes in Japanese from levels 1-8. Each module has a total of 30 hours and costs 3500 pesos, to be paid at the UP cashier. This includes learning material such as books an handouts. More information at: https://uplinguistics.wordpress.com/asian-languages/
Spanish - Español
-The Spanish Government's Instituto Cervantes offers Spanish Language classes from Beginner to Advanced, in varying degrees of intensity. Each course of module costs roughly Php 4000. For more information, see the Instituto Cervantes Manila website: http://manila.cervantes.es/en/default.shtm
Mandarin Chinese - 中文
-The Chinese government's Confucius Institute at the Ateneo de Manila University offers comprehensive classes in Mandarin, as well as proficiency tests and official translation services. See the ADMU-Confucius institute website for more details: http://www.ateneoconfucius.com/index.php?language=en-US
-The UP Department of Linguistics offers Mandarin Chinese levels 1-3 as part of their Asian Language Extramural Offerings. Each course costs 3500 pesos inclusive of materials. https://uplinguistics.wordpress.com/asian-languages/
They also offer extramural courses in Korean and Bahasa (the language in Malaysia and Indonesia) for the same fee.
French - Français
The French government's Alliance Française offers language lessons for student, adults and even kids. Fees range from Php 4500-6500 depending on the intensity and level of French that you are learning. Please see the Alliance Française website for more: http://www.alliance.ph/language.php
But now that you know what you can learn, which one do you pick? We've also put up a list of the most useful languages for Filipinos to learn. See our article on the most useful foreign languages for Filipinos!
The IELTS, or formally the "International English Language Testing System" is an English proficiency test that is managed from the UK and is required for employment or study in many countries formerly administered by the UK, such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Many educational institutions and employers also accept the IELTS as an alternative to the American TOEFL.
In the Philippines, the test is primarily administered and offered to the public by the British Council, with many testing locations across the Philippines, outside of Manila. Test takers either choose the "Academic" test meant for applicants who wish to study in any IELTS-accepting institutions for their undergraduate or graduate studies, or the "General Training Test" for potential migrants and workers.
Registration is typically competitive because a lot of people want to take the test, so we strongly recommend that you register for the test as early as possible. As of publishing, the testing fee is Php 8,986, which must be paid by credit card. You must also bring a valid identity document such as a passport on your test day to verify your identity.
For more information, please see the British Council website: http://www.britishcouncil.ph/exam/ielts/dates-fees-locations