Here's a file containing some of the most common mistakes that students make when it comes to English grammar in the UPCAT, the ACET and the other entrance tests.
At first, they do seem intuitive, and you might even say that they're even too obvious to study, but if you did our UPCAT Practice Test, AND made some mistakes in the grammar portion, you can trace them back to these. Most of the questions we posed there are merely modifications of the rules listed in the file, and we'll leave it to you to find out where exactly you went wrong.
You can do more practice with our ACET Practice Test's English portion, or the SAT's more intense Writing portion. If you do well in either, doing well in UPCAT Language Proficiency is more or less assured.
UPCAT Math Reviewer & Practice Test
So we know that most of you have difficulty in the section that, well, everybody has difficulty in. Math. In response, we made a reviewer to help you get on overview of skills you need to know before taking the UPCAT, but reviewers are never enough. You need practice.
RELATED: CollegeRev's Mathematics Reviewer
Thanks to EntranceUniversity, you we can jointly provide you with practice material that is focused on the Mathematics section of the UPCAT. It is quite long and comprehensive, so just like with our UPCAT Practice Test, allot enough time to do it. An hour and thirty minutes to be precise.
You can find the test on this link here.
A Freshly Designed UPCAT 2014 Infographic
We've just released a new UPCAT Infographic for the University of the Philippines, complete with statistics on the last admissions cycle. Mentioned in it are the following:
UPCAT Mathematics Reviewer
I think it's pretty safe to assume that the subject that most of you fear for the incoming UPCAT is nothing less than Math, which to be fair, really gives everyone but a few talented individuals a headache. Fear not though, because the UPCAT math sections, while challenging, isn't over the top hard. At least not as hard as the other sections.
Most of the questions are rudimentary, and could be solved under a minute, sometimes even mentally. The handful of items that are difficult to solve can be given enough time if you are able to go through the rest of the questions quickly.
Additionally, we have an UPCAT reviewer that covers most of the math topics that you will need to do relatively well in the UPCAT. It contains information on topics from linear equations, to functions, logarithms and trigonometry.
Tricks, Tips and Secrets to Passing the UPCAT
Purists and believers in the pure unblemished merit of standardized testing may tell you that there is no way you can fool a test and that it will always be correct in measuring academic achievement and potential.
We agree to a certain extent, but that doesn't mean you can't game the test. We're telling you now, you almost certainly can. And while you can't get all the points you want, you may be able to nick 10 or 20 more points on the UPCAT by doing the following, but don't say we didn't warn you. If didn't work or you got a slap on your wrist, it's not on us.
1. Check out twitter and search for 'UPCAT' on the toolbar or have a quick chat with friends about the test.
This involves reading the tweets or facebook posts of other users and friends who just took the UPCAT, because more often than not they're going to discuss some questions very openly and in detail, dropping the answers in the process. You can do the same with your friends. Have a quick chat and discuss items they found difficult, together with topics they didn't expect to come out. With that you can just try to remember some answers and do a bit of reviewing on the difficult topic.
Someone told you that you won't remember anything if you cram the day or the hours before? Well yes, you won't remember everything, but you'll remember at least some things that could easily be worth 5 or more points. Just keep your last minute reviews focused on a few key areas.
CHECK OUT: UPCAT Practice Test
Technically, this isn't allowed, and you're not even allowed to discuss the test, but we're not in a police state, so (maybe) there's no harm.
2. Bring a whole box of sharpened pencils.
Why? Because sharpening wastes your time. And you'll have to sharpen a lot because you're filling in over 200 circles, which will surely dull your pencil more than once. Having a box ready makes sure that you just keep shooting at those questions.
3. Write down all your formulas on your scratch paper the moment you get the test.
You'll only lose maybe a minute initally, but it will save you a chunk time later on when you're debating with yourself if the slope formula has y2-y1 or x2-x1 in the numerator. Also, the first section is usually language proficiency, which most people finish ahead of time anyways, so no worries.
RELATED: UP Admissions
4. (Secretly. Shhh! Not on us though!) Go back or forward to other sections.
Yes, it's very clearly not allowed, but if you're sneaky and you're sitting at the back while the proctor is chatting with his mate about last night's UAAP matchup, you'll probably get away with it. Going back is especially useful if you missed some items in the previous section because of a lack of time. If your proctor is not really chatting with someone, but is inattentive enough, the least you could do is guess and shade the circles you haven't filled in. (Answering all items is better than leaving them blank!! Read up on our UPCAT Tips post!)
Going forward is useful if you're anticipating that the next section will be really high pressure and short on time. You don't have to answer a lot. Just a few items will save you a valuable minute or two already. Don't do this if you're short on time on your current section though.
OK, so last year there wasn't even an UPCAT essay, but if you know UP well enough, you would know that they always have a surprise in store for prospective iskos and iskas. Last year, the surprise of the UP Admissions Office was the release of results on December 25, ensuring that roughly 60,000 kids did not have a very happy Christmas.
This year, it could be another essay, and it could be something else. You wouldn't know. But it's best to be prepared in any case if you want to pass the UPCAT. As for the ACET meanwhile, the essay on the test is pretty much standard and is there every year, so you might as well read this for that.
1. Write with a structure in mind.
It's easy to think of writing as some sort of creative non-mechanical process that just comes out of the blue, so many students write their hearts out when they make essays. The problem is, you have less than 30 minutes to make one and, let's face it, you're no Ernest Hemingway or Pablo Neruda. At least not yet.
The most straightforward solution that offers relative consistency in its results, regardless of the essay prompt, is to stick to an essay format you're comfortable with and which you'll basically just have to "fill in the spaces." The easiest to remember is the intro-body-conclusion format, but choose whatever suits you best, as long as you're comfortable writing with it quickly and you won't end up with an incoherent directionless mess of an essay.
READ: Tips for your ACET Application Essay
2. Make your thesis (your main idea) clear.
Start with that in response to a prompt. What is your thesis, your position, or your response to the essay question? Then make it very clear to the reader what your main idea is, usually by explicitly writing a sentence that states your main idea somewhere in the essay. Don't bumble around and put random thoughts that don't necessarily contribute to your main idea, but another related, yet distinctly different idea.
3. Prepare good examples for just about any situation.
Supporting examples are the bread and butter of any essay, yet many students fail to use them adequately. Don't rely on useless personal anecdotes (Ex. When I was thirteen, my sister scolded me for .../ My mother said that....), rhetoric, religion and cliched fables on human life. They won't lend any legitimate support to your essay from the point of view of the reader.
Instead, use examples from books you have read and historical or current events, so stack up on those, especially with books that have such a wide swathe of examples that you can use for just about any thesis statement.
If you're willing to take a risk too, here's a secret trick: Make up examples. We're not kidding, it can work. It just has to look legit.
Here's an example:
Essay Prompt: Should we always choose pre-emptive aggression towards dangerous people, or should we always pursue peace and diplomacy?
Example: In 1794 King George III of Britain refused to attack the Germans under King Leopold, because he wanted to continue using peaceful means despite it being apparent that Leopold was a ruthless murderer. He continued to pursue a diplomatic solution with the French and the Spanish until it was too late and the Germans invaded Austria and massacred the Yugoslavs who resented German rule.
Now I'm not even sure if there was a King George II or Leopold during that time. I'm not even sure if Germany already existed in 1794 and if such a conflict existed at all, but could you tell? Would your essay reader have the time to verify its truth in the process of reading 80,000+ essays? Probably not, so if it's a risk you are forced into considering, and are willing to take, go ahead.