UP College Admission Test

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The University of the Philippines College Admission Test, popularly called UPCAT, is a five-hour examination consisting of subtests on language proficiency, reading comprehension, mathematics and science given to highschool graduating students for admission to the University of the Philippines<ref>Admissions & the UPCAT. In University of the Philippines Website</ref>. It admits graduates of Philippine and foreign high schools into the University of the Philippines System. The UPCAT (pronounced "oop-cat") is considered to be one of the most competitive college entrance exams in the country.


Eligibility and Application to the UPCAT

Filipino Students

Individuals that are considered eligible for the UPCAT should be any one of the following:

  1. A senior student of any secondary school that is accredited by the Department of Education;
  2. A graduate of any secondary school that is accredited by the Department of Education, or of any secondary school found abroad; or
  3. Any individual that has been declared eligible to enter college, per the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) results.

In addition, graduates must not have taken and must not be taking any college subjects. He/she should not plan to take any college subjects before the semester or academic year in which he/she shall take the UPCAT.

Anyone who has taken the UPCAT may not take it again.

The deadline for filing of applications for the UPCAT are announced regularly, and are usually in late June.

Foreign Applicants

A foreign applicant who graduated from a high school abroad and has not enrolled in college may be admitted to the freshman class if he meets the following requirements:

  • completion of high school program in the country where he had his secondary education (including the completion of a one- or two-year pre-university education in a country where such is a prerequisite for admission to a bachelor's degree program)
  • qualifying in a college-qualifying national or international foreign-administered examination such as General Certificate of Education (GCE) Examination and the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or equivalent examination:
    • GCE: 3 ordinary level passes and 2 advanced level passes
    • SAT: minimum total score of 1200
    • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
  • in the case of an applicant whose native language or whose medium of instruction in the secondary school is not English, a minimum score (500 if paper based or 173 if computer based) in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)<ref>UPCAT Online / UP Office of Admissions Online</ref>.

University Predicted Grade

The University Predicted Grade (UPG) is a combined score of an applicant's weighted UPCAT scores and the weighted average of his/her grades in high school. UPCAT results are ranked according to the examinees' University Predicted Grades.

In order to make the student population of UP more representative of the country's population, soci-economic and geographic factors are also considered in selecting campus qualifiers.

Qualifying for a Campus and a Degree Program

A student must specify two campuses from the U.P. System's nine campuses, ordered according to preference. For each campus chosen, two degree programs must also be specified. UPCAT applications are processed according to the order of these preferences.

The top-ranked applicants (according to the UPG) based on the quota and cut-off grade of each campus are eligible to enter. For degree programs, different grade predictors are applied for each. Top-ranked qualifiers are accepted depending on the slots available in that program.

If one does not qualify for the two chosen campuses, the applicant's UPG might fall within other campuses' cut-off scores and, if slots are still available.

The Exam

The three and a half hour exam covers language proficiency, reading comprehension, mathematics, and science. UPCAT questions are bilingual in English and Filipino. The UPCAT is usually held on a Saturday and Sunday in early August with two batches of examinations per day in the morning and in the afternoon.

Another UPCAT exam date is held for admission to the second semester.

UPCAT test centers are found in major schools throughout the Philippines, including the different UP campuses. Close to 30,000 applicants take the UPCAT in UP Diliman alone. Because of this, and that the campus is open and connected to major public roads, heavy traffic is expected at this time of year. Food stalls and other tiangges set up shop everywhere around the Diliman campus, especially the Academic Oval, to take advantage of the numerous parents and guardians that accompany and wait for the applicants taking the test.

UPCAT Results

All UPCAT news and results are announced at the University's website, usually around February. The list of qualified students is also posted outside the U.P. Office of Admissions. Aside from these, a list of examinees and their corresponding qualifying status is sent to to the high school. Finally, individual letters containing qualifying information and further instructions, if any, are sent to the individual examinees.

Oblation Scholars

U.P. Oblation Scholars are the top fifty qualifiers to the UPCAT. Their scholarships, should they choose to enter UP, provide them with a 100% discount on tuition fees, transportation and book allowances, and monthly stipends.

Among the Oblation Scholars who choose to enroll in U.P., several are chosen to give a welcome address during the freshman assembly at the UP Theater.

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