Every August, thousands of graduating high school students take the University of the Philippines Admission Test (UPCAT), which has a reputation of being the most difficult college entrance exam.
Also every year, social networking sites become rife with tips on how to best take the entrance exam to the country's premiere state university, from those who have taken the UPCAT themselves.
#UPCATTips was a trending topic on Twitter in Metro Manila Friday, the eve of UPCAT weekend, with netizens posting friendly and sometimes funny advice for “iskolar ng bayan” wannabes.
Many of the tips reminded examinees to bring the following on UPCAT day: examination slips; sharpened pencils; food and water; faith; and, most importantly, presence of mind.
But some have warned against eating too much, bringing a lot of food, or taking in too much liquid before and during the exam, saying it may only distract the examinees.
Others chose to highlight exam techniques, including how a quarter of your total incorrect answers will be deducted from your total score, and how elimination could be your saving grace.
Funnier tips include the classic advice during multiple-choice type exams: “When in doubt, go for A—or B, C, or D.”
Some netizens said the UPCAT is not really about how much you know, but how you reach for that knowledge to answer the exam. The more profound advise leaving everything up to fate.
“Iskolar ng bayan” hopefuls have also been reminded that no matter how hard they all try, some of them will not pass the UPCAT, and that UP is not the only school for them, should they fail the test.
But perhaps the most important pieces of advice were about enjoying the UPCAT and for UPCAT takers to get offline on the eve of the exam and just relax.