My 12 PowerfulStrategiesTo Triumph Over The UPCAT (Essay Entry #12)


My 12 Powerful StrategiesTo Triumph Over The UPCAT

by Juan Carlo Mangaliag


Reminder: This is a long essay discussing and elaborating each of my master plan in conquering the upcoming UPCAT. I suggest that the readers would be patient enough to read and comprehend to the whole essay (even up to the last paragraph) as it contains many significant and unique ideasor techniques that are truly advantageous especially to those who will take the UPCAT and even other entrance tests.


         The University of the Philippines College Admission Test, also known as UPCAT, is an entrance exam which is part of the admission requirements of UP. It is taken by the senior high school students every year. The unique thing about the UPCAT is that many people consider it as the most anticipated exam that a student will ever take even though the ACET is more difficult. Do you ever wonder why? It’s because of the number of the students who will take the exam. According to statistics, there are about 70,000 applicantsin the whole country who will compete for the limited 10,000 slots.If you ever compute for its percentage, only 14% of the total number of applicants would be admitted to the most prestigious university which is UP. It’s very competitive right? Remember that UP is a very good university with less expensive fees compared to other good universities such as La Salle or Ateneo. Perhaps in choosing the universities, I would recommend UP not only because of its low cost but also because of its high passing rates in different board exams. However if you’re one of those called “sawimpalad” or those who weren’t able to pass the UPCAT, you still have a chance to enter UP. You have the option to take the talent determination test which is another way to enter the university.


         For those who will be taking the UPCAT, what I want you to do now is to take this simple quiz to determine if you are actually ready for the UPCAT. Just answer this by saying yes or no. I suggest you to response with a no if you are uncertain with your answer.


1.      I am confident enough that I would become one of those 10,000 UPCAT passers.

2.      I would be able to answer every item in all the subjects in UPCAT under the time limit.

3.      I have performed very well and have good grades during my 1st year to 3rd year high school days.

4.      I can use much of my time for the preparation of UPCAT and I can avoid playing my favorite games for a whole week or even a month.

5.      I create my list of goals or dreams and I assure that I can achieve each of them.


         If you have answered “YES” in every statement, then you may now stop reading this essay. If you have an answer even with just a single “NO”, it means that you are still required to read this whole essay to know my master plans that would actually help in conquering the UPCAT. I would now present my own powerful strategies that I currently use.


1.Wander through your mind and define what you really want.

     This is the time where we would assess your goals. We need to learn the power of goal-setting and how it helps us achieve some success. Of course what we really want is to pass the UPCAT. But once we define what we want, we need to find a way on how to empower our motivation. By having this motivation, we now have a more powerful desire to achieve it.Most people fail to achieve long-term goals because of lack of motivation. Since we want to pass the UPCAT so why? I want to pass the UPCAT because it’s a great achievement to me if I graduated in a very prestigious university. I would be then easily accepted when I apply for a job, my future would surely become successful and I would achieve happiness in my life. I wouldn’t want to fail the UPCAT because I would be scolded by my parents, I would miss this big future opportunity, and I would just waste my 4 months effort for the UPCAT review. This is the pain-pleasure theory which is a good method in increasing motivation so that we can achieve our goals. There’s a good webpage that explains how to create achievable personal goals. I’ve read it and it helped me a lot in determining my plans. This is the link:


2. Imagine your dreams coming true.

We can further increase our motivation for success if we use our creative imagination. This is the time where we visualize our dreams coming true. We should use our five senses so that our imagination would become more reality. I, myself do this in daily basis after waking up and before sleeping. I imagine myself entering the UP campus seeing all the students feeling nervous before taking the exam while I feel confident because I know that I would pass the UPCAT. I hold the rough test papers, I smell the fragrant environment, I hear the moan of my seatmate, and I taste every question in UPCAT.  Easy questions taste sweet while difficult questions taste bitter. Due to my overwhelming motivation to pass the exam, I did my best and when the results were released I felt quite nervous but when I saw my name in the list, I jumped 5 meters high and I was like the happiest person ever. My family is very happy and we celebrated altogether.By doing this every day, it will not only let me increase motivation but it would also make me move out and do something to achieve that pleasurable goal.


3. Love and accept yourself for who you are.

There are times when we feel so bad about ourselves because we fail many times. We got very low grades during the first 3 years of high school, we accused ourselves of being dumb, and we think that we don’t have any chance to pass the college admission tests and so on. We didn’t notice that we’re used at fighting everything while feeling the pain of failure and misery. Life becomes easy if we accept ourselves. Acceptance doesn’t mean agreement or approval of the problem. It means that once we accept, we work towards its improvement. For example, I have difficulty in math and I always treat myself as inferior in that subject, but since I already accepted it so I work towards my improvement in my weaknesses. I study math every day and I like the moments where I keep getting better at that subject. If I consider myself as a person having difficulty in answering entrance exams and once I accept it, I would work on it by studying very hard for the entrance exams such as UPCAT.


4. Devise an effective strategy.

         Since we already accepted ourselves and we’re now willing to work on our weaknesses. We should now devise a plan that can lead to our success. We need to decide wisely and carefully. One big key in passing the UPCAT is by going to review centers that provide concise and effective techniques in answering the exam. I have gone to Brain Train Review Center and I was happy enough because I have learned the essential techniques in answering the UPCAT fast and accurately. The teacher gave us tips such that we can enhance our skills through continuous practices. I also have learned more about the subjects such as the Math, Science, Language Proficiency and Reading Comprehension. The manual that I received are also really helpful for self-review purposes at home. I’m very grateful because I have made the right choice and decision.


5. Establish and prioritize your own schedule.

This is an effective strategy so that everything would be organized. We should create a list of our schedule and the activities mentioned should be specific. I’ve already created my own schedule and I already have my own flexible time management.My Sunday schedule starts by waking up at 6:00 am, having cardiovascular exercise until 8:00 am, and then morning meals until 9:00 am, UPCAT self-review until 12 pm, and so on. What we only need is the self-discipline. We have to stick to our schedules as we can. We should also give rewards or punishments to maintain our self-discipline. For example, if we have violated the schedule and we were tempted to play our favourite games for long hours, we should punish ourselves in a way where we would not repeat to do the same mistake again. I have punished myself with 50 push-ups and it was very tiring, so I would never violate my schedule again. I also give myself a reward if I succeed in following my own schedule for one week. I treat myself with ice cream and pizza every time I succeed.


6. Start doing it now.

We should all know that doing the tasks immediately is much better than cramming at the last minute. We have heard this many times because it’s really true. Many successful people have good time management that’s why they are very productive and they become even more successful. I’ve already discussed about time management and the main point of this strategy is to avoid procrastination. We should not forget that “daig ng maagap ang masipag.”If we have studied earlier for the UPCAT, then we should have bigger chances of passing the exam.           


7. Take advantage of the internet as a source ofinformation gaining, review and training.

      Technology has dramatically improved this 21st century and we should have known that it’s already more powerful, helpful and influential than before. For me the internet also proved to become a very big advantage especially to those who will not go to review centers. I’m very thankful to Academic Clinic because they provide a lot of significant information about the UPCAT, college courses, free sample exams, and many more. I’ve learned about the importance of choosing the UP campuses and courses, the UPG, and many more tips.For me this is another great strategy in getting higher chances of passing the UPCAT.


8. Do it again and again.

      The secret yet revealed fact is that practicing remains as the best strategy to get better and enhanced. We should not lose hope to our failure. It’s just a part of learning and practice. Once we practice all over, we master the skills. Therefore, we should not treat our failure as real failure. We have to accept it and do something about it which is to practice more. The same goes to review. If we are given an exam in which we didn’t prepare, we get low scores. But once we prepare thoroughly, we get very high scores. That’s why UPCAT is just a matter of preparation and all over practices. After I’ve learned the material once, I always go back and repeat studying the same material again to gain what I call “mastery.” This is also a secret in getting high grades in school. I always prepare and study hard that’s why I can get good grades at several quizzes.


9. Recognize the real life application of what you are learning.

      This is another effective strategy especially for science. This technique actually adds interest in learning the subjects. In fact science is actually more interesting than what the schools teach. The schools just made the science as a subject and the interests of students just diminished. This also applies to other subjects such as Math and English wherein we would visualize ourselves solving real life problems using the methods and formulas that we learned and we would visualize a conversation of American people with perfect grammars. In answering UPCAT questions for general science, imagination of real life application of each questions are effective in determining the correct answer.


10. Excel in preparation at all times.

      In reality, nothing beats preparation. Preparation is always the factor of success. In the day before the UPCAT, our mind should have already been prepared and it’s advisable not to review before the exam itself. What we need to do is to prepare the materials and the things needed for the UPCAT such as the permit, pencils, snack, etc. It’s a very good tip to arrive very early, more or less 2 hours before the actual test.


11. Attest your courage and determination.

      Before taking the UPCAT, we should turn ourselves to visualize and test our courage and determination by overcoming the anxiety and nervousness. We need to have an ultimatum to ourselves that we would do our best in answering the exam. We have to feel confident because we are in a perfect preparation. We have reviewed for more than 3 months for the purpose of passing the exam.


12. Make out the best of your present moment.

      On the time of receiving the first test paper, make the best out of the exam. Remember that this is the time where we should act and do our very best in just a matter of 5 hours. Forget all the worries and give your 100% concentration and focus on the exam. UPCAT can only be taken once in a lifetime of a person. There’s no second chance at all. That’s why I recommend everyone to consider this moment as do or die situation.


      Perhaps you may forget these strategies after a long time. But I devised a memory aid for you to easily remember all these powerful strategies. Try to recognize the first letter of each strategy and combine them. You will form the word “WILDEST DREAM.” Yes, it’s true that conquering UPCAT is the wildest dream of any UP aspirant.


Have a good preparation and God Bless to everyone especially to those who will take the UPCAT!



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