Top UPCAT Hacks That Actually Work

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Entering college is one of the aspirations of Filipinos. Furthermore, this really is one way of ensuring your future. But there are people who have this fear of not being able to pass entrance exams -especially the UPCAT. If you’re not aware, the UPCAT is the University of the Philippines College Admission Test. It is the very first step in securing your position in the school. To add to that, it is administered to graduates of Philippine and foreign schools. This admission test is feared by many because they say that it’s one of the hardest entrance exams in the country. It’s so hard that even some smart, nerdy, hardworking students are not 100% sure if they can pass.

Although we have our own study regimes and rituals, some might not be just enough to ensure that you’ll pass. Even signing up for review in review centers can’t guarantee your spot. Today is your lucky day! You don’t need some magical spell or rituals. In this guide, we’ll give you solid simple things that can increase your chances in passing the UPCAT. Here are the top UPCAT hacks that actually work!

Visit your testing venue

UP is a BIG place; getting lost on the day of the exam can be a tragedy. Make sure you visit the venue a few days to a week before the exam and study ins and outs in case you get stuck in traffic or long lines.

Review Centers

Ever wondered why these centers cost a fortune? Well, they can up your chances of passing by a lot. If you’ve been living under a rock, they won’t really review you. What they’ll do is that they’ll give out formats, some questions of the exam (from previous years), and techniques on how you should answer in the UPCAT.

Never rely on cramming

You’ve been a student if you’ve heard the phrase “it’s due for some months, I’m going to give it some time.” Then the last day comes and you’ll freak out knowing not what to do. As much as possible, avoid cramming. Prepare for the test a month or a few weeks before the actual testing day. Do not attempt to overload your brain in the morning or night before the exam.

Prepare your things the night before

Make sure to bring necessary things the night before the exam.

  • Pencils and pens
  • Erasers
  • Sharpeners
  • Test forms
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Jacket

You won’t like it when you don’t find these things before you leave your home for the exam.

Do NOT pull an “All-Nighter”

In relation to cramming, do not sacrifice sleep for review. That’s why you need to prepare for it early. Try to sleep for at least for 4 hours before the exam. It’s better that you have rest than being sleepy at all.

DID YOU KNOW: Sleeping, even for an hour, will help you retain what you’ve studied like formulas, dates, names, etc.

Eat breakfast

Taking the exam on an empty stomach is like going to war without energy. Eat something before the exam so that you’ll focus more on the questions, not on your stomach rumbling.

DID YOU KNOW: Dark chocolates, egg yolks, and avocados are among the food that boost your performance and memory? Include them in your meal before the exam so you are backed up with goodies!


Yes, set your mind that your journey to the legendary paths of Katipunan will be hell. Allot ample time for your travel and hey, it’s better to be early than to be late, right? If you have a car, it’s still better if you leave thinking that you’ll be stuck in traffic. It is for sure that thousands of students are trying to get into the university so, better safe than sorry.

Don’t spend more than 3 minutes in a question

If you have no idea on what the correct question is, make the most intelligent guess you can and proceed to the next question. Taking time in a question can loosen up your momentum.


If you think you’ve ruled cheating in your high school days, then do not attempt looking over that cheat sheet. They will catch you, 100%; proven and tested.

Read the question Twice before reading the essay

In this way, you would already know what you need to look for and you won’t spend a lot of time dwelling on what to write. Knowing what to write can give you ample time to review your answers. Also, what they’re looking for in the essay part is how you explain and express things. So if you think you can express thoughts, opinions, and feelings better in Tagalog, do so.

Read: How to write a good resumé

The UPCAT is a mystery for many and it’s probably one of the most difficult test you would ever take. To be frank, it’s no different from the tests that you do in other schools and universities; it’s just that, you are not prepared for it. So what do you need to do? PREPARE.

Give yourself space and some thoughts about the exam and I can guarantee you a big smile and a full pocket.

Read Also: Top Universities and Colleges in the Philippines

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