University of the Philippines College Admission Test
The University of the Philippines College Admission Test, commonly known as UPCAT, is part of the admission requirements of the University of the Philippines, administered to graduates of Philippine and foreign high schools.
UPCAT was first administered in 1968.
Eligibility and Application to the UPCAT
Individuals that are considered eligible for the UPCAT should be any one of the following:
- A senior student of any secondary school that is accredited by the Department of Education;
- A graduate of any secondary school that is accredited by the Department of Education, or of any secondary school found abroad; or
- Any individual that has been declared eligible to enter college according to the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) results.
In addition, graduates must not have taken and must not be taking any college subjects. They should not plan to take any college subjects before the semester or academic year of the UPCAT.
The deadline for filing of applications for the UPCAT is announced regularly, and is usually in late June.
The UPCAT can only be taken once by an applicant. Any applicant who has taken the UPCAT may not take it again.
University Predicted Grade
The University Predicted Grade (UPG) is a combined score of an applicant's weighted UPCAT score and the weighted average of their grades in high school. It is 40% from their grades in high school and 60% from the UPCAT. 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, socioeconomic and geographic factors are also considered in selecting campus qualifiers.
Qualifying for a Campus and a Degree Program
An applicant 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 they do not qualify for the two chosen campuses, they may apply to be part of the wait-list provided that they have chosen the campus they would apply to as either their first choice or second choice campus.
If they are an UPCAT qualifier, they only need to find a degree program that will accept them. The campus Registrar’s Office will help them find that degree program. Qualification into UP is therefore a matter of qualifying for a campus, regardless of choices of degree programs.
The five hour exam covers language proficiency, reading comprehension, mathematics, and science. UPCAT questions can be in English or Filipino. The UPCAT is usually held on a Saturday and Sunday in early August with two batches of examinations per day: one in the morning and the other one in the afternoon.
UPCAT test centers are found in major schools throughout the Philippines, including the different UP campuses. Close to 70,000 applicants take the UPCAT every year with almost 30,000 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.
All UPCAT news and results are announced at the University's website, usually around January or February. The list of qualified applicants 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 their respective high school. Finally, individual letters containing qualifying information and further instructions, if any, are sent to the individual examinees.
Only about 10% (7,000 out of 70,000) qualify and pass the UPCAT every year. In 2016, out of 10,000 takers, only around 1,500 passed.
The UPCAT Results can also be accessed through any WAP-enabled device (particularly PDAs and mobile phones), at the University's official WAP site.
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 UP, several are chosen to give a welcome address during the freshman assembly at the UP Theater.
- Is it time for UP to abandon the UPCAT?
- What will happen if an applicant takes UPCAT for the second and succeeding times?