[Since it is UPCAT day one, lemme share my story. Haha. This is a guest post from a friend Ericka Jane Angeles, with permission. ]
Every ending marks a beginning. Every beginning marks a multitude of experiences towards an ending… -and the cycle goes and goes all over again.
I was determined of becoming a teacher that even before going to high school, I already decided where I was going to take my bachelor’s degree – and it was not in the University of the Philippines.
My dream of becoming a UP student started sometime in November 2008. I participated in a quiz bowl competition organized by the UP APSM (Association of Political Science Majors). Back then, I was amazed by the wonders of Oblation, the vastness of the fields, the distinctiveness of the buildings’ architectural designs, and the most obvious thing about UP – its prestige and its students.
However, as my last year in high school commenced, my vision of becoming a UP student became suspended in stagnant water. It disappears whenever ripples brought about by any disturbance propagate through the water surface. I would only think of UP if I was not occupied by extra-curricular activities, academic responsibilities, et cetera.
I did not even make it to the deadline for the submission of UPCAT application forms for Metro Manila students (June 23, as far as I could remember). I was not aware of the dates and the requirements until a classmate informed me that they already have submitted their application forms. I was saddened by the fact that no one told me about what was going on until the day before the deadline.
I asked my dad to get an UPCAT application form for me. After so, my sister filled it out. Nevertheless, the processing of forms (i.e. Form 137, certified list of top ten students) would take days, so I waited until June 30 to complete my application.
All throughout before my UPCAT day (August 01), I was not able to look at and touch my UPCAT test permit. I became busy with Supreme Student Government and campus paper work, intra- and inter- school competitions, extracurricular activities i.e. scouting, and class requirements. I was not able to join my classmates’ UPCAT review. I was only able to run my eyes through an NCAE reviewer the day before UPCAT. I really had no idea how difficult the test would be and what the questions would be in the exam.
I was the first among our class to take the UPCAT – that is, August 01, 2009, 6:00 AM. I have no classmates to talk with and to travel with since most of them would be taking the UPCAT in the afternoon and on the second day.
I was able to see my UPCAT test venue only on my UPCAT examination day. I was 20 minutes late because I was not expecting that there would be a heavy traffic jam inside UP, and it was really difficult to find my UPCAT venue – Math Building.
I only had 2 oreo packs, 2 voice biscuit packs and a bottle of mineral water for UPCAT. Those were only bought from a kiosk near Math Building. No one had the time to buy food for my baon, including myself. Haha.
Luckily, the examination did not start yet. I saw queues of my co-UPCAT takers near the staircases. I joined them. Meanwhile, dad left for work, and my elder sister stayed outside the building and waited for me.
We were asked to enter the building by 25’s. Our queue was assigned to MB 105. I sat beside the window. We were asked to surrender our mobile phones before taking the examination.
I thought what we bought earlier would not be enough since UPCAT is a five-hour test. Nevertheless, I was able to consume only a pack of Oreo and a half-pack of Voice biscuit. I consumed only a third of my bottled mineral water. Maybe we bought just enough.
Reading Comprehension part
-This is the most boring part of the UPCAT. I got lazy that I still had 15 items 5 minutes before the next part of the exam. So, I basically crammed answering those items.
Language Proficiency part
-This was quite easy for me, for some items resemble those in the NCAE reviewer (e.g. arrangement of the sentences in a paragraph). I was able to devise a way to quickly answer the questions. So, yeah.
-UUUUUGGGH I was thinking that I was not going to pass the UPCAT because of this. I actually left 30 items blank. I went back to those items after I finished answering everything I knew.
-This is my favourite. Hihi. I was wondering why did it have only 60 items for us to answer? It was quite frustrating.
My head was saturated as I went out the building. I saw my sister talking with her classmate in college in one of the benches. As I approached her, she asked:
“O, kumusta UPCAT?”
(I got my UPG [University Predicted Grade] during my first semester in UP. My Mathematics percentile is the lowest, and Science, the highest.)
Soooo UPCAT takers. Good luck. UPCAT is not the test you’d expect to be easy, but you only have to believe in yourselves and the education you’ve been struggling for. =)
Ericka Jane Angeles or EJ is a senior student taking up a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education, double major in Biology and Chemistry in the University of the Philippines, Diliman. She is passionate about teaching and learning. She is now on her last few semesters to fulfill her dreams. She’s also a good friend and an orgmate of mine at UP Astronomical Society.
My UPCAT Story by Miss EJ