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How to survive the UPCAT: Words of wisdom from some of UP's notable alumni


Finally, it is almost here. The UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) is just a few hours away. Thousands of high school students from all over the Philippines will soon vie for the opportunity and the responsibility of being the next Iskolar ng Bayan. 
 
UP is home to many notable personalities who have brought honor and excellence to the university and the country. Those who have survived the UPCAT and the entire four or so years at the top university of the Philippines gave a few words to the hopefuls. 
 
Award-winning journalist and GMA News anchor Jessica Soho has this tip: "Review very well. Read the questions carefully. Sharpen your pencils (and your mind ). Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you." 
 
GMA Network's "News To Go" anchor and "i-Witness" host Kara David who wore her high school uniform while taking the UPCAT as a prank gave a handful of tips: "Huwag na silang mag-aral one day before the UPCAT para clear lang 'yung mind nila. Don't be careless in answering the questions. 'Pag hindi alam, wag manghula. Just skip and move on the next question. Magdala ng maraming pencil."
 
David also said this for test takers who think the key to the UPCAT is answering as many questions as quickly as they can: "Mahaba ang oras. Huwag magmamadali."
 
Joseph Morong, a reporter and anchor for GMA News, kept it short and sweet, "Tell yourself 'if it's for you, it is for you.' Less pressure." 
 
Visual artist Ferdie Cacnio, who graduated from the Diliman campus with degrees in B.S. Psychology and B.S. Civil Engineering said in a text message to GMA News Online: "Relax nalang. Don't skip breakfast. Don't drink too much water, sayang time for bathroom breaks. Save partying for after UPCAT. Drink multivitamins or an energy drink or coffee para di antukin. Don't hesitate, trust your gut feel. 
 
"And pray pala muna to involve Him from above," he added.  
 
Save Philippine Seas co-founder Anna Oposa, the first Filipino and youngest recipient of the Future for Nature Award in the Netherlands in 2012, advised, "Go early because you might get lost finding your test venue! Don't drink too much water before and during the test because you won't be allowed to keep going to the restroom. Bring an umbrella. It could rain and you don't want to get stranded in your test venue."
 
"The UPCAT is not the only measure of your intelligence, so don't think that your future depends on this test," she added in a text message to GMA News Online. 
 
Up-and-coming musician Migi de Belen, who also goes by the name Nights of Rizal, said, "Statistically, it's better to make an educated guess than to leave an item blank. Research shows that test-makers like to put correct answers in letters B or C."
 
He also added, "Answer all easy items first. Lahat naman sila tig-1 point eh, so if you're stuck on a question, move on and get back to it later." — JDS, GMA News
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