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Examiner advises UPCAT takers: Be early, bring a snack, keep phones on silent mode

(Updated 1:57 p.m.) Be early, bring a snack, and keep your phones on silent mode. These are among the 12 tips for students taking the University of the Philippines College Admission Test this weekend – all from one of the examiners of the UPCAT.

"Having served in the administration of the UPCAT for half a decade, I have some tips for examinees that should make their UPCAT experience a little less stressful (and hopefully more memorable)," Arlyn Palisoc Romualdo said in an article posted on the UP System website.

The tips touched on the test requirements, the test venue, and the examinees' conduct during the test itself. These include:

Test Permit and requirements

1. Write the information needed on the test permit, which is computer-generated and may lack required details such as the examinee's signature and even date of birth. Examinees may want to review their test permits for missing information, and fill them before getting to the testing hall.

2. Check if part of the dry seal on the test permit is stamped on your photo. If not, report it to the Office of Admissions before the actual testing date.

Testing Hall
3. Know your testing hall in advance, and try to visit the test center a week before the test. Many examinees have arrived at the testing halls late because they got lost.

4. Be early.

5. Bring good quality pencils, "not too light but not too dark."

6. Do not bring scratch paper for computations. "We will provide this for you. The scratch paper we issue is the only paper you must use," Romualdo said.

7. Submit the required documents or at least keep them ready for submission.


8. Turn off your cell phone or put it on silent mode - don't even put it on vibrate, to avoid distractions. "If you forget or refuse to do this and you get a message or a call, you not only disturb your fellow examinees. You also get dagger looks from them," Romualdo said.

9. Bring a snack. Examinees are allowed to eat it any time during the exam. However, examinees are urged to bring snacks that would not bother fellow examinees. Romualdo suggested "something that is not noisy to unwrap or eat and something that is not too odorous."

10. Try to be calm instead of anxious.

11. Do not ask the proctor or examiner about certain items on the test booklet. Romualdo said proctors or examiners can entertain clarificatory questions about the instructions or reports of irregularities in the numbering of items or pages, if some are missing or duplicated - but not questions about the test items themselves.

Meanwhile, Romualdo warned examinees against attempting to cheat - something that can get them out of the UP before they can even get in.
"(D)o not even attempt to cheat. In fact, do not even think about trying to cheat, unless you want to say goodbye to the UPCAT and your chance to study in UP," she said.

The UPCAT will be held in several testing centers nationwide this weekend. In Metro Manila, the two centers are the UP campuses in Diliman and Manila.  — Joel Locsin /LBG, GMA News