MANILA — The University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) is back, 3 years after its pandemic cancellation.
Thousands of students from Metro Manila and nearby provinces took the examination on Saturday at various testing centers at the University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City.
Some students started lining up as early as 3 a.m., as the first session of exams began at 6:50 a.m. They said they left home early to make sure they wouldn't be late.
Applicants who ABS-CBN spoke with said they want to pass the UPCAT because UP is their dream school, while some students cited practicality.
"Para sa family kailangan galingan ko talaga. Para ma-lessen na rin 'yung financial problems namin kasi gusto ko rin po mag-retire nang maaga 'yung magulang ko," said UPCAT taker Antwone Buban.
For this year's UPCAT, UP officials said they added more testing centers around the country — like in Siargao, Dinagat Islands, and Basilan — to make sure more students, especially those living in rural areas and disadvantaged communities, have the opportunity to enter the state university.
"Other experiments with tweaking of admission process to get those deserving students from disadvantaged high schools and communities meron tayong mga ideas to tweak the UPCAT para ma-identify sila using data science para mabigyan sila ng opportunity," said UP President
All in all, 37,000 students are expected to take the exam at the UP main campus this weekend, while the rest of the 70,000 plus applicants are spread out in 102 testing centers all over the country.
The UPCAT is known to be one of the toughest college entrance tests, taken by hundreds of thousands of applicants annually.