So, there’s a bit of a logistics problem with the UPCAT and the A-SHAPE (Ateneo Senior High Admission and Placement Exam):

Do you see what the problem is???

Yes, you read right. UPCAT and A-SHAPE (Ateneo Senior High School Entrance Exam) are on the same day! You can already imagine the carmaggedon that’s going to go down on Commonwealth Avenue, Katipunan, and most likely, the QC circle.

If this is how EDSA looks, do you want to see that on Katipunan???
Source: GMA Network

To make matters worse, you’re also worrying about whatever stuff you need. Your school requirements, whether or not you’ll pass the exam, whether or not you’ll meet your parents’ expectations, and the sort. And this traffic is definitely not going to help!

So what can you do to avoid this tangled mess and lower the stress? Here are 5 ways you can help avoid the traffic:

1. Don’t pass the main thoroughfare roads.

cubao traffic
That’s Cubao by the way…
Source: ABS CBN

Main thoroughfare roads are roads that people always pass through to get to those areas. For example, the QC circle will definitely be a mess. Commonwealth also and Katipunan most especially. Since there’s nothing you can do about those entry points, you can save time by avoiding the other roads that get to those roads.

One road you can avoid is Cubao. Why? Cubao is the main terminal for going North, South, East, and West. You have the MRT and the LRT there. You also have a wide range of bus stops. So, it’s going to be Traffic City. If you’re coming from the South (i.e. Makati or Alabang), might we suggest going through Greenhills? Greenhills will most likely be a little more clear due to the schools there such as ICA, Xavier, and La Salle Greenhills not having any class. Your only contenders may as well be those who go to Shoppesville first thing in the morning.

Another place to avoid: White Plains. While it does directly link to Katipunan, it’s also going to take in the spill-over from EDSA. It’s also the basin that takes in those who are trying to make their way to Pasig. However, you can still get to White Plains via Santolan especially if you take the Greenhills route.

2. Stay a night near the exam area.

Oracle Hotel

This might be a bit pricy but if you have friends who are walking distance from the area, you can make a small request to bunk with them for the night. This not only lessens the stress of going there but it also saves you time in driving towards the area.

Some other places to stay along Katipunan Avenue include Oracle Building. It’s right across Ateneo and you can wake up early to walk your way there. You can reserve and check if they have rooms here.

3. Carpool

If you have friends or classmates who are taking the exam at the same time as you, go with them. Why? Not only do you lessen the number of cars on the road, but you also get to have a support system to help yourself get ready for the exam. You’ll be doing the Ozone Layer and other people a favor by lowering the number of sources of greenhouse gases and lessening the traffic.

Besides, carpooling will at least keep roads wide enough for you to get there on time.

4. Leave at least 2 hours before your exam time.

Do not have faith in the Philippines in fixing their traffic problems because it never will happen. Metro Manila is the cesspool of all traffic that it’s even become a joke among drivers: “If you can drive in Metro Manila, you can drive anywhere!” Based on Rappler, Metro Manila is also known as the most congested city!

If you wanna know more about why it is, you can find the article here.

So, leave at least 2 hours early. Remember, you’re not the only one taking the exam. You also have people from the provinces taking the exam with you. And some of these provinces don’t have testing sites near them so, they’re coming all the way from God knows where just so they can have a fighting chance to get into UP or Ateneo.

5. Know your shortcuts.

Every place has a shortcut or what is also known as the road less traveled. If you’re aware of the shortcuts, you’ll be able to get there faster. Ateneo and UP, as big as they are, have a ton of shortcuts. If you want to know more about shortcuts especially in Ateneo, check our article here.

6. Download Waze.

If you have Google Maps, that’s a good alternative. Waze is a good app to keep because it shows you some roads that people don’t take. While it’s not completely infallible (sometimes, even the driver knows more than Waze), it’s good to have it so that the driver can assess where it’s best to pass.

You can download it through these links:

waze apple

With these tips, you should be able to get to your UPCAT exam or your A-SHAPE exam more easily than expected.

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