Getting into the University of the Philippines is no easy feat. UP is, after all, the top ranking university in the whole country and remains at par with the world’s most competitive educational institutions. To get into UP, students must pass the UP College Admission Test or the UPCAT. Hundreds of thousands take this every year with only a handful getting the much desired slots. Before preparing for the test, it’s important to know as much as you can about the exam and the UP System.

Part 1 of UPCAT: Choosing a UP Campus

There are nine UP campuses that you can apply to – UP Manila, UP Diliman, UP Los Baños, UP Visayas, UP Mindanao, UP Baguio, UP Cebu, and UP Open University, and UP BGC. Each campus offers different courses. Before choosing your campus, it would be wise to look up the programs offered first.

UPCAT Eligibility

You are only eligible to take the UPCAT if you are a high school graduate from 2018 or earlier, a senior high school graduate expecting to graduate before July 2019, and have not taken any college course or taken the UPCAT before.

UPCAT Subjects

The subjects covered in the UPCAT are basically language proficiency in both English and Filipino, Reading Comprehension in English and Filipino, Science and Math.  #EverythingInEnglishAndFilipino


The UPG or the University Predicted Grade is a combination of the UPCAT scores (60%) and high school grades (40%).

Campus Preferences

You can list two preferred campus choices when you apply for the UPCAT. UP uses your UPG to determine if you pass a campus or not. For example in order to get into UP Manila, your UPG must range from 2.1 and 2.2. For UP Diliman, its around 2.2. Its 2.3 for UPLB and 2.6 for UP Baguio. So on and so forth. Given that, if you have a specific campus in mind such as UP Diliman, its best to get high grades and a good UPCAT score. Oh the choices.

Course Selection

Aside from choosing two campuses, you can also choose two courses. They determine whether you pass that course based on your aptitude in a specific part in the UPCAT.

For example, if you choose an Engineering course, you must score high in the math part. On the other hand, if you choose a Communications course, the basis would be your language and reading comprehension scores. It’s all about the fit. UP won’t process your second choice if you already passed your first chosen course. If you pass the UPCAT but don’t meet the requirements of your two choices, you will need to pick a course where you qualify.

UPCAT Preparation

You can elevate your chances to get into UP by taking AHEAD’s UPCAT review. AHEAD’s test-based review ensures you will only review the things that will most likely appear in the actual exam. All lecturers graduated from the top 3 universities in the country. You will surely learn from the best.

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