College entrance test season can be tough on students. What with balancing your academics with pending applications and entrance exam coverage. The next one coming up is the University of Santo Tomas Entrance Test (USTET). How does one prepare for it?
The USTET is it’s designed like a comprehensive exam of the basic high school curriculum. So get ready to see things you’ve learned from grade 8 and on. But don’t worry, as long as you’re primed and prepped, you’ll be good to go.
By now, you should have registered for the USTET. Take note of the following details: your testing center, your room number, and your exam schedules.
For school year 2019-2020, the testing dates are as follows: September 23, 2018 (Sunday), October 14, 2018 (Sunday), and December 2, 2018 (Sunday).
Protect your test permit at all cost! If you were issued a soft copy of your test permit, print it out. Secure it in a plastic envelope so it doesn’t get wet or damaged. Pre-pack your exam bag with your permit, your pencils, water, and light and consumable snacks.
If you have the time, visit the UST campus in advance to avoid getting lost on the day of your exam. And hey, when you get there, why not snap up some pics? It’s home to some of the most beautiful historical architecture in Manila!
Here are some tips for your exam prep.
1. Know the coverage and watch out for your weak points.
The USTET is comprised of 4 parts: English, math, science, and mental ability.
Math will cover geometry, algebra, arithmetic, and trigonometry. The science section is a mix of physics, chemistry, biology, life and earth sciences, and a bit of astronomy. As for English, prepare for questions on grammar, vocabulary, structure, composition, and reading comprehension.
If you’ve got weak subjects in the coverage, focus on these areas when studying for the test.
2. Take practice IQ tests and logic quizzes in preparation for the Mental Ability section.
The Mental Ability section tests you on abstract ideas, logic, general knowledge, and common sense. This section functions like an Intelligence Quotient (IQ) test, and yet it’s also part of the scoring. So take it seriously. You’ll be given 30 minutes to answer 80 questions so know how to budget your time as well.
3. Don’t just rely on your stock knowledge for the exam.
There’s a common mindset that the USTET is easy because you’ve “learned this all before.” But remember, you’ll be competing against a lot of exam takers and applicants. The stakes are still high, and you don’t want to be careless.
Don’t just rely on what you think you remember from grades 7 through 9. You’ll be challenged by time constraints and huge chunks of information. Better go back and review everything in advance.
4. Practice math problems, review science flashcards, and read in your spare time.
Salvage your old notes. Enroll in a college review center. Make your own reviewers and flashcards.
For the past few years, the math section has been heavy on geometry and computation. You won’t have your calculator, so be prepared. Science is quite spaced out, so be well-rounded with your reviewing. Also, one tip for the English portion is reading classical literature to prepare for tricky words, sentences, and literary references.
5. Don’t leave anything blank!
Budget your time wisely during the test so you can answer all the questions. If you’re taking too long on a certain item, skip to the next one. When you’ve left a blank question, make an educated guess and shade it in.
The USTET does not have a right-minus-wrong rule. So it’s better to take a chance and shade that item you might leave blank. Who knows, you might get it right and get a higher score!
6. For Design and Architecture applicants, be prepared for a special on-the-spot drawing exam.
Applicants to courses like Painting, Interior Design, Industrial Design, and Architecture will have to take a drawing test apart from the USTET. While your exam scores are prioritized over the drawing results, this exam plays a part in your acceptance as well. This is to assess your style and the visual skills needed for your course.
Before the test, build up your style. Work on your dimensions and shading, as USTET passers say knowledge of this is a bonus. During the test, take time to meditate and calm yourself.
The night before, get enough rest. Don’t cram but just lightly review. Psych yourself up with positive thoughts and intentions. Good luck USTET takers!