There won’t be an UPCAT 2021, but UP is exploring this admission alternative

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Image: University of the Philippines

Since it’s the premier university, UP has been the dream school for thousands of students across the country for so long. Quality education doesn’t come easy, though, that’s why they do their hardest, even attend review centers and pay for tutorials, to pass the university’s first hurdle: the UPCAT.

But that won’t be the case next year — in a statement released by the University of the Philippines last November 10, next year’s UPCAT is canceled. This answers students’ speculation as to why the anticipated admission exam didn’t take place as it was scheduled to last October 10 and 11.

Similar to the reasons that the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and University of Santo Tomas (UST) gave for deferring their own admission exams, UP cites the ongoing pandemic as the reason for foregoing the UPCAT. 

If the traditional UPCAT is a no-go, will UP weigh one’s eligibility to enroll as a freshman? 

In a UP Board of Regents meeting last October 29, the BOR discussed five scenarios in administering UPCAT 2021, one of which involved a “modified admissions system,” where UP will mine the applicants’ previous records to arrive at their UPG, or University Predicted Grade.

This means that UP, without the decisive basis that is the UPCAT, will employ data analytics to look into an applicant’s personal data sheet, high school records, other references of past performance, and even testimonies instead to determine their eligibility to enter UP. 

This is akin to Ateneo’s strategy for the selection of new students next year.

While this already sets faulty precedents for some — questions of patronage, a lack of a fair model to transmute various grading values, 

and initial doubt in a strictly accurate data analytics system — this might so far be the best option UP has at hand.

But hey, at least having to flock to UP just to take a test in the middle of a pandemic wouldn’t be anyone’s worry anymore.

How to apply for UP

In December 2020, UP will begin accepting applications for admission. Applicants must accomplish the UPCAT Application Form 1 (Personal Data Sheet) and Form 2 (High School Records).

These may be submitted online via the UPCAT website, or manually to the Office of the University Registrar in UP Diliman, Quezon City. Stay tuned to the Office of Admissions’ official website and Facebook page for the exact starting date of the application period.


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