Sunday, November 22, 2009

Entrance Exams

Having read Mark's ACET Tips I realized I was a parent's total nightmare when I took my entrance exams. Honestly, UPCAT is the most difficult JUST BECAUSE it's the first college entrance exam you're going to take and you'll feel all the pressure of not knowing how an entrance exam would be like. After that, everything else is another experience to enjoy. I loved the essays they are really amazing.

Mark's tips (that are really helpful):
  • Sleep the night before the test. I cannot stress this enough as a well-rested mind and body has been proven to answer tests more correctly than the mind and body who took an all-nighter.
  • The baon that you bring during the exam should fit in your pocket. Trust me, you won't be able to eat that much. Snacks brought to the test are designed to keep you and your stomach relaxed in between breaks.
  • Do not bring Cola as refreshments. A single bottle of water will do. You don't want your stomach grumbling due to the carbon content of the Cola.
  • Bring high-quality Number 2 pencils. I don't have anything against generic brands, but you don't want your pencils screwing up during the exam. Better go with a brand you can trust.
  • Eat a full meal hours before the exam even if you don't feel eating. My parents treated me to KFC in front of Gate 3, and though I didn't want to eat, I must say that a full stomach adds to the confidence.
  • Bring/Wear/Borrow a watch. You will be taking the test under time pressure, and it will be helpful if you can monitor yourself. Time is more precious than gold when taking the ACET. Remember, do not dwell on one question for too long.
  • Since what will save you most of the time is your stock knowledge, it would be nice to pick up knowledge in whatever form you encounter it. From now on, read the newspaper, brush up on your reading, watch the news, etc.
  • Practice your English (seriously) and get serious with your Math. You will write an essay during the test so you also better start practicing your writing.
  • The Math will be hard, but with enough studying, you'll pull through I promise. I did!
  • Wear comfy (and decent) clothing during the ACET. Flashy clothes tend to be thicker, so better stick with the shirt and jeans. Mas presko, 'ika nga.
  • PRAY! Smiling will also help, even if the other people are wailing after finishing the exam. Positive energy attracts even more positive energy.
  • Take care of yourself days before the test. You don't want to be sick when taking the ACET.
  • Remember that it is just a test! It is completely normal to worry about it, but you shouldn't let it get the best of you.

What actually happened to me:
1. I slept 5 hours before my UPCAT.
2. I brought bottled water and a sandwich. My seatmate brought a portable thermos (I'm not kidding). Another just brought 5 Judge chewing gums. Another brought packs of cupcakes and snacks that could feed the entire row.
3. I only brought 2 Number-2 pencils and they are the "kids" type, meaning they are thicker and won't fit in your regular sharpener.
4. I didn't eat a full meal because I was hell scared that my large intestines were going to do backflips while I was shading those circles.
5. I was actually super sick during my DLSU exam that those around me thought I was crying (and I swear it's because of the colds). Haha. Also, during the DLSU exam, I wore the same thing with the girl next to me. My entrance exam uniform - black shirt, pearl earrings, and jeans. Boohoo.
6. I freaking didn't study anything because I don't know what to study. I was somewhat nervous before the UPCAT because a lot were reading notes and scanning through their reviewers. I told my brother I wasn't prepared because I didn't study anything.
7. While in line, I talked to those near me. Being friendly helps because it relieves tension, actually starts pumping up your brain and those I chatted with offered me (a lot of) food during the exam, offered me clean erasers (even though I have one), and even spare sharpeners (because they saw my huge pencils). I bring my own stuff but then being friendly has been beneficial to me for quite some time already.
8. I normally finish exams ahead of everyone else (IDK, I've been like that since grade school because I don't want to be the last in anything).
9. I never got the chance to personally know the results of my exam. The results of all my exams were 2nd hand information already. "I saw your name..." "You passed in ..." And my common response? "Oh."
10. I'm not bragging but I passed all my entrance exams (UP, Ateneo, DLSU, UST, UE). I prayed.
11. Essays in Ateneo could actually be a make-or-break thing for applicants. Not kidding.
12. Don't make entrance exams a big fuzz in your life. You'll just get stressed, tired, and depressed (with the results). It's not the measure of how intelligent you are or something because you know yourself better than all those entrance exams. You know you are smarter than your score and that these exams are not made of recycled paper so they ruin the environment.

MORAL: Check number 12.

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