How to Compute UPG in UPCAT: A Complete Guide

Last Updated on 05/06/2021 by FilipiKnow

The University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) is the qualifying exam for all who aspire to study at the University of the Philippines (UP), the top-ranking university in the Philippines.

Reviewing for the UPCAT? Check out our Ultimate UPCAT Reviewer

But the basis for admission into UP does not rely on the UPCAT alone; it also takes into consideration your high school grades, socioeconomic status, geographic location, and other factors. The aggregate score for all of these factors is known as the University Predicted Grade (UPG)

If you’re one of those aspiring UPCAT applicants who want to know their chances of entering UP, read on to find out more about the deciding factor of your application, the UPG. 


What is UPG?

Prior to the 1970s, admission into UP solely depended on whether you were at the top of your class in high school OR if you passed the UP entrance exam that they administered. However, UP found that this method was flawed as delinquency rates in the University at the time were high. 

The University Predicted Grade was first introduced in 1976 by UP Professor Dr. Romeo Manlapaz Jr. as a predictive tool to assess an applicant’s performance in college if ever they were admitted in UP. Since then, the UPG has been used as the basis for admission in UP.


How do they compute the UPG?

1. The UPG Formula.

how to compute upcat upg 1

2. Breakdown.

Using the data from the 1973 UPCAT batch, Dr. Manlapaz Jr. produced the first UPG formula. The UPG combines standardized UPCAT scores and the average of an applicant’s high school grades from their freshman to junior years or grades 9 to 11 (for K-12 students).

Throughout the years, the UPG has been modified and enhanced in order to improve the equality of the UPCAT application process.

In simpler terms, your UPG is 60% your UPCAT score and 40% of your high school grades. Though the bulk of your UPG, these are not the only factors considered in the final assessment.

Note: Although there is a formula for the UPG, it will be hard to compute your exact UPG due to various factors aside from those stated in this article. Depending on the implementation of the UPCAT and the additional considerations for each college unit, the computation for the UPG may vary.


Palugit and Pabigat.

In 1996, the UP System introduced the Excellence-Equity Admissions System (EEAS) in an effort to give underprivileged applicants in underrepresented areas of the Philippines a fighting chance in the UPCAT. This is in response to the growing uneven nature of the UP student population.

Applicants who come from public general, vocational, and barangay national high schools are given a palugit of +0.5 in their UPG (excluding state universities and colleges and science high schools). Applicants that come from cultural minority groups are also given a palugit.

Upon applying for the UPCAT, the applicant is asked to choose his first and second choices for the UP campus they want to apply in. If an applicant chooses a UP campus that is not near his geographic location, they will be given a pabigat of -0.5 in their UPG. This is so that there will be improved regional representation in UP regional campuses.


Qualification on the basis of UPG.

After an applicant’s UPG is computed and is given the necessary palugit or pabigat, it will be ranked against all the other applicants’ UPGs. The system will then decide if you qualify for a campus or not depending on your campus choices and whether you fall under the cut-off grade for the campus.

Just to get an idea, here are the approximate cut-off grades for each campus in the 2019 UPCAT :

UP Diliman2.174
UP Baguio2.421
UP Manila2.580
UP Cebu2.700
UP Los Baños2.800
UP Mindanao2.800
UP Open University2.800

Note: The cut-off grades for each campus differs every year. Be sure to contact the local offices of the constituent university for more information.

In accordance with the EEAS, 70% of the admission slots will be granted to the applicants with the highest UPGs and 30% will go to students from underrepresented areas and minorities.


How to Know Your UPG in UPCAT.

If you failed the UPCAT, you may find out your UPG by logging into your UPCAT Application account. The UPG is given after an applicant failed to qualify in the UPCAT in order to allow them to file for appeals or reconsideration.

If you passed the UPCAT, your UPG will not be shown to you until after you enroll in UP. Once you’re a certified Iskolar ng Bayan, you may proceed to the UP Office of the University Registrar (UP OUR) and ask for your UPG.  They will then give you a small sheet of paper containing your percentile for each portion of the UPCAT.

Related: The Ultimate UPCAT Reviewer (with Free Practice Tests and Answer Keys)

Ruth Raganit

Ruth Raganit obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the University of the Philippines – Diliman. Her love affair with Earth sciences began when she saw a pretty rock and wondered how it came to be. She also likes playing video games, doing digital art, and reading manga.

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