UPCAT Reviewer

Last Updated on 12/12/2020 by FilipiKnowOpens in a new tab.

Are you an honor student who is still unsure of your readiness to take UPCAT?

Or an average student hoping to pass the exam despite your mediocre high school gradesOpens in a new tab.?

Whatever the case, rest assured that U.P. provides equal chances to all students.

Who cares if you didn’t perform as well as you had hoped in high school? At this point, you can still redeem yourself by giving your best shot in UPCAT.

And it all starts with having a good, reliable UPCAT reviewer to improve your test-taking skills.

upcat reviewer 1

Table of Contents

Why UPCAT reviewer is better than traditional review centers.

Aside from hefty enrollment fees, review centers often promise more than they deliver.

Students have different weaknesses or subject areas they need to focus more time on. Unfortunately, most review centers are driven by profit so they’re more concerned about filling as many seats as possible than fulfilling each student’s individual needs.

READ: How to Pass UPCAT Without Review Center: Best Tips from UP Students and AlumniOpens in a new tab.

In contrast, studying at your own pace allows you to choose the areas to concentrate on. And the more UPCAT practice tests you take, the better you become in choosing the right answer no matter how difficult the question is.

A lot of UPCAT passers aced the exam without relying on review centers. And if you’re going to ask them today, they will all agree that UPCAT pales in comparison to the college exams waiting for you in U.P.

Therefore, develop the discipline and self-reliance as early as now by reviewing on your own. There will be no review centers to help you out once you make it to U.P.


How to use this UPCAT reviewer.

As you might already know, your score in the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) constitutes 60% of the University Predicted Grade or UPGOpens in a new tab.. The remaining 40% will be computed from your final grades in the last three years of high school.

To improve your chances of passing the UPCAT, you need not just a solid foundation in high school but familiarity with the difficulty of the exam. The latter can be achieved by taking time-pressured exams with almost the same level of difficulty as UPCAT.

Remember, when it comes to taking tests, repetition is the mother of skill. 

As a matter of fact, studies from the Journal of Experimental PsychologyOpens in a new tab. and Psychological ScienceOpens in a new tab. give credence to the phenomenon called the “testing effect” which explains that repeated testing enhances learning and long-term retention.

This UPCAT reviewer is driven by the same research-backed phenomenon.

This reviewer is divided into four sections based on the subtests that appear in the actual examOpens in a new tab.:

  • Mathematics.
  • Science.
  • Language Proficiency.
  • Reading Comprehension.

Each section features different subtopics that might appear in the actual UPCAT as well as free practice tests and answer keys to test your knowledge.

Consider these practice tests as part of the diagnostic exam, the result of which can be used to find out your weakest areas and guide you in creating your own study plan.

Once you’ve completed your initial review, you can then take the mock exam for each subtest to measure how prepared you are and to spot any weak areas you might have missed.

Each mock exam e-book also contains additional tips and tricks to help you tackle the hurdles unique for each subtest.


Update: The “Modules and Readings” sections are currently in progress. We’ve partnered with subject matter experts from U.P. to make this the best reviewer for UPCAT and other entrance exams so please understand why it’s taking a lot of time. Rest assured we’ll upload the review materials as soon as they’re available. In the meantime, please bookmark this page to get the latest updates.


1. Mathematics.

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UPCAT Math Modules and Readings.

The Mathematics subtest of the UPCAT contains questions from different topics you learned in high school. Although UPCAT questionnaires vary every year, Math questions will most likely come from the following subtopics:

a. Arithmetic and Number Sense.

  • Basic algebraic principles
  • Real and Imaginary numbers
  • Fractions, percents, decimals

b. Algebra.

  • Algebraic expressions
  • Exponents
  • Factoring
  • Cartesian Coordinate System
  • Inequalities (linear, quadratic, etc.)
  • Linear equations
  • Negative numbers
  • Polynomials (adding, subtracting, etc.)
  • Quadratic equations
  • Radicals (square roots, cube roots, etc.)
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Rational expressions
  • Squares
  • Word problems 

c. Geometry.

  • Angles
  • Area and Volume
  • Asymptotes
  • Circles (circumference, diameter, area, etc.)
  • Definitions, Postulates, and Theorems
  • Dimension calculation (length, area, etc.)
  • Euclidean geometry
  • Logic
  • Word problems

d. Trigonometry.

  • Angle Identities
  • Area and Triangle Laws
  • Basic trigonometric functions (sin, cos, tan, etc.)
  • Unit circle
  • Word problems

e. Statistics.

  • Factorials
  • Logic
  • Mean, Median
  • Probability

f. Pre-calculus and Calculus.

  • Limits
  • Basic integration
  • Basic differentiation

UPCAT Math Review Tips and Tricks.

  • Focus on the basics. Students with a good grasp of the fundamental math formulas and principles can handle even the most complex math problems. Advanced math topics like calculus are nice to learn but don’t expect them to outnumber Algebra questions in the UPCAT. Past UPCAT takers can attest that the Math subtest is typically dominated by Algebra questions and items about Geometry, Trigonometry, Statistics, and Pre-/Calculus (in descending order of dominance) are few and far between.
  • Trigonometry questions may appear but in only a few items. Review trigonometric ratios and basic applications.
  • Since calculators will not be allowed on the day of the exam, make sure you know how to compute by hand or through mental math techniques. Brush up on the multiplication table. Practice solving long division problems. You can also download a PDF copy of Speed Math for KidsOpens in a new tab. if you’re still struggling with basic calculations.
  • Supplement your math review with free YouTube tutorials. Channels like PatrickJMTOpens in a new tab. provide clear, easy-to-follow math lessons you might have missed in school.
  • Master solving math problems involving fractions. Learn how to do the four basic operations on similar and dissimilar fractions as well as how to express your answers in the lowest terms.
  • Answer as many practice tests as possible. You may not be able to cover every single math topic on your review but you’ll develop problem-solving skills that are essential in passing UPCAT. Besides, you can remember math formulas better with repeated testing/application than with rote memorization.
  • When reviewing for UPCAT, internalize, don’t memorize.  Understand the math behind every formula. If you just memorize math formulas, you’ll fall victim to formula blindness, a phenomenon wherein students fail to solve a problem because they assume the question is asking for a specific formula when in fact it requires something else. To prevent this, review how math formulas are derived so you won’t be misled to use a formula in a problem that deceptively asks for another similar formula.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Filipino translations of common math terms, shapesOpens in a new tab., and measuring units (see table below). Questions in Filipino may appear in all subtests not just in Language Proficiency and Reading Comprehension.
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UPCAT Math Practice TestOpens in a new tab.

UPCAT Math Answer KeyOpens in a new tab.

UPCAT Math Mock ExamOpens in a new tab.


2. Science.

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UPCAT Science Modules and Readings.

The UPCAT will test your stock knowledge on the general scientific concepts related to Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, and Astronomy. To ace this subtest, brush up on the following potential topics under each category:

a. Chemistry.

  • Precision and Accuracy
  • Conversion of Units
  • Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures
  • States of Matter
  • Nomenclature
  • The Periodic Table
  • Electronic Configuration and the Quantum Numbers
  • Nuclear Reactions
  • Chemical Reactions
  • Stoichiometry
  • Gas Laws
  • Redox Reactions
  • Basic Organic Chemistry

b. Biology.

  • The Ecosystem
  • Classification/Taxonomy
  • Biogeochemical Cycles
  • Plants and Photosynthesis
  • Animal Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics and Heredity
  • Human Anatomy

c. Earth Science.

d. Astronomy.

e. Physics.

  • Scalar and Vector Quantities
  • Laws of Motion
  • Relative Velocities
  • Force
  • Work, Energy, and Power
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Light, Sound, and Waves
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Thermodynamics

UPCAT Science Review Tips and Tricks.

  • Download or create your own flashcards to help you remember key terms, concepts, and formulas.
  • As with the math subtest, don’t just rely on memorization when studying scientific formulas. Understand them by heart and practice applying them to test questions with real-life scenarios.
  • Challenge yourself by answering difficult questions containing graphs and data from scientific research. These often appear in the actual UPCAT.
  • There are relatively fewer questions from Physics than from other scientific subjects but this may vary from year to year. Use critical thinking skills to analyze situations and come up with the best answers.
  • While the Science subtest usually has an even distribution of questions for all subjects, recent UPCAT takers claim that they encountered more Earth Science related questions. However, UPCAT questions are different every year so instead of letting recent trends influence how you review for the exam, take them with a grain of salt and allot an equal amount of review time to each Science subject.
  • Don’t develop the habit of simply memorizing Science concepts. Most of the UPCAT questions in this subtest are application-based meaning they will test your comprehension of ideas/concepts when applied in real-world situations, something you won’t develop if you only rely on popular reviewers (e.g. Tome of Knowledge) containing shortcuts/summaries with no context whatsoever.
  • Each time you study a concept, try to discuss it in your own words either in writing or through storytelling. This way, you will remember them better and won’t fall victim to tricky questions.

UPCAT Science Practice TestOpens in a new tab.

UPCAT Science Answer KeyOpens in a new tab.

UPCAT Science Mock Exam 


3. Language Proficiency.

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UPCAT Language Proficiency Modules and Readings.

The UPCAT Language subtest is comprised of questions in both English and Filipino. It will measure your fluency in both languages. Although we can’t predict what type of questions will appear in the actual exam, they most likely will come from the following topics:


a. Vocabulary.

  • Word Meanings
  • Spelling
  • Synonyms
  • Antonyms
  • Homonyms
  • Confusing Words

b. Grammar and Composition.

  • Parts of Speech
  • Correct Usage
  • Punctuation
  • Capitalization
  • Figures of Speech
  • Subject-verb Agreement
  • Sentence Construction
  • Modifiers
  • Active and Passive Voices
  • Essay Writing


Note: Test questions in Filipino are incorporated in both Language Proficiency and Reading Comprehension subtests).

a. Wastong Gamit
b. Bahagi ng Pananalita
c. Sawikain o Idioma
d. Tayutay
e. Paksa ng Talata

UPCAT Language Proficiency Tips and Tricks.

  • Read professionally written and edited pieces from books, journals, major broadsheets, or magazines. These reading materials are fueled by good writing so immersing in them can sharpen your vocabulary and grammar skills, not to mention help you read faster which is valuable in acing the Reading Comprehension subtest.
  • In contrast, poorly written blogs, tabloids, and similar reading materials may skew your perception of what constitutes good writing. Avoid them like a plague.
  • When writing a message through text, e-mail, or messaging app, don’t use shortcuts. People who are used to spelling words incorrectly to save time tend to dull their abilities to use proper spelling and grammar.
  • Enrich your vocabulary by learning at least one new English word a day. You can discover new words either by reading books or watching TV shows/movies. We also suggest downloading the PDF version of “The 1000 Most Common SAT Words” which features a rich collection of uncommon English words, some of which have appeared in the actual UPCAT questions in the past.
  • Use a dictionary to find the definition of unfamiliar words. Rather than relying on memorization, try using these new words in your daily writing activities or conversations for better retention.
  • Refrain from watching Tagalized movies and TV shows for now. If you want to improve your English proficiency, the best options would be informative American TV shows that use formal English like those in the Discovery, History Channel, and National Geographic, just to name a few.
  • Learn how to find the meaning of a word using context clues. This way, you can guess the answer even without a dictionary or thesaurus. For example, in the sentence “She was an assiduous student who promptly submitted her homework and projects on time,” you can infer that assiduous most likely means “studious” by merely looking at the context clues following it like “promptly” and “on time.”
  • Play games like Scrabble or Word Factory that can help expand your vocabulary and improve your logical thinking.
  • Know how to guess the meaning of words by looking at their root words, prefixes, or suffixes. For instance, “Philos” is a Greek root word which means “love” so English words that originated from it like philanthropy, philosophy, and hydrophilic all have positive connotations.
  • For the Filipino part, you can improve your vocabulary by reading literary works of Ricky Lee, Lualhati Bautista, and Jose Rizal. Questions in Filipino may also be included in the Science and Math subtests so familiarize yourself with Filipino translations of shapes, scientific terms, and the likes.
  • Practice communicating in both languages. Whether it’s through speaking or writing, the only way to improve your communication skills is through constant application. Start your own blog/vlog. Volunteer to edit articles on the Internet. Do whatever it takes to improve your language proficiency. It’s one skill that will help you succeed not just in U.P. but in the real world.

UPCAT Language Proficiency Practice TestOpens in a new tab.

UPCAT Language Proficiency Answer KeyOpens in a new tab.

UPCAT Language Proficiency Mock ExamOpens in a new tab.


4. Reading Comprehension.

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UPCAT Reading Comprehension Modules and Readings.

The UPCAT Reading Comprehension subtest is all about speed reading and quick thinking. Expect to encounter long essays that can easily consume a lot of your time if you’re not careful.

This subtest includes questions in both languages (English and Filipino) and may contain the following question types/formats:

  • Essays
  • Getting the Main Idea/Topic Sentence
  • Appropriate Title of Selection
  • Poetry
  • Short stories
  • Speeches
  • Comic Strips
  • Figures of Speech (simile, metaphors, etc.)
  • Author’s Point of View
  • Meaning Through Context Clues
  • Drawing Conclusions
  • Inference
  • Fact and Opinion
  • Literary and Textual Criticism

UPCAT Reading Comprehension Tips and Tricks.

  • Unless you’re a gifted speed reader, it’s impossible to read all the passages/stories within the allocated time of roughly 30 to 40 minutes. So instead of reading them from start to finish, go straight to the question and use the clues you can find to zero in on the answers embedded in the stories/passages.
  • Learn how to read fast while maintaining 100% comprehension. Practice with both English and Filipino reading materials. Master the art of skimming and scanningOpens in a new tab. to understand important information without reading the entire blocks of text.
  • As you can see from the “Coverage” section above, the Reading Comprehension subtest may include questions that will ask you to analyze a wide variety of reading pieces ranging from essays, lines in plays, and poems to articles containing graphs and charts similar to those appearing in the Science subtest.

UPCAT Reading Comprehension Practice TestOpens in a new tab.

UPCAT Reading Comprehension Answer KeyOpens in a new tab.

UPCAT Reading Comprehension Mock Exam 


UPCAT 101: An Ultimate Guide to the University of the Philippines College Admission Test.

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1. How to Apply for UPCAT: An Ultimate GuideOpens in a new tab..

Ready to take on the challenge of preparing for UPCAT? Learn basic facts about this challenging entrance exam including who is qualified to take it, the requirements, application process, and other frequently asked questions about UPCAT.

2. How to Choose a Course in UP: A Guide to Quota and Non-Quota CoursesOpens in a new tab..

Learn the truths and myths behind quota and non-quota courses in UP, as well as tips on how to pick the right course.

3. How to Review for UPCAT: A Definitive Guide to UPCAT CoverageOpens in a new tab..

To help you gain the upper hand in UPCAT, we’ve compiled the UPCAT coverage based on the experiences of recent UPCAT takers.

4. How to Get Into UP Even with Low or Average High School GradesOpens in a new tab..

The UPCAT is designed to give a fair chance to all students from all walks of life to pass and study in UP. If you’re one of those high school students that don’t think you have a good chance of passing the UPCAT, read on to find out how you can get a fighting chance.

5. How to Take the UPCAT: Tips to Remember to Make it Through the Examination DayOpens in a new tab..

To help you prepare for the Big Day, we’ve compiled the best tips from past UPCAT takers on what to do before, during, and after the UPCAT.

6. How to Enter UP Without Taking the UPCATOpens in a new tab..

UPCAT is not the only way you can get into UP. Sounds interesting? Here are the different ways you can get into UP without taking the UPCAT.

7. How to Study in UP Without Passing the UPCATOpens in a new tab..

Did you fail the UPCAT but are still determined to study in UP? All hope is not lost. Check out the different ways you can still gain an admission slot.

8. How to Check UPCAT Results: A Step-by-Step GuideOpens in a new tab..

Your UPCAT journey is about to conclude. In this article, you’ll know more about when, how, and where the UPCAT results will be posted.

9. How to Compute UPG in UPCAT: A Complete GuideOpens in a new tab..

Do you want to know your chances of entering UP? Read on to find out more about the deciding factor of your application, the UPG.

10. How to File an Appeal for Reconsideration of UPCAT ResultOpens in a new tab..

Find out how you can file an appeal for reconsideration of UPCAT result and how to get into your dream course/campus in case your reconsideration gets rejected.


Frequently Asked Questions About the UPCAT.

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1. What is the UPCAT?

The University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) is the primary qualifying exam to gain admission into the University of the Philippines.

2. Why should I take the UPCAT?

Besides being one of the top-ranked universities in the Philippines, UP boasts quality education, state-of-the-art facilities, and free tuition and other school fees.

3. How many UPCAT takers are there per year?

upcat faq 1

From 2018 to 2020, there has been an average of 100,000 UPCAT applicants every year. The number of UPCAT takers has increased throughout the years because of the implementation of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act in 2017 which waived all tuition fees for students enrolled in state universities and colleges.

Meanwhile, the low number of UPCAT examinees in the years 2017-2016 was due to the implementation of the K-12 curriculum.

4. When will the UPCAT take place?

The UPCAT application process usually starts around July or August. The UPCAT exam is then administered around September or October of the same year. Finally, the results usually come out around March or April.

5. What is the passing rate for the UPCAT?

Referring to the graph above, if we remove the data from 2017-2016, the average passing rate for the UPCAT is 14-15%.

6. Is the UPCAT hard?

While it is a comprehensive exam, many UPCAT takers would say that it is not excessively difficult. The low passing rate can be attributed to the large number of applicants vying for limited slots within the university.

7. Do I need to enroll in a review center to pass the UPCAT?

No. A review center will be helpful but is not necessary to pass the UPCAT. Enrolling in a review center will also not guarantee that you will pass the UPCAT. To know more about how to pass the UPCAT without attending a review center, check out this articleOpens in a new tab..

8. What happens if I fail the UPCAT?

Failing the UPCAT means that you will not be able to gain an admission slot in UP. If you failed the UPCAT but still want to study in UP, check out this article.Opens in a new tab.

9. Is UPCAT right minus wrong?

Yes. For every wrong answer that you incur, you will be deducted 0.25 from your total score.

10. Should I leave blank spaces if I don’t know the answer during the UPCAT?

As much as possible, no. Even though the UPCAT has the right minus wrong scheme, it is still advisable that you make educated guesses when possible. If you 100% don’t know the answer to an item, then that’s the time you leave it blank.

Related: How to Answer Multiple Choice Questions Like a ProOpens in a new tab.

11. Are we allowed to use calculators in the UPCAT?

No, but you will be given scratch papers for computation.

12. Is there an essay portion in the UPCAT?

Sometimes. There have been UPCATs in the past where there was an essay portion, while some did notOpens in a new tab.. To be prepared, assume that there will be an essay portion.

13. Can an average or struggling student pass the UPCAT?

Yes. The UPCAT is designed to give a fair chance for all deserving students to study in UP. To know more about how to make it to UP with low or average grades, check out this articleOpens in a new tab..

14. Can I retake the UPCAT if I fail the first time?

No. You can only take it once.

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