UP studying options on holding admissions test amid COVID-19

Christian Deiparine (Philstar.com) – October 27, 2020 – 9:05pm

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s premier state university on Tuesday announced possible scenarios on how it will hold its admissions test, which draws thousands every year but will now have to adapt to changes due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Admissions director Francisco de los Reyes in a report on the university’s official website said they are looking at several ways on how UPCAT will push through. 

This includes a paper-and-pen administration that would be subject to health protocols set by the national and local governments, or an online taking of the exams. 

A hybrid method, which will involve a part of both paper-and-pen as well as online mode, is also being studied. 

Commission on Higher Education chairman Prospero de Vera had aired his concerns on universities holding entrance exams online, as he said others could answer the tests for the applicants. 

But part of the scenarios UP is studying is no longer holding the exams, where applicants’ personal data sheet and high school grades to name a few will be collected for a University Predicted Grade. 

The university is also not ruling out a complete halt in freshmen admissions, de los Reyes added. 

“[We are] holding discussions at every level over which option would be the best for all stakeholders involved,” the report said, adding that a decision may arrive from an October 29 meeting of the UP Board of Regents. 

UP said it may accept applications — with over 100,000 applicants to be considered — by the next month, should any of the four options be approved and with a target of sticking to its schedule of releasing results by April of next year. 

The release of UPCAT 2019’s results this year was delayed to April, with much of the country still in a total lockdown during the previous months due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Other universities such as Ateneo de Manila and University of Santo Tomas have opted to forego entrance exams this year, with both basing admission on certain factors such as previous academic performance, records, recommendations of teachers, and essay, to name a few. 

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