UP says no entrance exam for next academic year due to COVID-19

MANILA, Nov 10 (Mabuhay) — The University of the Philippines (UP) has decided it would not hold a college entrance examination for academic year 2021-2022, citing logistical problems posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The University Councils (UC) of UP’s 8 constituent schools “unanimously voted NOT to administer UPCAT in light of logistical issues in the paper-and-pencil testing of about 100,000 17-year old applicants,” according to a report published Tuesday on UP’s official website, citing an October 30 memorandum from the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Majority of the UC members did not deem it feasible to administer the UPCAT, which involves around 1,600 testing personnel deployed to 94 testing centers throughout the country, according to UP.

The UC members did not consider administering an online entrance exam as well since the length of the exam and variety of items required strong Internet connection, UP added.

According to the report, the UP Board of Regents, the highest governing body in the UP System, instructed the Office of Admissions (OAdms) to come up with a modified freshmen admissions system responsive to the pandemic by February 2021.

“This includes the use of big data analytics to arrive at a UP admission score model, which the OAdms, together with other concerned offices, is currently developing, as well as the determination by academic units of an additional layer of screening for particular programs, if deemed necessary,” it added.

UP said the Office of Admissions moved the start of the application period to December 2020, noting that the exact date will be announced later.

The university advised applicants for Academic Year 2021 to 2022 to “watch for further announcements from the OAdms.”

The admission test to the Philippines’ premier state university is one of the country’s most competitive college entrance exams, with just a small percentage of takers passing every year.

Several colleges and universities already waived entrance examinations this year due to the continued threat of COVID-19, and assessed applicants based on their high school grades instead. Other higher education institutions chose to hold online admissions tests.(MNS)

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