The University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) for academic year 2021-2022 will not push through, UP announced Tuesday, November 10.
This announcement follows the unanimous decision of UP’s University Councils (UC), the highest academic bodies of the eight constituent universities of the UP System.
“Taking into account the uncertain trajectory and uneven spread of COVID-19 in different parts of the Philippines, majority of the UC members did not deem it feasible to administer the usual UPCAT involving around 1,600 testing personnel deployed to 94 testing centers throughout the archipelago,” the University said.
An online UPCAT will not be implemented either due to numerous concerns. “This is primarily due to the length of the exam and variety of items that would require a consistently strong Internet connection to download within the time allotted for examinees to answer,” UP explained.
The UP Board of Regents had earlier instructed the University’s Office of Admissions to come up with a modified system for next year’s intake. “This includes the use of big data analytics to arrive at a UP admission score model… as well as the determination by academic units of an additional layer of screening for particular programs,” the University said.
UP is set to start the period of application for the modified freshmen admissions system in December 2020. Applicants will still be required to submit their personal data sheets and high school records.
“While UP encourages online accomplishment and submission, it is cognizant of technological limitations and will accept manually accomplished forms,” it said.
Five scenarios were presented earlier for University officials to choose from, considering the ongoing public health crisis.
Three scenarios assumed the holding of the annual UPCAT in a paper-and-pen, online, or hybrid setups. The other options proposed the cancellation of the UPCAT in favor of mining data from applicants’ high school records and performance or a moratorium on the entry of first year students.
The University is expecting about 100,000 applicants for the upcoming academic year.