No sweat Ustet?

A closer look at the University’s admissions test: No sweat Ustet?
First step into getting admitted to UST. Every year, thousands of freshmen applicants take a shot at the University of Santo Tomas Entrance Test (Ustet) and see if they are worthy of admission into one of the most prestigious schools in Asia. Photo by KERWIN PATRICK M. MERCADAL

THE COLLEGE entrance exam is supposed to be the test to beat for high school graduates to get into top universities like UST. Supposedly, the exam is meant to admit only the best students and the cream of the crop.

But is that true of the UST Entrance Test (Ustet)?

No, said several incoming freshmen. Yes, said the Office for Student Admissions (Ofad).

“The Ustet was really easy since most of the questions were just basic knowledge in high school,” Michael Dy, an incoming Medical Technology freshman, told the Varsitarian.

Also, every start of the academic year, Thomasians, mostly freshmen, would discuss the Ustet in the Thomasian online forum Many would comment how the Ustet is easy to pass compared with other college entrance exams.

“The Ustet was easy when I took it,” Communication Arts junior Michelle Lopez said. “And it seems until now that the University’s entrance test is the same.”

Teachers and professors said that based on the quality of freshmen admitted to UST, the Ustet might not be doing its job.

Faculty of Arts and Letters and Graduate School Prof. Florentino Hornedo said he has doubts about the quality of Ustet.

“Most of the freshmen that I have handled were very poor in language proficiency and they do not even know how to read properly,” Hornedo said. “The quality that we strive for must show in the true abilities of students who are admitted in UST because any lack of quality somewhere along the line is a point against the entrance test’s quality.”

Hornedo explained that UST had a different process of admission during his time in the 60’s. There was no entrance test but the applicant was required to submit his high school credentials.

“This was called the ‘non-selective admission’,” he said.

But then the students underwent very competitive “selective retention” which was non-negotiable. A subject must not be failed twice by a student or else he would be debarred from the University no matter how high his grades were in other subjects.

Now, the selective retention is not as demanding, Hornedo said. Only a student who gets failing grades corresponding to nine units or more could be debarred. This nine-unit rule would also not apply to freshmen during their first semester of residency in UST. There are now more chances being given by the University to recover a student’s academic deficiencies and prolong his degree programs.

“Ustet applicants these days are spoiled,” Hornedo said. “Now we wonder if the University’s criteria are good enough by which to judge a future Thomasian.”

Don’t sweat it

An applicant’s admission to the University is based on his performance in the Ustet, and his high school grades in Mathematics, English and Science with a 40 per cent cut-off. The quotas and other requisites are required by the specific programs are set by respective dean’s offices and integrated in the evaluation of the applicants.

Ofad director Lucila Ortiz-Bance said that the system ensures that only quality students are admitted to UST.

“One of the objectives of our office is to assess the applicant’s mental and academic characteristics and to guide his development in the University,” Bance said.

The Ustet questions are compiled by a board composed of educators from different faculties and colleges in the University. The questions are derived from high school text books mostly authored by Thomasian teachers. The selection of questions is determined through a series of tests answered by high school and college students that should represent certain academic and psychological proficiencies.

Bance explained that unlike the other college entrance tests, Ustet focuses more on the intelligence quotient, an indication of the applicant’s general ability to adapt to academic situations.

Bance said that if the scores of the applicant’s achievement tests are lower than or not consistent with the results of his mental ability test, he can be characterized as an underachiever who may not be able to maximize his potentials; he may be denied admission to the University.

In addition to the Ustet, an applicant’s average grade in Math, English and Science during the first three years in high school is a factor, as specified in the Admission Policy Guidelines and Conditions in the Student Handbook.

“Ustet would never give the applicants what they have not learned just to make things difficult,” Bance added. “What they have learned in high school is very important to serve as guidelines for them when they enter college.”

The moral appraisal of an applicant is also required and some colleges such as the College of Nursing and the Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management would set interviews before or during the confirmation of enrollment.

As an additional requirement, applicants to the Conservatory of Music, College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD) are required to take special ability tests.

“These colleges could not only depend on the results of Ustet for the University to produce progressive artists in the future,“ Music faculty secretary Antonio Africa said.

Africa explained that the special ability test of Music is composed of two sessions: first is the specialized and “sight-seeing” audition, which would require an applicant to sing or play a musical instrument of his choice and read musical notes. The second is a written diagnostic test that covers basic knowledge in music.

“An applicant must pass the special ability test to be admitted in his preferred program in the Conservatory even though he has already passed the Ustet,” Africa said. “Because it is the special ability test where an applicant can be evaluated closely if he really deserves to be in the program.”

CFAD and Architecture have a similar concept in determining the applicant’s admission.

“Architecture’s ability test focuses more on structures while CFAD deals in designs and abstracts,” Sanchez said. “But both colleges are in the branch of the visual arts in which the creativity of the hand is a primary requirement.”

Global by 2011

Currently, UST has 19 provincial and four international testing centers. Philippine schools in China have invited the University to install an international testing center in Beijing, where a fast-growing number of Filipinos and Filipino-Chinese have expressed interest to enroll in UST.

“The University is continuously promoting the Thomasian vision and mission of education not only locally but also internationally through a dynamic and systematic orientation program,” Bance said.

Ofad, with the assistance of the Santo Tomas E-Service Provider, has also been preparing the on-line Ustet application that may be available for the academic year 2008-2009. This, according to Bance, would be a way for applicants to be given convenient means of applying for admission.

As Ustet goes global, Thomasians like Dy and Hornedo hope that the exam’s gate-keeping role would allow only truly deserving students to enter the University and maintain its global standards.


  1. Im a Thomasian and I am a bit frustrate with the number of dumb people studying in UST. I was an honor student dusring High School and I also passed the exams of Ateneo and DLSU but I chose UST because of Med tech course. My friends who study in other top universities like UP, DLSU and ADMU bully me and say that students who study in UST are dumb and merely, rejects of their schools.

    Please make UST harder and be more selective. Thank you.

    • I’m sorry pero I just HAD to reply to this comment na ngayon ko lang nakita.

      Product din ako ng Medical Technology program ng USTe and I’m currently a freshman student at the University’s Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.

      Nakakairita naman at nakakapanghinayang kasing marinig ang comment na ito na galing sa isang kapwa estudyante na galing din sa Med Tech.

      Nakakapanghinayang na nagpapadala ka sa ‘sabi ng iba’. I would have thought that being from the BS Med Tech program, maaappreciate mo yung pagiging ‘not dumb’ ng mga tao considering na isa sa pinakamataas ang cut off DAW sa BS MT. Anyway, regardless naman kung mataas ba or mababa ang cut off ng ustet marks ng BS MT students, nakakairita pa rin dahil hindi man lang based sa facts yung pinagbasehan mo kung bakit ganoon kababa ang tingin mo sa intelectual ability ng mga kapwa mo Tomasino.

      For instance, tumitingin ka ba sa mga bulletin boards ng Faculty of Pharmacy or yung mga tarps all over the gates of the University to see na TOP PERFORMING SCHOOL (above 100 takers) for Med Tech ang UST? Or that FIVE ang topnotchers ng UST sa recently concluded Med Tech licensure exams? Paano mo naman masasabing dumb ang mga tao dito kung nakapagta-top tayo sa licensure exams?

      Hindi rin lang naman exclusive ang magandang performance na iyan sa Med Tech department. Ang Nursing, Medicine, etc. (check mo na lang sa PRC website) are also performing well sa licensure exams (which is a more objective way naman of measuring if the University’s products are at par with the standard which is deemed acceptable)

      Sure din naman ako, gaya ng mga nagcocomment sa taas na those who can’t keep up with UST’s standards are weeded out, eventually, despite USTET being ‘madali’.

      If you think that the intelectual capabilities of Thomasians around you compromise the QUALITY of education you are receiving, then feel free to the schools you have mentioned. O kaya doon sa number two ranking school sa Med Tech licensure exams kung gusto mo talaga ng Med Tech. Pwede rin namang magresearch ka pa para naman hindi ka lang nagtitiwala sa sabi-sabi lang ng ibang taong mula sa ibang paaralan.

  2. Hindi man ako taga-UST, pero ang ganitong kalakaran naman ng mga tao kapag nakapasa sa isang paaralan ay napaka-usual. Kapag sila’y nakapasa, sasabihing hindi nila ineexpect kasi pinaglaruan lang nila ‘yung test pero asahan mo, kapag hindi sila nakapasa – ANG DAMING DAHILAN . Nandyang tinamad silang mag-test, maliamig ang room , etc. Hindi lahat ng mga taga-UST ay bobo dahil walang taong bobo.


    The English translation thus read: “Darkness covers this land in a mental mist. This is the task of the University of Santo Tomas: to spread the light.”

    I think this is the reason why UST is not very selective. UST is burdened with spreading the light of education. How can an institution SPREAD quality education if it will cater only for those who are already good?

    The difficulty level of an entrance examination is not the basis of quality education… ano naman kung madali lang ang USTET? does that mean na hindi QUALITY ang edukasyon sa UST?

    UST accepts average students and turn them in to excellent individuals… UST can turn lead into gold.

    yup! bobo nga ang karamihan na pumapasok sa UST, pero lumalabas sila as “one of the finest breed of filipinos”.

  4. I think UST is still selective since aside from the USTET, there are tough interviews and other requirements to submit. Besides, if others are saying that Thomasians are dumb, it will not form the final picture of the university since it is difficult to survive a year if the student does not study well, does not keep his Catholic values and does not diligently work hard. Dumb students in UST do not survive a semster or an academic year. It is already proven by many students who fail , shift to other schools and a few graduates per college.

  5. pag nakapasok ka sa UST, sure ka ba na makakagraduate ka? hmmm…

    UST is very lax in the the USTET but very selective during graduations. karamihan ng mga bobo sa UST, hindi tumatagal at lumilipat kaagad sa ibang schools.

  6. true. hindi ganun kahirap yung USTET. ang mahirap is yung mag-stay. madami ako kilala na 1 sem pa lang suko na. and remember na kapag naka 9 units failed ka na, maghanap hanap ka na ng school. siguro hindi ganun ka-strict ang USTe sa tinatanggap nila pero strict sila sa pinapayagan nila maka-graduate and carry the name of the university.

  7. Im a Thomasian and I am a bit frustrate with the number of dumb people studying in UST. I was an honor student dusring High School and I also passed the exams of Ateneo and DLSU but I chose UST because of Med tech course. My friends who study in other top universities like UP, DLSU and ADMU bully me and say that students who study in UST are dumb and merely, rejects of their schools. Please make UST harder and be more selective. Thank you

    >> Talaga, “FRUSTRATE” ka? I suggest polishing your grammar. Simple tenses lang, di mo naman kailangan ng Master’s degree galing sa Ateneo or La Salle para malaman ang proper usage niyan. And I don’t think you are really an honor student because you can’t even capitalize properly. I haven’t experienced being bullied by people from other schools because I always present myself as a smart, well-mannered, and proud Thomasian. Marami na nga talagang bobo diyan sa UST, and since andiyan ka, nadagdagan pa ng isa. Haha. Bakit, akala mo ba walang bobo sa ibang schools? Napakaraming BOBO sa La Salle, sa Ateneo. Maraming BOBO sa mundo. At ayan, obvious naman na choice mong sumali sa samahan nila.

    Nakakailang sem ka na ba? Apparently not enough since you don’t know the quality of graduates that our venerable university produces. Siguraduhin mong ga-graduate ka bago ka magsalita ng ganyan.

  8. “It shouldn’t be the SCHOOL that carries the graduate’s honor but its the GRADUATE who should have his/her honor before anything else…”


  10. Kamusta naman ang research ng UST? Bakit kulelat pa rin sa Ateneo at UP? Ang mahal na nga ng tuition, ang olats pa rin ng output.


    • If you search the ISI web of science website, baka magulat ka sa dami ng mga ISI indexed publications ng UST (in Medicine, Science and Technology, Education, Social Sciences). Yung dami ng publications na sinasabi mo when it comes to UP and ADMU depende sa field. Even researchers from the other schools acknowledge UST’s contributions to research productivity in the country. There is still certainly room for improvement pero hindi pang board exams lang ang UST. Mag-RESEARCH ka muna bago ka mang-husga please.

  11. Ang dami dami kasing course ng UST kaya nasasabihan tayong overpopulated at diploma mill. Although agree akong may mga bobo talaga sa UST pero madami ding ganyan sa Ateneo at kahit sa La salle. Kung tutuusin?preatigious ang UST kaya mdami kaming courses kasi kailangan din ng madaming students. Hindi naman lajat ng 20,000 freshmeb na tinatanggap sa UST ay may utak.

  12. The difficulty of a college admission exam does not gauge the quality of education that the school is offering.

    UP, AdMU and DLSU may have the hardest college exams in the country but it doesn’t equate that all those people who passed the exam were above average already.

    Look at the case of Ryan Cayabyab’s daughter, she failed UPCAT but still managed to enter and graduated with honors. Who would have thought that failing UPCAT is not the end if one wants to enter the university (as long as you have connections)

    For sure, In the Ateneo and La Salle, they have reconsideration cases.

    To conclude, college admission exams is not the sole basis of the quality of education that the university offers. Its the quality of education they obtained during their grade school and high school years.

  13. I believe that it’s not UST’s fault (or the USTET’s level of difficulty) that enters the university is not good in terms of their readiness in entering college. It’s the quality of education they obtained from their High Schools (or even their Grade School Education). It’s a hidden fact that 7 out of 10 students who passed UPCAT, ACET and DLSUCET were products of various review centers like MSA. Only a few really passed the exam just by themselves and yet those who were products of these review centers are those who likes to brag their achievement. Those people who enters UP, AdMU and DLSU came from those private high schools and even International Schools that offers the best high school program in the country whereas those who enters UST came from average to below average high schools in the country. In fact 4 out of 10 who enters UST came from public high schools (most of them are with honors. There’s a difference between an honor student from a private school to a public one. That’s the reason why UST is still a non elitist school since it caters to all people from different classes. UP, AdMU, DLSU and UST are all the same in terms of their academic performance. It’s just that UST and even UP still tries to reach out to Class C students who wants to have a good education. USTET is an exam that basically gauge the student’s eligibility to enter college and not to hinder them to get a good college education. UST is a silverlining to most public schools graduates that they can still have a good college education without breaking a bank. The Philippine Government through the Department of Education should to something to improve the quality of Basic Education in public schools in the country. I’m expecting that Sec. Armin Luistro’s K+12 Plan will do miracles in our Public Basic Education System.

  14. Kaasar! Meron akong nabasang forum na gawa ng mga Atenista entitled “MADAMI BANG BOBO SA UST?”. Ang yabang at ang feeling ng forum na yun. Excuse me pero hindi bobo an g mga taga UST. Marahil average students lang ang nagaaral dito pero madami din ang matalino!

    • hindi mo na dapat pinapatulan ang mga ganung posts online.

      They can say whatever they want to say. We’re not even sure if they are real Ateneans. Don’t believe in everything you read online.

      If you’re a true Thomasian, you shouldn’t be affected by those negative comments about our alma mater. We know better.
      UST is a great institution.

      Mag-aral ka na lang mabuti and enjoy your college life! 🙂

  15. In my experience, it’s true that the USTET was waaay easy compared to UPCAT and ACET (“was” kasi ang basis ko ay yung USTET, ACET at UPCAT that I took in 2006, malay n’yo nagbago na yung difficulty level).

    But you equate college entrance exam difficulty with quality of graduates?

    Is there a research study done to correlate the two variables and if there is one, has proved that there is a significant relationship?

    All that we are saying and quoting AREN’T absolutely true until verified by studies or other compelling evidence. So for others who are saying that UST is for the morons just because of the USTET, you are stereotyping as well as generalizing… which are plain erroneous.

  16. In 2007, the number of UST freshmen were 12, 765. Four years later, only 7,717 graduated. I know because I am one of those 7,717 Quadricentennial graduates. Yes, USTET is easy. There are good and not-so-good reasons for this. But I’ve seen classes of 50 shrinking to 30 or even less (graduating classes of Chem, Physics and Math in our college usually consists of 15-20 students). I’ve witnessed classmates dropping out, being irregular, or leaving the school because they cannot cope up with the demands. I can definitely say that it’s easy to enter UST but the demands and requirements during the four-five years of stay in UST are certainly not. Just think of the system as a funnel: the wide outer part permits students from all walks of life to experience Thomasian education, but the narrow part only permits a few to pass through.


  17. hilarious, people are fighting cause of which school is dumb, smart or whatever… okay, the truth is in ALL schools, there are people who are both smart and dumb… PERIOD. so don’t need to fight and be too defensive about which is better…

    and grades and board exams are totally dependent on the STUDENT, not the school… the schools are there just to guide… it’s all in the student’s power to achieve something or not…


  18. Well, take AMV-College of Accountancy, Engineering, Architecture, the sciences, and nursing, not everyone who entered as a 1st yr there end up graduating. Only those who are worthy or academically sound gets to graduate.

  19. hindi porket easy ang USTET e dumb na ang mga students ng UST, there are lots of professionals worldwide who is a product of UST. and it doesn’t mean na porket dumb and student e mababa na ang quality of education na binibigay ng school. i passed entrance exam from various universities here in our country but still i choose UST. nasa student naman yan e.

  20. I strongly agree to the news report that ustet seems to be a not-so-difficult college entrance exam, according to some of my friends who also took the the UPCAT and entrance exams of la salle and admu.
    Correct me if I’m wrong but most of the ads that I see posted by MSA, review center for college entrance test of different schools: I don’t see that ust is there in their list, most of the time it’s: UP< La salle and admu.. does it ring a bell?

  21. Maybe the university needs more money for projects and to keep the campus and everything within it innovative and modernized, and at the same time, having more average students to be in the university to experience the reality of being a student in UST, that not all freshmen do graduate.

  22. Yes, ang UST ay gusto ng dbest na mga estudyante — sa kahit anong field. Una, hindi lang naman basta academics ang focus dapat ng isang educational institution. Dapat kahit san dalhin, kahit anong bagay, magaling o may karampatang kaalaman ang student. Kaya kung sabihin mong hindi sya ganun kagaling sa acads, pero magaling sya sa ibang bagay, pwede yun. Pangalawa, at tingin kong pinakaimportante, wala yan sa entrance test. Nasa mismong aral yan pag pumapasok ka na. Malay ba naten, yun mga puro Average lang sa USTET, sila pa ang magbibigay ng karangalan sa school by topping the board exams, and excelling sa work. Naniniwala ako na ang UST ay mas gusto ang improvement at/o development ng bawat student, hindi yun magaling lang. Kasi kung ganun lang, parang di ka din nakatulong talaga. Yan din yun same reason kung bakit mas pinipili ng UST na magtop sa board in terms of passing rate kesa topnotchers, kasi concern ng school yun overall, hindi paisa isa lang.

  23. So funny that non Thomasians are so interested in anything and everything about UST that they even post in age old articles

  24. lahat ng course sa lahat ng universities sa pilipinas eh mahirap kung mali ang course na kinuha mo. kung matalino ka sa math dapat dun ka sa mga math courses. ang success mo eh depende rin sa E.Q mo. kahit summa cum laude ka pa sa ust college of medicine at takot kang mapagalitan ng mga consultant and senior residents general practioner lang bagsak mo. pag pumasok ka naman sa govt pag alam nila na matalino ka eh di ka ma hire kasi takot sila sayo na maunahan mo sila sa higher position. so madaming pros and cons being in top performing schools.

    • USTET is not that hard because it will just gauge your knowledge in high school. With regards to Architecture, you will undergo a drawing exam after USTET or on a different day

  25. I agree hindi mahirap ang USTET pero sakto lang yun para sa incoming freshmen kasi kung gagawin nilang napaka hirap ang entrance exam at pang college na ang level, mawawalan ng katuturan yung pag aaral ng college kasi diba bakit kapa mag aaral kung alam mo naman na pala yung mga matututunan mo?

    Yes, UST accepts a large number of students every year pero ilan ba ang tinatanggal nila per year diba? Na experience ko na matanggalan 12 students sa block namin sa isang taon.

    To those people na sinasabing hindi magagaling ang Thomasian, SORRY PERO QUALITY STUDENT LANG NAKAKAGRADUATE NG UST.


  26. eh ano ba ang courses sa ATENEO? DI BA PARA SA MGA BOBO? management, european studies, etc..di ba hindi naman magagamit nga yon sa tunay na buhay..isa pa..wala namang maipagmamalaki yang mga atenista na yan na matalino wala ngang board exam mga courses nila eh tapos tatawagin nilang PROFESSIONAL ang sarili nila? mga ilusyonado..tingnan nyo muna yang eskwelahan at pambobo nyong course para sa mga bobong tulad nyo…
    i owe my board rating of 90% and top 10 place in the board exam sa UST…so yan pala ang bobo no? haha..mga burgis na atenista…walang napo-produce na topnitchers at professionals..pano mga pambobo ang courses wahaha

    • Tanong, ano ang burgis? Hindi ba burgis ka rin? Basta nababayaran, may tatak ng burgis! Gets ba?

      At teka lang, kailan pa nauso ang pagbabase ng rating ng isang pamantasan o dalubhasaan sa mga board exam o sa mga entrance exam?

      May kagalingan ang UST sa ibang bagay, di mapagkakaila, at mayroon din namang kahinaan. Ganoon din sa ibang pamantasan.

      Kung kaya ikaw, Thomasian RPh, mag-isip ka bago ka mang-bash. Lalo na’t karamihan sa mga mag-aaral ngayon, mapa-Tomasino, Atenista, La Sallista o Isko ng Bayan pa iyan, ang nagbabalewala sa kanilang mga sariling kahinaan kung kaya’t mabilis manghusga. Aminin natin na ganito ang sitwasyon ng artikulong iyan, ngunit ang pinakalayunin nito ay maipakita ang kahinaan ng USTET at mahinto ang kung anomang pagbaba ng kalidad ng mga mag-aaral nito sa pamamagitan ng pagbabago sa mga estilo ng pagtuturo o ng curricula, o sa mismong pagsusulit.

    • You’re not worthy to be called a Thomasian. Sa language mo mas muka kang walang pinag-aralan. Hindi sa course nababase ang katalinuhan at mas lalo namang hindi DAPAT ibase sa board exam. Napakatechnical ng course mo. Madalas nagkakabisado lang kayo ng gamot. Isa sa natutunan ko sa AB eh ang memorization daw ang lowest form of intelligence.

      • I’m sorry but I really can’t help myself from reacting to this. I dare you to experience just a day in Pharmacy. Yes, we may be memorizing drugs plenty of times and we do really need it, pero hindi lang naman dun umiikot ang pag-aaral namin. Why do you think hindi pinapayagan ang working students sa amin? Para ba mas maraming oras sa pagmememorize? If BS Pharmacy is all about memorizing then this degree should not be offered anymore for even those who are not able to enter college can memorize drugs. Hasn’t this crossed your mind? Dude, nasan na yung respeto sa bawat course? How dare you tag someone as not worthy to be called a Thomasian if you are stereotyping and giving an unjust label to a course?

        P.S Who do you think run Abbott, GlaxoSmith-Kline, Unilab and a lot more? 🙂

    • Nakakalungkot namang mabasa na isang Thomasian RPh (isa akong mag-aaral ng Faculty of Pharmacy) ang nakomento ng hindi maganda. Thomasian RPh ka ba talaga o codename mo lamang iyan? Ang pagkakakilala ko sa mga Tomasino ay magagalang, may timpi sa kanilang pagpapahayag ng damdamin at higit sa lahat ay may “professionalism.”

    • Yung mga katulad ng comment mo, I’m sure walang liberal arts graduate na mag cocomment ng ganyan. So may silbi din naman sa buhay yung mga pambobo courses na sinasabi mo. Isa pa, hindi lahat ng tao nangangarap maging empleyado, o professional. Galing akong AB kaya medyo naoffend ako dun sa sinasabi mong pambobo courses.

    • I happened to pass by your school’s newspaper website and accidentally read this offensive comment that frankly should be burned and the author persecuted by his ignorance. (Yes, I am an Atenean).

      Let me counter by breaking this comment’s arguments into specific parts.
      “ni wala ngang board exam mga courses nila eh tapos tatawagin nilang PROFESSIONAL ang sarili nila?”

      Sure you can say that. Some of our courses do not have any board exams and such. For instance, accounting which can qualify as a course in itself in other schools; is just a subject offered in JGSOM’s courses. But you are ignorant to claim that ALL courses in the Ateneo do not have board exams. Ever heard of the Chemist’s Licensure Exam. Look that up, you’ll see Atenean chemists perform quite well.

      Another thing, ever heard of law and medicine. You’ll be quite surprised that Atenean graduates comprise a sizable portion of the law and medical students. Not to mention, that Ateneans sometimes top those profession’s board exams. Heck, go to your medical school. Ask around. You’ll find some of my schoolmates are among those enrolled in your medical school.

      Besides, you do not know what we, Ateneans, go through. You’ve heard of this before that Atenean education is holistic and oriented towards the entire growth of the person. To simplify and not sound like a brochure, all Ateneans are schooled not just in their respective courses; hence, Ateneans are not trained to be so technical in their own fields. In the Ateneo, you’ll find BS Biology students enrolled in grueling classes in Philosophy, taking up philosophers such as Gabriel Marcel, Emmanuel Levinas and Martin Heidegger, to name a few philosophical big weights. Don’t even get me started on all those other classes we had to take in Theology, Political Science and Sociology.

      That’s why take an Atenean and thrust him in any topic and more likely he/she’ll be able to counter and even grind your arguments to the ground.

      One final thing…being professional has so many meanings and you sir, are woefully ignorant of the full nuances of the word. Professionalism is not just connected to being in a profession with a board exam; it’s also having the right attitude. In this context; knowing to be humble and not degrading other people. If being professional means being mean-spirited and degrading other people from other schools; then you can take your “professionalism”. I’d rather keep my “burgis” Atenean upbringing.

      “i owe my board rating of 90% and top 10 place in the board exam sa UST…so yan pala ang bobo no?”

      Sure, you’re smart. You got a 90% in the board exam and top 10 place. The question is, does that make you a better human being? Isn’t a good Catholic supposed to be humble and not lord over his/her talents? Sometimes, people so keen on showing of their own potentials are the ones who suffer the most deficiencies in their humanity. Here’s another rhetorical question for you: does having an 90% ensure that you’ll design super-effective medication? Does a 90% ensure that you’ll make new discoveries on your own?

      With such a mindset, you dare call yourself a pharmacist; and a pharmacist from the University of Santo Tomas no less.

    • I take offense at your claim that those taking management and european studies are stupid and have no chance of becoming professionals. I’d like to clarify that those taking European Studies in the Ateneo are not stupid as you have been led to believe and that we cannot be professionals. If you did your research correctly, there’s an International Relations Track and an International Business track. Those taking IR usually dream of going into the Foreign Service. Those taking International Business could easily make their own businesses in the Philippines like those taking Management, or use their skills on the global stage, with some students working in multi-national companies. Aren’t those two job fields alone classify as professionals? EU Majors could also go into different fields in corporate and government, in media as well. All of which fit your idea of a “professional”. Aside from the rigorous philosophy and theology classes (as mentioned by one atenean passerby here) we have to undertake aside from our majors, we also have to undergo at least 15 units of a European Foreign Language (French, Spanish, or German). Thomasian RPh, I dare you to tell us how supranationalism works, and how the European Union differs from our little organization in our side of the world called the ASEAN in terms of policy-making. I dare you to tell us, the stupid people, on how the concept of a Single European Currency has affected the globe. Don’t worry, Thomasian RPh, if I manage to be stationed in a Philippine Embassy in Europe and you happen to need our help, I would gladly give it to you. Why? Because that’s what professionals do.

  27. There’s no such thing as “pambobo” courses. Just make sure that you don’t know anyone studying in those courses.

    Its just that most of the courses at the Ateneo are not technical compared to other technical schools.

    NO ONE has the right to degrade others by branding them with negative titles. It reflects what kind of learning you had.

    A TRUE Thomasian has respect and humility. Anyone Thomasian who does not have these are FAKE.

  28. “Bance said that if the scores of the applicant’s achievement tests are lower than or not consistent with the results of his mental ability test, he can be characterized as an underachiever who may not be able to maximize his potentials.” This is plain stupid. I wonder if Bance has a background in psychometrics. You can never label a student an “underachiever” for reason that his or her score is inconsistent with other scores on ability tests. Rather, it only means that the “TEST IS UNRELIABLE’!

    • I think Bance is out already in the OFAD.

      I don’t think Bance’s perception on the student’s ability affects the USTET as a whole. Besides, all colleges and faculties in the university have different score cut offs.

      I still believe USTET is still doing its purpose to gauge a student’s ability to be in college.

      We should blame it with the very poor Basic Education in the country. DepEd should do something about this since the level of competencies of a private school student to a public school student has a very huge gap.

      If the basic education of our country is excellent, colleges and universities can expect topnotch students in their universities.

  29. ask ko lang po.. mahirap bang makapasa sa Ustet pag ab communication ang course? may cut-off2 po kasi yan diba? then my grades in math and science on my first 3 years in highschool was not that high.. it even reaches line of 7 pa.. what should i do?

  30. I have a question po. I’m from USTET Batch 1, which I took August 14 of this year.

    I applied for BS Microbiology as my first choice, and AB Journalism as my 2nd choice.

    The problem is, I want to change it again. Because of some circumstances, I want to take BS Nursing at UST.

    Do I have good chances of passing USTET? My grades in Math, Science, and English never reached line of 8. And I did my best at the USTET. (I hope I pass.)

    (Segway muna) The USTET is not “MADALI” as they say. It’s just that it’s not as hard as other entrance exams. Maybe because they, like me, have already taken the UPCAT before taking the USTET, which made the USTET comparable to UPCAT.

    Going back to my concern, if ever I pass the USTET, will I still be able to change again? If I want to enroll at UST under the program BS Nursing, would it still be possible that I passed BS Microbiology, and yet I’ll be applying for BS Nursing? Please, I need your response. Thank you so much. I’m supposed to apply at UP Manila, but it’s too far from our residence. Anyway, what’s the difference? I think none. UST and UP both produce great professionals in the health sector. And whatever the school is, it still depends on the person, right?

    Okay, I am getting too far again from my concern. To make it short,
    “Pwede pa ba ako mag-shift ng program sa enrollment if ever I pass USTET? Kasi Microbiology in-applyan ko, pero gusto ko mag NURSING. Pwede ba na sa enrollment, NURSING ang apply-an ko?” Thank you po if may magre-respond. I’ll wait for responses.

    • Kung makakapasa ka sa USTET (either choice-course), pede mo namang i-inquire sa admissions office kung yung USTET results mo ay sufficient para makapasok ka ng Nursing. Although, sa pagkakaalam ko, may quota ang kinukuha nilang students kasi nung panahon ko (2003) nag-waiting list pa ako sa Nursing kahit na mataas ang overall USTET ko kasi sa hindi ko na-meet yung requirements nila sa math 🙂 isa pa, they also consider yung number ng student enrollees sa isang course. since laging madami ang enrollees ng Nursing, kalimitan hindi na nag-aadmit ng waitlisted at shifters. anyway BS Microbiology ain’t bad 🙂

  31. Its a fact that USTET is easy, but staying in the university is a different matter.

    You should still work hard for you to graduate. entrance exam alone will not gauge the school’s academic compentencies. Its just that most students who enters the university came from not so good high schools unlike those who enters UP, AdMU and DLSU which came from those top notch high schools.

    Its not UST’s fault if the public high school education system in the country is low class

  32. Tanong ko lang po kung mahirap makapasok sa course na BS Pharmacy?? Quota course po ba itO?? mahirap ba ang USTET?? Ilang percent po ba ang chance na makapasok sa UST kung 2nd batch ako mag eexam?? thanks po! 🙂

    • Hindi naman sya mahirap. Kung nasagutan mo lang mostly yung tanong at magaganda HS grades mo kaya yang makapasok. Pero wala din yun sa pagigigng madali ng exam kasi nasa slots din yun. Kahit na gaano kalaki yung IQ mo based sa entrance test, kung mas marami naman ang nakalamang sayo, mauuha nila yung spot at maaring hindi ka pumasa o waitlisted 🙂 *this was my case :))

  33. Today is Oct.30 and pangsecond batch ako sa mag-eentrance exam sa USTET. I took BS Psychology then ang second choice ko was BS Medical Technology . I hope makapasa po ako kasi nahirapan ako sa ACET eh. 🙁 hayyyy 🙁 For me po, every school has weaknesses and strengths .

  34. 2011 na po ngayon….i’m sure the Ustet has already changed it’s ways. Can anyone make a new article about how the Ustet will be like, or what we could expect?

    • Miss Karena (I assume you’re a girl),
      This article is old, but the fact is still there – it’s still alive.
      I only took 3 entrance exams last year – UPCAT, ACET, and USTET.
      I got qualified to these 3 schools. Sadly, if I were to rank them in the order of difficulty, USTET would be 3rd. Others who took the exam said that it was not what they expected it to be – it was too easy for them. And no, they aren’t even honor students – just normal ones, who fail at times, get line of 7 grades, and even get failing marks.

      Ang nangyayari kasi, nagiging bagsakan ng mga bagsak sa UPCAT & ACET yung UST. Parang ako, ginawa ko siyang back-up plan lang. (just in case di ako pumasa ng UP & Ateneo) And I really didn’t want to enroll at UST at first because I qualified for the 2 others – ayokong isipin ng iba na di ako pumasa ng UP & Ateneo kaya ako magu-UST.

      Wala naman kasi yan sa school eh. Nasa tao yan. Well maybe a good percentage is contributed by the school we all graduated from, but in the end, it’s our performance IN THE UNIVERSITY that matters.

      Kung hindi kayang gawing KASING HIRAP ng UPCAT ang USTET, siguro yung mga ACADEMIC POLICIES IN THE UNIVERSITY (like, gawing mas mahirap ang pag-stay sa UST, para mapilitan yung mga students na mag-aral ng mabuti and feel like they’re in UP too) na lang ang i-UPGRADE. So that those who will graduate are those who are the REAL CREAM OF THE CROP. Di naman agad yan malalaman sa entrance exam pa lang eh. Sa dulo pa yan.

      Despite the fact that USTET is really “No Sweat” for many senior students who took it, I am still proud to say that I’ll be a Thomasian Freshman this year – no fuss, no whines about “Why not UP / why not ADMU”.

    • Miss Karena (I assume you’re a girl),
      This article is old, but the fact is still there – it’s still alive.
      I only took 3 entrance exams last year – UPCAT, ACET, and USTET.
      I got qualified to these 3 schools. Sadly, if I were to rank them in the order of difficulty, USTET would be 3rd. Others who took the exam said that it was not what they expected it to be – it was too easy for them. And no, they aren’t even honor students – just normal ones, who fail at times, get line of 7 grades, and even get failing marks.

      Ang nangyayari kasi, nagiging bagsakan ng mga bagsak sa UPCAT & ACET yung UST. Parang ako, ginawa ko siyang back-up plan lang. (just in case di ako pumasa ng UP & Ateneo) And I really didn’t want to enroll at UST at first because I qualified for the 2 others – ayokong isipin ng iba na di ako pumasa ng UP & Ateneo kaya ako magu-UST.

      Wala naman kasi yan sa school eh. Nasa tao yan. Well maybe a good percentage is contributed by the school we all graduated from, but in the end, it’s our performance IN THE UNIVERSITY that matters.

      Kung hindi kayang gawing KASING HIRAP ng UPCAT ang USTET, siguro yung mga ACADEMIC POLICIES IN THE UNIVERSITY (like, gawing mas mahirap ang pag-stay sa UST, para mapilitan yung mga students na mag-aral ng mabuti and feel like they’re in UP too) na lang ang i-UPGRADE. So that those who will graduate are those who are the REAL CREAM OF THE CROP. Di naman agad yan malalaman sa entrance exam pa lang eh. Sa dulo pa yan.

      Despite the fact that USTET is really “No Sweat” for many senior students who took it, I am still proud to say that I’ll be a Thomasian Freshman this year – no fuss, no whines about “Why not UP / why not ADMU”.

  35. Ano po ang Percentage Chances para maka pasa sa USTET lalo po kung ECE ang first choice? Kinakabahan po kase ako not because may mga questions ako na hindi nasagutan but because gusto ko talaga mag aral dito. Salamat po sa mag rereplay. 🙂

    • I think it’s not nice to compare the UPCAT with the USTET. They are both meant to pick and select the best students to enter their universities, UP and UST, respectively. I’m currently in my third year in UP-D. And I got lots of friends from UST. They’re not really the best in my high school batch but they got unique talents that only UST could hone and kudos to UST for that. 🙂

  36. Yeah entrance exam maybe too easy. Entering UST was nothing compared to fight for a spot in UP. (based on my experience). Pero compared naman sa iba na meron nga entrance exam pero kahit bagsak ka tatanggapin ka nila kasi wala silang estudyante. Let’s still face the fact that many students want to study at UST pero mas meron mas magaling sa kanila (ung iba mas swerte).

    Di rin naman sa entrance exam lang nasusubukan ang kagalingan ng isang mag-aaral ng nasabing unibersidad. OO nga nakapasok sila pero bago sila makakuha ng diploma almost kalahati ng batch ang mawawala. If the USTET didn’t filtered you out maybe the profs will. Tried and tested na sa engineering.


  37. Oo, aaminin kong madali ang USTET compared to other College Entrance Exams pero makapasok ka man sa UST ay dito palang magsisimula ang tunay na laban. Madalian ka man sa Entrance Exam ay sigurado ka naman na makakakuha ka ng magandang edukasyon sa UST, at yun ay isa sa mga kahalagahan ng edukasyon, ang makapagbigay-aral sa mga kabataan, ang magkaroon ng prinsipyo sa sarili at ang pinakaimportante ay ang pananampalataya sa Diyos.

  38. Based on my experience, I took ACET, UPCAT & USTET on 2005. I must say all Entrance test were easy at that time. I am not an honor student, I am just an Perhaps review centers, review books & quality of education on secondary school were effective during those days. I strongly believe that entrance test(s) from these three only contains basic questions. Reality is, (those who have took the exam) we have this urge to exaggerate the difficulty of an item to make an issue(big) out of it or to put pressure and fear of rejection and non-belongingness.

  39. Bakit ganun? Gustong – gusto ko makapasok sa UST pero ayaw naman niya sa akin. Gustong – gusto ko mag-aral dito kaso ayaw talaga. But despite that, sana matanggap na ako sa UST before the last week of May. Yun na lang para maging masaya na ako. Wala pa akong na-eenrolan. UST naghihintay pa rin ako sa yo. Sana tanggapin mo na ako…..

    • I’m currently experiencing the same problem. UST has been my dream school and I’m so dissapointed that I wasn’t even able to pass the USTET. Regardless, my batchmates also thought that it was easy but, still, we weren’t able to pass the said Entrance Exam. As I was rereading through the comments, I realized that I should have stuck to where I was good at. I wasn’t brainy in Math nor ambitious in Science. But if there was one thing that I excelled in it would probably be English. I loved English and my biggest regret probably is not befriending it by picking a course that was related to the subject. I should have also took note of the quota courses. I picked a quota course which was not related to English because I had big hopes of passing. But sad to say, I didn’t pass nor have I been placed in the waitlist. Right now, I’m trying my luck and I’ve tried to reconsider. God knows how much I really want to study in UST. I hope the University would also see my perseverance and grant my request to reconsider.

  40. sa opinion ko lang naman, madali lang ang USTET, actually nagulat ako kasi hindi naman ako nag-review pero pumasa ko at to think na average student lang ako ng HS. Isa pa na kinagulat ko, pumasa ko sa Fine Arts course kahit na hindi nako into art nung nasa HS ako. Pumasa ko sa drawing exam kahit na hindi ako nag ddrawing nung nasa HS ako, so iyun ang nagpa-degrade nung quality sakin.


    ang masasabi ko? oo, madali makapasok sa USTe, pero mahirap pumasa! Im now an incoming 3rd year student sa Advertising at ang masasabi ko lang. PAHIRAP sya ng PAHIRAP! pero I’m still performing well (sayang lang kasi .02 na lang deans lister na sana ko! at oo bitter ako du) kahit na feeling ko ligaw ako sa course na nakuha ko. Pero baka nga nasa dugo ko din ang art dahil buong family naman namin e artistic kaya ako pumapasa.

    basta iyun. final note ko.
    OO, madali ang USTe, pero mahirap sa UST!

  41. i know this is a really old article but i can’t help to speak. First of all, don’t compare UST’s entrance exam to those of other schools for UST has its own way of picking students deserving to be called Thomasians (this goes the same for other universities). It may be quite “easy” to pass the USTET, but getting into your truly desired college/ course is another thing. AND staying and being able to graduate in the university is yet another. I should know, it took me 7 years to finish a supposedly 5year course in the university. A long stay in UST will teach you many things; things you would need when you get out of its historic walls, and things that you would surely need in life and as a professional.

    Do not belittle the school that so many dream of entering. And most of all, please do not belittle such a great school.

  42. You don’t get beads of sweat in the exams but the entrance to the Arch of the Centuries takes a million hardships; steps you call it. Madaling makapasa sa ibang courses pero sigurado akong hindi lahat ay mabibigyan ng tsansang maging isang Tomasino. Pasa ka nga, ang tanong, tatagal ka ba? 🙂

  43. Third year student plang po ako and I want to be prepared for next year where we get to take the Entrance tests. Sa pagpili po b nila ng students ay tinitignan pa po ba nila ung grades m from 1st year to 3rd year hs ? Or ung 3rd year grades m lng ang tinitgnan nila ? I hope my grades during 1 to 2nd year will be of use to me kc medyo bumaba grades ko this year due to certain problems. Ihope someone could answer. Thanks 🙂 U could email me too.

  44. Did not sweat with USTET in general but I found English and Science quite difficult during my batch. I can’t compare USTET with UPCAT and ACET because I only took USTET. UST is my dream university. Glad and proud Thomasian. 🙂

    • I am also planning to take USTET only. But with all the pressure and all, I’m also having second thoughts. And I just wanna ask if I’ll pass UST without reviewing, will I? I really don’t want to take exams from other schools like Ateneo and UP-my dad agrees with me-just UST, like you it’s my dream university. Oh, and I didn’t attend Uplink but I’m planning to attend REVUP. Is it still necessary to go there and review or no? I want to take Med Tech. Do you think I’ll make it? Please, I really need help. :/

      • If you want to get that medical course you better start studying. I’m not saying this to dissuade you, I’m just saying that, as a person who loves science in high school, I thought it was gonna be easy for me to pass the science part of Ustet. So I skimmed my past lessons from 1st yr to 4th yr and just tried to memorize the terms and not tried to fully comprehened it. I got a low score in science. I was lucky I got an average to high score in english because one of my course choices was in the social science department. But I passed I think because of my background and proficiency in reading, grammar and other english related stuff. English is a part of my life that will remain in my brain until I pass on. A lot of people said during that time, that the english part was hard but in truth it wasn’t hard. Most of the words and grammar stuff were basic, they just didn’t review enough. Promise!

        Anyways just don’t let your time to study just slip by, READ READ READ your past science books if you don’t want to go to a review school or even if you are planning to go to one, study before that review school starts. I’m telling you when I went to my review school I thought they were gonna elaborate and teach just like in HS. But noo they went through every lesson like there was no tomorrow and at full speed ahead! I didn’t even understand 40% of what they were saying. Especially in math! Aughh! I hated math in HS and when I went to my review center they just complicated math for me more!

        Read a chapter or two per subject once a week. I wish I did this.. In college their gonna ask you to sometimes read a book in just 2-4 days. Soo its nice to start getting used to reading and studying all the time. All college teachers can do that to their students so that they can finish their lesson plans Make notes of every past lesson that you try to relearn from your past books.

        And why not have a back up college? Take at least one other test in another university or college! Also look around at other Uni and Colleges like CEU, FEU, UA&P. These are all good schools. Actually all schools are good. It just really depends upon the student studying at that school on whether they utilize the opportunity to study at college or not

        • It’s not about what you want in college. It’s about what you’re good at. I realize now that I should have taken up any course related with math and english and not science courses. A tip to everyone who’ll take up entrance exam this 2014, pick the course you think you have an advantage. and also, take note of the quota courses. Think very well of your courses. You can pick one course you think you’re good at and the course you want.

  45. UST admin, wala namang masama if you make USTET more difficult and the selection of students would be tougher. Sa ikagaganda rin naman ng UST yan. (I admit USTET is the easiest)

  46. UST knows how to recognize potential,compared to the other universities who only take in the best of the best . I could say that when took USTET i was one of the average students who graduated without honors and even having grades less than average during my HS. During my first year i felt inferior to my block mates because majority of them were very studios and get really high grades compared to me.I learned to adapt to my very studious environment,I learned to be competitive and i found out techniques on how to study more effectively. Now i could say i am a whole different person compared to when i took the USTET. I am doing greater than i ever expected,i am reaching my potential,I could keep up with my block mates and even get higher grades than them at times. I am very thankful that UST accepted me. I am proud to say na mahal ko ang kurso ko at isa akong Tomasino.

    • Omg i feel you po ganyan din ako at first nasa low state pa ako ng standard ko pero i did my best para ipasa ang Ustet thus ito lang ang kinuhaan ko ng e-exam and woosh nagulat ako na natanggap ako and ngaun nasa faculty of pharma dept of medtech we all know mahirap na course ang medtech pero ngaun nakikipagsabayan ako sa mga brainy blockmates ko ust change me and show my ability towards studying UST the best for me

  47. I just got my results in the USTET and sadly I didn’t pass both my choices – MedTech and Pharmacy. I got qualified in English, Science, and Math but I didn’t qualify for the IQ. As for my high school grades, all of them were above 91. I still don’t understand how I did not pass. I was not even waitlisted. But I will try to have my case reconsidered simce UST has been my dream school since I was in grade school. I hope that the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy can read this.

  48. In my opinion, the quality of a school does not depend on making already great students stay great but making the average ones tap into their own potential and become someone even greater.

    • I really don’t think that the USTet was that easy. As for me, I have my own hard time answering the test. I was wait listed and luckily I got accepted to my dream school. And I hope that I can grow more in UST and improve myself 😀

  49. nasa estudyante pa rin talaga kung makakagraduate. mahirap naman talaga iyong mga test sa ibang universities. lahat ng universities may kanya-kanyang galing. top 4 universities man o hindi respeto lang kasi iyong iba naman walang chance makagraduate. privelege kasi ang makagraduate sa kilalang unibersidad. aminin na natin kahit madali ang ustet mahirap makamit ang diploma laging nababawasan ng kaklase,nagshishift,napupunta sa *** o nagiging irregular student. kahit na ganun okay lang basta mag-aral kayo kung proud kayo sa school na pinanggalingan niya ayos lang iyan.

    • Just give your best shot. I belonged to the third batch of examinees during my time 11 years ago, fortunately, i passed both of my choices. Results will be released on a same date whether you took it first, second or third batch. To qualify, make sure your grades in english, math and science are good enough. And once you qualified, prepare yourself, because staying in ust is not as easy as what others think. Good luck!

  50. i took the test just this morning! and it was quite mediocre… I took UPCAT a few months ago and i was sweating and was nerve wracked… It was real pressure and i felt horrible.. then i studied alot and applied for USTET and it felt like a breeze.. I actually enjoyed answering through english and math.. but is there like a passing score for the test? I’m really worried coz i really want to pass.. Ive seen the campus and it looked like the school of my dreams and it would be an honor to study there


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