So as long as you did well in primary and secondary schools, passing UPCAT, ACET, and DCAT are a given, some say. But as I alluded to in the previous post, the goal is to be among the top scorers. Everything you need to pass the exams, you already learned, but you have also forgotten many lessons. And that is why one of the ways to prepare for CETs is to self-study.
Self-study is something you have done countless times beginning with primary school. During a quarterly exam, you had days to review different subjects. A college entrance examination is like that too but on a bigger scale. But you do have months to review lessons you have learned in the past.
Pros and Cons of UPCAT, ACET & DCAT Self-Study and Review
Unlike the regular test and exams in the past, there is a lot at stake with university entrance exams. So, it is important to understand the pros and cons of self-studying in preparation for your big day.
Benefits of Self-Studying for College Entrance Exams
Life after school is unrelenting and brutal, and it is in your best interest to be independent. Learning to do things the hard way may be counterproductive, but at the same time, it prepares you to cope with challenges in the future.
Because the stakes are high, you learn the importance of discipline. That means you have to follow your schedules for self-studying. Out there in the real world, among the top reasons why people fail to complete a task is the lack of discipline.
Marshal Lightwill, author of Discipline Yourself: Self-Discipline Habits to Create Great Results, has this to say about discipline. “From the most complex of problems to the more creative of solutions, your mind is a place where discipline rules because that discipline helps you to maximize the potential of who you are or who you become in the future.”
After a grueling school season, a lot of students have the tendency to look forward to relaxing. Because there are things that they could not do during the school season, there is a desire to do those things. Regardless if it is playing games or watching movies, you hone your ability to control yourself by sticking to your schedules.
In a formal school setting, the school incorporates different ways of teaching. This is because each person has different preferences. Some learn better with lectures, others by reading books, for example. By choosing to self-study for college entrance exams, you study the way you want that makes reviewing more effective.
Disadvantages of Self-Studying for College Entrance Exams
A little pressure or stress is good because it keeps you focused. But there is an element of uncertainty that hounds you. It is not knowing what you need to review that makes the task overwhelming. Without a proper guidance like that of CET review centers, you start to lose focus.
Having the discipline to do what you need to do is not easy. As a matter of fact, even seasoned professionals have a tough time with discipline at times. The lack of accountability at home paves the way for excessive indulgence in distractions. In turn, distractions become the reasons for procrastinating.
One of the things you could do to avoid distractions is to have a space that is conducive to learning. That means having a table with only your study materials. Also, you will need other family members to understand the importance of staying quiet while you study. But for most families, that may be a challenge. For example, someone could be watching TV while you review and that is a distraction.
There are things you need to prepare for the UPCAT, ACET, and DCAT – learning materials. This means that you will have to open your old books and notebooks if you have still had them. For many families, this could be a problem as some may have returned or given them away. Without learning materials, it is almost impossible to review and prepare on your own.
Tips for Better Self-Study
Let us get one thing out of the way. You need learning materials, and you will need to prepare them. Because you will be reviewing for UPCAT, ACET, and DCAT, that means you will need several years of books. If you do not have them, you will need to buy them or borrow from family and friends. If there are CET guide books for the Philippines available, then use it as only one of your references.
Seek out those who have done the tests that you will be taking and ask for guidance and tips. No one knows them better than those who have taken those tests in within the last couple of years.
One thing working for you is that you have more than enough time to prepare. So, instead of starting to review immediately, begin with organizing the subjects. If you found online resources and tutorials, bookmark them and add it to your review notes. In other words, group everything, books, tutorials, and videos together by subject.
After organizing, it is time to set goals together with your schedule. In your case, your main goal is to be ready for the UPCAT, ACET, and DCAT. Determine when you need to be prepared and mark it on your calendar.
Next, you will now break down your main goal into smaller goals or tasks. The way to do that is to split everything you are reviewing into manageable tasks weekly. If you can do this, and stick to it, not only will you be ready for the CETs, but this skill will benefit you in the future.
Finally, set a space in your home where you could study without distraction. You may need the cooperation of other family members to refrain from being distractions.
Is Self-Studying for UPCAT, ACET & DCAT for You?
Besides self-studying, there are other ways of preparing for college entrance examinations. One of them is group study, another is to enroll in a review center.
Immediately in the mind of most parents are the cost of review centers. In fact, that is the only reason why not everyone enrolls in one. Because of that, the next best thing to do is to self-study.
Is self-study for you?
To answer that question, we need to understand the purpose first.
The reason why you are reviewing in preparation is to get accepted in the university you prefer. Besides the degree itself, the choice of the university also determines the opportunities available to you in the future.
Aside from preparing, self-study gives you a chance to solidify habits that you need to be successful in your chosen profession. But the flipside to those benefits are the distractions and uncertainties.
If the cost of enrolling in a review center is too much for your parents, then self-study is your only choice. As an extension, you could also organize group studies from time to time. Because your parents could not afford a review center, then that, in itself, is a motivation for you.
But what if your family could afford? Should you choose to self-study or find the right review center for you?