Entrance exams

Once, during dinner, my classmates and I started talking about the LAE, the UP College of Law’s entrance exams. None of us in the group had taken reviewers, though some did review for it. What was funny was the fact that most of us were convinced we got low scores in the Math portion of the test.
For those who have taken the UPCAT, the LAE is a lot like the UPCAT, except that the English part is harder: the reading comprehension portion is longer and requires a lot more analytical thinking, and the grammar part — including the part where you choose which meaning is closest to the word given — is harder. There were words I hadn’t encountered in a long time (one word was something I last read when I was in Grade Six) and there were some I was utterly unfamiliar with (and I thought I knew a lot of words). I suppose this is where taking up a review class would be useful.
Skills in reading comprehension and analytical thinking, however, might take a little longer to develop and hone.
I was guessing in some parts, and when I admitted that, one of my classmates said she was, too. One was convinced they didn’t check the Math portion of the LAE, because she wouldn’t have been admitted to the college if they did. I said I was living proof that you don’t need to master Math to pass an exam.
They check everything, insisted one of my classmates, who is more familiar with the college. You must have gotten good scores in the other parts of the exam, he said.
As far as I was concerned, taking the LAE was humbling: I usually know most, if not all, of the English words I encounter in an exam, and the LAE made me realize that I needed to read more. The reading comprehension portion was easy but the Math part was beyond me. I ended up guessing at the answers, trying to draw a pattern on the answer sheet instead of making intelligent guesses.
There is another aspect of the exam, however, that those taking it must remember: it’s long, and it’s handwritten. College students usually take this for granted, because every exam is long and everything is handwritten. But for someone who has been using the computer to take down notes, it wasn’t easy writing everything down for several hours.
The entrance exam, however, is only the first step for admission into the UP College of Law. Those who pass the exam must then pass the interview. Last year, only a little over two hundred were finally chosen.
On Orientation Day, UP College of Law Dean Marvic Leonen recited the statistics to us: of the thousands who took the entrance exam, only 300 were chosen for interview and of these, only 230 plus were allowed to enroll.
This does not make you privileged, he told us (I’m not putting quotation marks because I can’t remember the exact quote). Instead, he advised us to think of the students whose place we took, the ones who were not chosen because we were chosen instead. We should think of what they would have done, had they been in our place; what service they would have given to the people and to the country, had they been chosen instead.
You are burdened by the dreams of those who were not chosen because you were. He did not say this, but this was his message. Until now I think of it, as I struggle with the many assignments we have to plow through, as I try to survive in the College of Law.


One Response

  1. PET-MA-LU

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