opening of classes

No college entrance exams in Ateneo, UST for academic year 2021-2022 due to pandemic

Bonz Magsambol

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No college entrance exams in Ateneo, UST for academic year 2021-2022 due to pandemic

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Meanwhile, the University of the Philippines says UPCAT 2021 is 'being studied and planned more extensively'

As the country deals with the coronavirus pandemic, universities and colleges in the Philippines are choosing not to hold entrance exams for school year 2021-2022.

On Tuesday, September 1, Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) announced that there would be no Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET) for School Year 2021-2022, supposedly meant to be conducted this year.

“We know there is a lot going on and we don’t want to create more unneeded drama and stress…. We have rolled out an updated College Admissions page to address all your questions and concerns so make sure to visit the site,”AdMU said in a Facebook post.

The prospective students will be evaluated based on past academic performance, on the recommendations of teachers, essay, and on information written down on the application form posted on the university’s website.

There are 3 routes of applications: applicants from select Metro Manila schools, applicants from the rest of the Philippines, and international applicants. The forms can be accessed at The guidelines for admission can be accessed at

The application period for school year 2021-2022 will be from September 1 to December 1, 2020, while the deadline for admission and scholarship is on December 1.

For applicants from schools with October 2020 school year start date, deadline of application for admission and scholarship will be on December 15, 2020.

Results of the applications will be released on February 2021.

No USTET this year

The University of Santo Tomas (UST) announced on August 14, that it would not administer the UST Entrance Test (USTET) for the academic year 2021 to 2022 “in consideration of the quarantine restrictions that are currently in effect in the country.”

“Instead, admission to UST for the AY 2021-2022 shall be through the University of Santo Tomas Admission Rating (USTAR). The USTAR is a score that will be computed from a number of parameters derived largely from the academic performance and record of the applicant,” UST said in a Facebook post.

On August 30, UST opened its application for admission. Deadline of application is on December 18, 2020.

The online application form can be accessed through this link.

UP’s plans

Meanwhile, the University of the Philippines (UP) said on August 13 the UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) 2021 was “being studied and planned more extensively. Schedule of application shall be announced soon.”

In a radio interview on August 17, Commission on Higher Education Chairperson Prospero de Vera III raised concerns over the conduct of online entrance examinations for colleges and universities during the coronavirus pandemic. (READ: De Vera raises concerns over online entrance exams for colleges, universities)

De Vera said what’s difficult with online examinations is you don’t know if the students are the ones answering the questionnaires or not. 

Without confirming if UPCAT 2021 would be administered online this year, De Vera said the country’s premier university was facing a problem with administering UPCAT because it is not designed for online.

UPCAT 2021 is supposedly set to be administered in the 3rd quarter of 2020.

UPCAT is one of the most anticipated college entrance examinations in the country. For academic year 2020-2021 alone, more than 100,000 examinees took the UPCAT, according to the university.

CHED said that a total of 731 colleges and universities have opened classes in August, while 186 more will open classes in September and October. Schools this year are using flexible learning approach – online learning, modular, or a combination of both. (READ: FAST FACTS: CHED’s flexible learning)

There are a total of 2,400 colleges and universities in the country, CHED said. –

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler.