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The Ateneo College Entrance Test
What is the ACET?
The ACET, or the Ateneo College Entrance Test, is a test requirement for admission to the undergraduate program of the Loyola Schools of the Ateneo de Manila University.

Is it hard?
Yes. You really have to prepare well for it.

But they say it’s the hardest college entrance test in the Philippines…
The questions for the ACET are skewed for above-average students, and the test is conducted under time pressure.

Above-average? But I think I’m just an average student..
Don’t get me wrong. When I say above average, I do not mean you need an IQ of 200 to pass. If you prepare well, and take the test well, you’ll do well.

Time pressure! I’ve heard about that. Is it true that the ACET isn’t designed to be finished?
It isn’t designed to be finished. That’s true. However, the ACET CAN BE FINISHED.

How much does the ACET figure in deciding my Ateneo application?
Quite a lot. Of course, the Ateneo also looks at your high school grades, recommendations and your essay. A high ACET score helps your case a lot, though.

What about my essay?
Your Ateneo application form has an essay question.
Be truthful and candid. Make yourself known. Shine.

What sort of questions does the ACET have?
The ACET has multiple-choice questions only. They ask you to bring pencils so you can shade little circles. The test is fed into a scantron-thing as far as I know.

Is there an essay portion?
There is an essay part to test your writing ability and coherence of thought.

How many questions are there in total?
This varies from year to year. Besides, you will not need to keep track of how many questions there are.

Are the items right-minus-wrong?

Is there a section in Filipino?

How do I prepare for the ACET?
You mean you haven’t prepared yet? Then what were all those years in lower, middle, and high school for? Seriously speaking, taking a college review seminar or buying one of those tester books won’t really mean anything unless you have a decent background already. In my opinion, preparation for the ACET is predicated on sufficient preparation PRIOR TO APPLYING TO THE ATENEO (meaning, before you even get your application form).

Are we allowed to bring scratch paper and calculators to the ACET?
Scratch paper will be provided. Calculators and other electronic devices are not allowed.

What will I need to bring?
You’re usually told what to bring to the testing date (pencils, ballpens). Please read the exam permit given to you upon registration.

Can I bring snacks?
You may, but you can take them only during the break. I recommend food which keeps you awake (since the ACET is pretty tiring to take) or relaxes you. I remember bringing Oreos and a bottle of mineral water.  Some friends brought chocnut or chocolate or peanuts. I don’t recommend bringing soda, since it can make your stomach go bad, which is something you will not want to happen during the ACET.

Who can I bring with me?
Aside from yourself? Anyone. Of course, you’ll have to leave them once you enter the testing area.

What do I do before the ACET?
  • Relax. CEASE STUDYING at least 24 hours before your testing day. Any brushing up you may do within that time frame may interfere with your long term memory (which is what I hope you’ll rely on when you take your test).
  • Eat a bit. It’s hard to take the test on an empty stomach. Don’t eat too much, though.
  • Go do your business (read: visit the bathroom). Enough said.
  • Get well-rested. This means no late night partying, hanky-panky, strenuous activities before testing day. You’ll need the energy.
  • Pray. This helps, honestly.
  • If it’s entirely possible, drop by the Ateneo de Manila’s Loyola Heights campus and take a tour. Use this image as motivation.
  • Come on time. Traffic is terrible! You don’t want to give extra stress on yourself by coming in late.
What do I do during the ACET?
  • Do not go to sleep while taking the test. Do not go to sleep while taking the test. Do not go to sleep while taking the test. (Ad infinitum)
  • Do not get stuck on one question. Skip it, move on, and then come back for it. You’ll be pressed for time. But be careful in answering. Make sure you are shading the right number.
  • Pause from time to time to review your answers.
  • Keep track of the time using a watch IF AND ONLY IF you will not scare yourself out of your wits once you see how fast time can fly, otherwise look at the board for time remaining.
  • Follow your proctor and whatever instructions there are in the booklet, especially those that tell you to stop at the end of a section. Going on ahead to the next section is unfair, and you just might get sent home for doing that (this will of course render your application forfeited).
  • You will be given a bathroom break. Therefore, resist any irrational, most probably-psychologically-induced urge to urinate, etc. During your bathroom break, relax. If you smoke, sorry, smoking isn’t going to be allowed.
  • Do your best to do well.

What do I do after the ACET?
  • Resist the urge to scream. You can do that once you leave the testing area (and will be met with more screaming test takers).
  • Try going around the Ateneo campus. This place might be your home for the next four years!
  • If you want to find a place to eat, the Katipunan area’s got a whole slough of places, ranging from Filipino to Japanese to Italian food. There are also several fast food places. Cafes are also in the area.
  • Shopping and recreation centers are pretty near. The Ateneo campus is around 15 minutes from Eastwood in Libis, 20 minutes from Ortigas, and maybe 30 minutes from Makati. It’s also just a train ride away from Cubao’s Gateway Mall and Araneta Coliseum (where the Ateneo Blue Eagles may be winning a UAAP basketball game!)
  • I really recommend heading for a Church and saying thanks to God for getting through the ACET without too many emotional or psychological scars.
  • Finish the rest of your senior year in high school trying to learn, and trying to finish well. Your final marks will be needed later.

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