A TOTAL of 10,510 applicants are expected to take the first batch of the University of Santo Tomas Entrance Test (USTET) on Sunday, Oct. 22, more than threefold the nearly 3,000 examinees in the same period last year, the Office for Admissions (OFAD) said.
Of the figure, 7,185 are college applicants, 665 of which are for Learning-Enhanced Accelerated Program for Medicine (LEAPMed), while 3,325 examinees are senior high school (SHS) applicants.
OFAD Director Assoc. Prof. Imelda Dakis said the number is “much higher” than the first batch of the USTET 2023 due to the shift from the COVID-19 pandemic to the return of onsite test-taking.
“Last year was a transition year not only for the University, in terms of resuming the administration of the entrance tests, but also for [its] major stakeholders—the applicants and their families,” Dakis told The Flame in an email interview.
As of Oct. 17, a total of 45,396 applicants filed to take the USTET for the college department, while 8,174 are for SHS, including those from the UST Angelicum College, since the application period began on Aug. 8.
The University designated nine testing areas for the exam: the Main Building, Beato Angelico building, Miguel de Benavides building, Thomas Aquinas Research Complex (TARC), St. Raymund de Peñafort building, San Martin de Porres building, Albertus Magnus building, Fr. Roque Ruano, O.P. building and BI. Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. (BGPOP) building.
Examinees will be allowed entry to the campus upon presenting their test permits and through gates based on their assigned testing areas.
The España Boulevard gates will be open for USTET takers designated to the Roque Ruaño building (Gate 1), Albertus Magnus building (Gate 2) and Main Building (Gate 3). Gate 6 on P. Noval Street will be open for applicants in the Beato Angelico and BGPOP buildings.
Students assigned to the Benavides Building and TARC must enter through Gate 10, while those who will take the test at the St. Raymund de Peñafort and San Martin de Porres buildings must use Gate 11.
Gates 1, 2 and 6 along España Boulevard and Gates 10 and 11 on Dapitan Street will be the drop-off and pick-up points.
Each examinee can be accompanied by one parent or guardian who can stay in the designated waiting areas in the campus for the entire duration of the USTET.
In a circular dated Oct. 13, the Office of the Secretary-General encouraged USTET takers experiencing cough, cold and flu-like symptoms to wear face masks.
USTET 2024 will be administered in the Manila campus on Oct. 22, Nov. 19, Nov. 26, Dec. 10, Jan. 21 and Feb. 4.
Provincial testing centers for the USTET will be set up in Tagbilaran, Bohol and in the cities of Iloilo, Zamboanga and Davao on Nov. 11; Kalibo, Aklan and Mandaue, Cebu will be on Nov. 12 and General Santos City on Jan. 13, 2024.
The USTET results will be released in April 2024, according to Dakis. F