How to Pass the DOST Scholarship Qualifying Exam: Tips and Tricks.
Whether you’re an academic achiever or an average student, you can’t fully rely on your stocked knowledge and luck to pass the exam. To help you ace the DOST scholarship qualifying exam, you need to prepare and condition yourself.
We have asked DOST scholars for the best tips and suggestions in preparing for the exam. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Before the Exam.
1. Start reviewing during your summer break.
Some qualifiers started reviewing as early as summer break before their Grade 12 year. With no academic requirements to distract them, they used their free time to study for the DOST scholarship qualifying exam.
2. Solidify your understanding of basic concepts,
Most of the exam questions are situational and require the application of basic concepts. But what if you have already forgotten these basic concepts?
The solution is to allot time recalling these basic concepts (terminologies, relationships, formulas, etc.). Fortunately, there are free learning sources online that can help you go back to basics like the following:
3. Answer practice exams under time pressure.
According to previous takers, the time given was more than enough to finish the exam. However, you must still practice answering exams under time pressure. This will familiarize you with the exam setup and determine how you can manage your time while answering the exam.
4. Address your weaknesses.
Determine which subjects or topics you find difficult. You can take a short diagnostic exam to see where you score the lowest. Afterward, set aside ample time to study the subjects where you performed poorly. Every time you answer a mock exam, take note of the items you answered incorrectly. Determine why your answer was wrong and study the rationale behind each correct answer.
5. Create a “formula sheet”.
Of course, you will not use this for the actual exam but for review. Indicate here when these formulas are used, what the variables in the formula are, and a sample problem with a solution in which the formula was used.
6. Write what you’re learning.
We remember information much better if we write them down. This is useful when reviewing topics that are too conceptual such as Earth Science or Biology.
7. Practice reading (and scanning) long texts.
There are some items in the English subtest involving long passages. It is advisable to train yourself to read long English texts under limited time and assess whether you understand the text or not. Read a variety of English texts such as short stories, poems, or even news articles. The more you practice, the more speed reading techniques (like scanning) you’ll learn that will help you answer questions quickly without reading the whole passage.
8. Take advantage of free study materials to prepare for the DOST Scholarship Qualifying Exam.
These materials can help you grasp what an actual DOST Qualifying Exam looks like. These review materials include:
- DOST Undergraduate Scholarship Primer. This primer from DOST will orient you to the type of questions that are asked in the exam.
- SIYENSYA-bilidad. This material from DOST gives students an idea of what topics are included in the exam. It also comes with an answer key with explanations that you can use as an additional review material.
- College Entrance Exam Reviewers. There are similarities between the type of questions that appear in DOST qualifying exam and college entrance exams (UPCAT, PUPCET, ACET, etc.). There are a lot of available CET reviewers online that you can use, including our very own free..
On the Day of the Exam.
1. Go to your testing center as early as possible.
Arriving late at your testing center might stress you out and distract you.
2. Keep calm but maintain the pace while answering.
According to previous takers, the questions are quite manageable. Hence, stay calm.
Don’t freak out if you can’t answer an item, since the exam is a combination of easy and difficult questions. Just skip the difficult ones and return to them if you have some time remaining.
However, don’t forget that you’re answering a time-constrained exam. Maintain the pace so you won’t go into panic mode when the exam is about to conclude.
3. Eat something that makes you feel “energized”.
Your brain will work a lot in this exam and you might feel tired after a couple of questions. Therefore, make sure that you eat a healthy, energy-releasing snack and drink water before taking the exam4.
How to Maintain DOST Scholarship.
You might have passed the qualifying exam, but it’s just the start of the journey. How you’ll be able to maintain that scholarship is the real battle that lies ahead.
In this section, we’ll provide some tips from DOST scholars on how to maintain the scholarship.
1. Submit documentary requirements every semester.
DOST requires you to submit important documents such as University Registration Form every semester. Make sure that you submit them so that you will receive your benefits on time.
2. Develop good study habits to maintain your grade.
Here are some good study habits that you can use to maintain your scholarship:
- Study daily – If you’re not the type of person who loves to open their books everyday, it’s now the time to be one. Studying daily at least for an hour trains your brain and develops long-term memory of the concepts.
- Avoid procrastination – Accomplish requirements as early as possible to avoid a stressful hell week (midterms or finals week). If you can finish a homework today, don’t wait until tomorrow to get it done.
- Organize your notes – Write your notes according to how you understand them, not based on the exact information you got from your teacher or a book.
4. Keep a good balance between your well-being and academic performance.
Find a time for you to relax and do the things that you want. Remember that taking a break is productive.
Moreover, incentivize yourself every time you accomplish a tiring requirement. Watch a movie, play video games, hang out with your friends, or anything that will celebrate these “little victories”.
5. Avoid committing any act of academic dishonesty such as plagiarism.
Cheating and plagiarism are a big no if you want to maintain your scholarship. Refrain from committing these acts for you will lose your benefits once you get caught.
Tips and Warnings.
- Ask your teachers for assistance or advice. They can provide you with study materials or books that you can use to supplement your review. Moreover, they might also help you clarify some concepts that confuse you.
- Decide whether you’re really committed to become a DOST scholar. The privileges of the scholarship comes with a great deal of responsibilities. Learn to deal with and accept the tradeoffs. Moreover, voluntary termination of the scholarship has consequences so make sure you’ll stay committed to the program.
Frequently Asked Questions.
1. How long will the DOST Scholarship support my studies?
DOST-SEI will support you until you complete your degree program, the duration of which depends on the period stated in your approved Program of Study (POS). For example, if you take a 4-year course (the course must be a DOST priority program), you will be supported for 4 years.
2. When is the DOST Qualifying Exam usually held?
The DOST qualifying exam is usually held every October. However, expect possible changes in the conduct of the qualifying exam given the current circumstances.
3. How long is the DOST Qualifying Exam?
The exam is approximately 4 hours long. Some examinees claim that the time given is more than enough to accomplish the exam.
4. Are calculators allowed during the exam?
No, you have to perform calculations manually.
5. Is the DOST scholarship exam hard?
Some of the examinees said that the exam consists of easy and difficult questions. Moreover, it is quite easier than the UPCAT but more difficult than most of the college entrance exams. Nevertheless, with enough preparation and good review materials, you can definitely ace the exam.
6. What is the DOST Return Service Agreement (RSA)?
DOST Return Service Agreement serves as your “payment” for the years you enjoyed the scholarship’s benefits. After your graduation, you shall work on your field of specialty in your home region. The period of the RSA is at least equal to the length of time you enjoyed the scholarship.
This implies that you’re not allowed to work abroad until after you complete your RSA.
7. I’m already a college student. Can I still apply for a DOST-SEI S&T Undergraduate Scholarships?
Generally, no. However, if you’re an incoming third-year college student enrolled in a DOST priority course, you may qualify for DOST Junior Level Science Scholarships.
UPDATE: As of September 30, 2021, online applications for 2021 DOST Junior Level Science Scholarships (JLSS) are open. The deadline for application and submission of documentary requirements is November 30, 2021. For more details regarding the 2021 DOST JLSS, visit the DOST JLSS online portal.
There are three DOST Junior Level Science Scholarships:
- RA 10612. This program aims to develop the Philippine Science and Mathematics education by helping students who will teach Science and Mathematics in secondary schools in the future.
- RA 7687. This program provides scholarships for financially challenged students who pursue a priority field in Science and Technology.
- Merit. This is offered to those with high aptitude in Science and Mathematics regardless of the student’s socioeconomic status.
Shown below are the qualifications for DOST Junior Level Science Scholarships: