Another question on taking the Ateneo Law Entrance Exam

I received an e-mail last December 4 which I replied to in private as well, but which I would like to share here on my blog as I believe the information would be helpful for those other Ateneo Law School hopefuls.  Here goes..

I hope you don’t mind, I came across your blog after I Googled “Ateneo Law Exam.” My name is Kris, a 21-year-old graduate of the Ateneo University. I graduated last March and started working after a couple of months, but I’m planning on taking the Ateneo Law School Entrance Exam early next year. I was hoping you could give me a few tips on how to approach the whole thing.
First of all, what do I need to do to prepare for the test?  From whom should I ask recommendation letters? Will the test have Math parts? If so, what kind of Math do I have to review?
I’m sorry for bothering you, it’s just that I’m really anxious and I really do want to pass the exam.
Thanks for your time and have a good day!
To which the Pinay New Yorker replied: 

Kris, thanks for writing.  I actually did a separate entry on preparing for the law entrance exam in my blog and I don’t know if you saw that.  I will write you again with the link to my post on using wordpower books to help jog your memory. It’s your typical entrance test but heavier on the vocabulary.  Don’t worry about the Math portion, it’s just trying to see how you think, so if you made it through Ateneo for college, you’ll pass that.

The purpose of the wordpower exercises is to help you think faster — the vocabulary portion deals with definitions, antonyms, synonyms, etc.  The test just doesn’t try to see how wide a vocabulary you have, but it’s trying to discern your ability to think.  This means how your brain processes words which is important in trying to see how smart you are.  So don’t bother trying to learn difficult words — if you don’t know it yet, it won’t help.  What you need to work on is choosing the right definition based on context, because the tests are structured in such a way that it doesn’t really give you time to think.  So again, if you don’t know it yet, it will show them you don’t know it.

It means if you don’t have any idea about what it is, it will show even if you guess.  If I remember right, one portion had us thinking 10 or 15 seconds per number.  It was something like a 100 item test to be done in 5 minutes..  So the point is preparing your
brain to think fast. The wordpower books are also good in terms of teaching you the etymology of words.  You will find this helpful more so with those never-before-heard-of words — if you can identify even a portion of it — for example, a word with “ped” is almost certain to refer to “feet”, then you will know that the meaning referring to “feet” in the choices would be your best bet.  I know I’m talking in abstract terms but I’m trying to give you the justification for doing the word power books.

Go over to National Bookstore and get any.. borrow if you can.. go to Recto and find one that doesn’t have the answers encircled.  Do at least 4 or 5 books and then repeat them afterwards when you’re all done and see the improvement in your scores.  The thing is to train your mind to think faster while learning ways to process words.  You have to do it regularly.. it’s something you can do once a day or once in the morning and once in the afternoon.  You’ll have a better idea of what I’m talking about when you get one.

Lastly, be ready for the essay portion.  In my time, Ateneo asked us why we wanted to be lawyers.  Again, no right or wrong  answer — they are evaluating how you write.  (Even UP’s entrance exam then had an essay portion.)  Remember that besides trying to test if you have the smarts for the rigors of law school — it’s not enough that you want to be a lawyer– they want to see if you have the acumen for it.

Good luck! 

Please don’t hesitate to write or leave a note here if you have any other questions.  Keep me posted how it goes.

Related posts can be found in the blog section LAWYER WANNABE which can be found in the navigation bar.

Lazy Saturday Morning

So yes, we did have my steamed striped bass last night.. it’s always a big hit.  This morning Alan requested omelet so he got a salami and asparagus omelet, and I made mine pure asparagus complete with the ketchup and mayonnaise sauce on the side just like Pancake house used to do it back in Manila.

We’re watching Antonio Banderas in TAKE THE LEAD which, even in its first 30 minutes already gets my nod.  Alan and I try to distinguish between movies that are worth shelling the $11 a piece to watch on the big screen and those that we can wait to watch on DVD.  This is a DVD movie.  (We’re catching DEJA VU in the theatres later, though.) 

We’re just taking it easy this cold Saturday morning here in New York.  We’ll probably go out later and do errands, and just spend quality time with the little tyke who is busy watching CARS in a smaller DVD player here beside us.

Will it be Jan, Gian or Mau?


Our update from Fountainhedd:

Its Dday(s) this weekend, as the Big 3- Jan, Mau and Gian battle it out for the 1st Phil Idol.
Tickets have been scarce, even if we all know that the Big Dome sits about 10,000. We managed to find tickets here and there, and are promising a big delegation of JAN-atics.
Jan will be singing 3 songs-  Say that U Love Me (Idol choice), Sway (Buble) (judges’ choice) and Evergreen by Westlife (producer’s choice).
This promises to be the most exciting singing contest ever!  
We’re doing email and text blasts to make Jan the first Phil Idol.
Don’t forget to text “JAN” to 2339 and help him become the first Philippine Idol!