‘NOT AGAIN?!’: WVSUCAT takers, parents dismayed by test retake

Examinees of the WVSU College Admission Test a week ago will retake the test via the WVSU Admissions Exams following the leakage of text questionnaires. (WVSU photos)

By Joseph Bernard A. Marzan

West Visayas State University (WVSU) is currently facing public skepticism after allegations of leaked College Admission Test (CAT) questions, causing dismay among exam takers and their parents.

Things got worse as concerns surfaced on social media following the announcement of the original test’s invalidation and the upcoming retake.

Social media was flooded with comments of concern after the WVSU Office of the President announced on Friday, March 15, that it would invalidate the WVSU CAT and hold the WVSU Admissions Exams (WVSU AE) with the date and venues to be announced later.

Some of the takers and their parents also shared with Daily Guardian their concerns after the announcement.

Kirche Lusoc from Palawan hoped to enter WVSU’s 3-year-old Doctor of Dental Medicine program, as well as to take chances on their English Language Studies and Biology (major in Biotechnology) programs.

She spent 4 months preparing for the exams and had to travel five hours from her hometown of Rizal in Puerto Princesa City, where there are no available direct flights to Iloilo.

Since the flights weren’t daily, she had to stay in Iloilo City for four days for the exam.

News of the test questions’ leakage, which broke out through local media on March 13, had made her sad and worried, especially with the efforts she had given.

The announcement of the test retake via the WVSU AE also disappointed her.

“I was sad at first, but now I’m worried that my effort would be wasted because I prepared well and traveled far merely to take the exam,” Lusoc said of the leaks.

“I’m a bit disappointed because it will mean another sacrifice financially, and academically,” she added.

Her father Herminigildo also said that they are just “trying to find comfort in the possibility that God may have other plans for our daughter.”

Both father and daughter said that they would be willing to retake the exam, but only if there would be an examination venue within Palawan.

Hannah Angel Valentin from Santa Fe, Romblon, called WVSU her “dream school”, and wished to enter its highly competitive Nursing program.

She and her mother Nancy spent 13 hours traveling – via sea to Aklan and by land to Iloilo. They stayed with their relatives in Iloilo.

Valentin said she was shocked when she saw that the test questions may have been leaked to other takers, and was likewise disappointed with the invalidation and upcoming retake.

“I was shocked because I wasn’t expecting such a large number of takers, leading to the possibility that someone already knew the answers to the questions. It felt unfair and unjust, especially considering the effort and resources invested in preparing for the exam. I’m a little disappointed at the thought of going back to Iloilo to retake the exam,” she said.

“I felt somewhat disappointed about what happened because we spent a lot of money and effort just to travel to Iloilo to take the exam at West,” she added.

Nancy expressed her own disappointment, given the expenses they had to shoulder for her daughter to be able to take the exam.

“Of course, I was disappointed in what happened because we came from [a far place] and we didn’t know [Iloilo City]. Another thing is that we spent a lot because I had to accompany my daughter Hannah who doesn’t know Iloilo [either],” Nancy said in Tagalog.

“We hope that [the leakage] doesn’t happen again, even at any other university, because everyone made efforts, so it’s really sad to think about, but we were lucky enough to have relatives to stay with [at the time],” she added.

As to whether she would let Hannah retake the WVSU AE, she said that it would depend if they have the budget for it.

“It’s worrisome. But my daughter wants this, and right now we don’t have any budget, because we didn’t know that this would be happening. Now I’m having bad thoughts that some who may have relatives working at [WVSU] would be prioritized. I hope everything will be equal [this time],” she expressed.

Lyhelm Jill Nakar from Isabela, Negros Occidental, another Nursing hopeful, travelled between 6 to 7 hours to Iloilo via land and sea to be able to take the test.

She expressed her dismay over the “unfair advantage” that may have been given to other takers from the leak.

“It was super unfair for me to know what happened because I studied hard every night just to survive this entrance exam, and then they would just have it easy,” she said.

Nakar said she would pursue taking the WVSU AE because she really wanted to enter the university, but she had already been warned by her parents that they may not have the means to go back to Iloilo.

“I couldn’t do anything if they want [us] to retake the [entrance exams], but my parents already told me that we don’t have money to go back to Iloilo because we would have a great number of expenses for transport and accommodations,” she stated.

Faye Joy Pabiona, a parent of a taker from Iloilo, said she was “quite sad” over the leak allegations, but agreed with the decision to have the test retaken.

“At first I did not believe the allegation until the university confirmed it. I was quite sad. They made the right decision to ensure that everybody is given a fair chance,” Pabiona said.

In a text message to Daily Guardian, WVSU President Joselito Villaruz has declined to comment further on the WVSU AE and the university’s ongoing investigation into the alleged leaks.

“For now, the public advisory will suffice. Another advisory will be released soon,” Villaruz said.

The university president told Bombo Radyo Iloilo on Friday that there are no official pronouncements yet on the investigation, as he had not received any report from the specially formed investigating committee at the time.

This was despite a statement by its Public Affairs and Marketing Communications Office on Thursday evening, March 14, initially confirming that there was indeed a leakage of the test questions.

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