A little over 10% of those who take college entrance exams in the top universities get accepted. Also, there are more students now than ever who wants to enroll in prestigious universities. Because of that, you are competing with more students today than your parents did in their time. As a result, a lot of review centers opened their business, but which one is the right review center for you?
“You are the best author of your own future,” inspirational writer Catherine Pulsifer said. “So, the next time you sit down to write your own story, remember that you are the creator of the best chapters that could ever be written.”
As you contemplate, remember that the decisions you make today determine your future. In other words, you have to take control of the decisions you make today with a deeper understanding.
Back in 1988, I finally graduated from high school after flunking twice. As a matter of fact, I needed remedial summer classes to finally graduate. I did not think education was important.
I took a couple of college entrance exams at DLSU and UST. As expected, I never heard from DLSU, but passing UST did surprise me. So, what did I do? I neglected college education and did not enroll until the school year began.
So, I did the next best thing when I had no choice but to go to college. I enrolled in one that was willing to accept late registrations. After a year, I quit studying.
Let me share with you the reason why.
I picked the wrong course. In 1988, the Philippines was behind other countries for several years in computer technology. It means that by the time I graduate, the skills I learned were obsolete.
Today, I wish I had earned a college degree.
The Importance of College Education and Review Centers
A couple of years ago, I toyed with the idea of immigrating abroad and working my way to establishing an international trading business. But there was one hindrance, the lack of a college degree. It has been almost three decades ago when I made a decision to quit studying, and yet that decision haunts me decades later.
Does having a college degree mean my life today would be different? For sure. Everything we do causes a butterfly effect, not only to ourselves but also to the people around us.
Now, a college degree is one thing, but it is not the only thing. One of the things that separate higher and lower salaries for almost the same job description is the university.
The truth is that there are companies who will not accept applications if the applicants did not come from the top universities in the Philippines. It may seem harsh or even unfair, but it is the reality. In fact, there are companies that are specific in that they would only accept new employees who came from a certain university. For instance, a friend of mine worked for a prestigious law firm that would only accept Ateneans.
So, the choice is yours.
Do you want to place yourself in a position where you are more likely to be successful?
First, you have to get through the UPCAT, ACET, and DCAT.
Choosing the Right Review Center
Like anything else, there is the good, the better and the best. The same holds true for college entrance exams review centers. But choosing the best is not always the right review center for you, or is it? As a matter of fact, how do you even know which one is the best?
Among the top universities in the Philippines are, but not limited, to:
Do you have to find a specific review center, such as ACET review centers for ADMU, or UPCAT review centers for UP?
The right review center for you has incorporated the top universities in their system of education. In other words, looking for a specific one, such as an UPCAT review center is not how you do it.
Besides, you are not going to take only one college entrance exam. It is in your best interest to take exams in two or three universities so that you have a fallback option.
Here is a tip for you. If it is possible, pick three universities, and see if it is possible to arrange the schedule of exams. It would be great if you could take the exam for your third choice first, and your first choice the last. The idea here is that by the time you are taking the exam for your preferred university, you are comfortable with taking exams.
The primary purpose of enrolling in the right review center is to help prepare you. Keep this in mind because review centers are also businesses. Each one you visit will have their own marketing pitches. But what we want to focus on are the essence, not the illusions some create.
Determining Which Review Center is the Right Choice
Choosing the right review center is more than surfing the web and making phone calls. One of the things you need to do is to visit the review center yourself with your parents. Regardless if a particular review center came with good recommendations, you have to do your due diligence.
Being a business, a review center will tell you their competitive advantages. While their goal is for you to enroll, your goal is to question each selling point they present. After all, some pitches may sound good but are in fact, trivial.
As you listen to each selling points, ask yourself, “Does it help me review for the college entrance exams?” Finally, at the end of the visit, the answer to the next question must be clear. “Can this review center help prepare me for the UPCAT, ACET, DCAT, and others?”
How do you know if you are receiving a good or misinformed recommendation?
One of the most powerful forms of advertising is word-of-mouth. So, it is natural that if a friend refers a review center, then you tend to accept the recommendation. But you should also know how much of an authority a person has.
Someone with a personal experience with a review center made a recommendation. That makes the recommendation valuable. But, what makes it golden is if the same person has also visited and compared different review centers, before picking the one that is now recommended to you.
2. Passing Rate
We are aware that most people do not get accepted, hence a review center could help increase the chances of passing. But some review centers may claim they have a higher passing rate than others. Unfortunately, these are claims and cannot be verified independently.
Even so, a reputable review center is unlikely to throw in figures without a means for them to back it up. If not for anything else, a good passing rate is good to know. At the end of the day, it is you who will have to do the exams.
The best way to learn is to be in an environment that is conducive to learning. By visiting, you could see for yourself where you will be studying and have a general feel of the facility. Besides the facility itself, you would like to know the location and accessibility.
4. Staff and Educators
A good review center will have some of the better-credentialed teachers on staff. Unlike going to formal schools, you have a choice of meeting the teachers who would be helping you. As long as you feel good about a person, then that makes the learning experience better.
5. Integrating Parents in the Review Process
Some review centers go beyond teaching and reviewing. They also have a special training session with parents. Among the things parents learn is how they can help their child prepare for the exams. Furthermore, the other things discussed may include maximizing your potential.
6. Memory Enhancement Techniques
Some people have the perception that review centers give students an unfair advantage. The argument here is that they teach the students to pass the exams rather than learning.
The truth is that it is the educational institutions that provide the education. A review center only reviews what you should already know.
But what separates the typical cheap review center to ones that are on top of its class is in how they do it. It is how they incorporate other means for you to do it better.
For instance, you would like a review center that includes mind mapping in their system. This is a technique that improves your memory and enhances creative thinking. Once you learn this technique, understanding concepts become easier and faster.
Besides preparing you for taking college entrance exams, mind mapping increases your value. This is a life skill that makes you a valuable commodity as you enter the workforce in the future.
7. Improving Speed Reading Skills
Not all college entrance exams are exactly the same. For instance, some universities design their exams to put the students to time-pressure. But if you have the ability to read faster, then that gives you more time for answering the questions.
So, one of the things that you want to look for is a review center that offers speed reading sessions. In exams, the more time you spend reading, the less you could complete the whole exam.
But college entrance exams are only a small part of the benefit of this ability. One day, you will use the same skill in a lot of things you do, as a professional or business owner.
8. Simulated Tests
These are the exams given to you during the review process. There are two reasons for doing simulated tests. One is to know which areas you need to focus more on reviewing. Another is to simulate the actual exam conditions so that by the time you are taking the actual exam, you are more at ease.
If there is one thing that makes it harder for students, it is the pressure that may cause confusion and inability to think.
According to Manny Pacquiao, the months of training before an actual fight is harder. In similar ways, you had to go to school to learn for more than ten years before entering a university.
During training, boxers engage in sparring or simulated fights with their upcoming opponents. In that sense, you could think of simulated tests as sparring. By the time the real exams begin, they are nothing new and you are less susceptible to cracking under pressure.
9. Online Tutorials and Review
There is no reason why a good review center cannot offer the same services online. For obvious reasons, those who are far away from the review center would appreciate the availability of online classes. For others, there are review sessions that can be done at home, while others are better done at the facility.
The choice of the right review center for you is one that can offer a flexible online option.
Let us take a moment to consider the time when you were thinking of a mobile phone or a laptop. If you had the freedom to choose whatever you like, how would you pick one? Chances are high that prestige or popularity influenced your choice.
In most cases, choices may not have a profound effect on the future. But that is not the case with choosing a review center. At stake are the best opportunities that come as a student of a top university.
As you take your place in the world, it is time for you to step up and have the discipline to pick the right review center.
Remember the time when you visualized your life one, two or three decades from now? The first step towards turning that into a reality is to do well in university education.