Friday, May 20, 2011

It has been decades now since I took my college admission test;  so when I attended the presentation by AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center at Bonifacio Global City last Tuesday– I was in for a few surprises:

  • about 100,000 students apply every year for admission to three universities alone– Ateneo de Manila, De la Salle University and the University of the Philippines;
  • only  10 per cent  make it through the exams of these universities–the remaining 90 per cent compete with other students to get into other colleges; and,
  • entrance exams now cover a wide range of topics– mathematics (arithmetic, algebra, geometry and trigonometry), science (natural science, chemistry, physics), languages (English 4, reading comprehension and grammar); and other subjects such as history, geography, current events, arts, abstract and logical reasoning, and essay-writing.

ATENEO- One Big Fight!

These details were disclosed to the audience by AHEAD’s founder Rossana Ladaga, a former student leader from the University of the Philippines. In 1995, Rossana–at age 25–  established  AHEAD  Tutorial and Review Center, now the country’s leading and most awarded tutorial & review center.

In its more than 15 years  in the  market, AHEAD has expanded  its portfolio of services.   Aside from conducting  reviews for college admission tests, it also prepares students for high school/science high school admission tests, law school admission tests, GMAT, SAT, GRE, IELTS– and the one  service that nearly made my jaw drop– review for pre-school admission tests.

Yes, even getting into pre-school is getting that seriously competitive. Case in point– in Ateneo de Manila, out of 6,000 pre-school applicants, only 350 are admitted per year!

Now getting admitted to  one’s preferred school is one thing, keeping up with the academic demands and standards is another.  That is why availing of tutorial services– such as those of AHEAD–would be an attractive option to both students and parents.

On my drive back home that Tuesday evening, I thought of my children, and the academic challenges ahead of them.  Then I remembered what Ateneo fans would chant during heavily contested basketball games– “One Big Fight!”

To me,  the chant was not only meant for the games then. Today,   it also could very well refer to the fight for a place–literally and figuratively– in one’s chosen alma mater.

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