We’ve seen this many times before. High school seniors who did very well in their academic subjects confident of making it to a top university only to discover that passing its entrance exam is not a piece of cake.
“A student’s performance in his high school is not an adequate gauge on whether he will breeze through his college entrance exams,” points out Florinda Mesa, Manager at AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center. “High schools concentrate on providing secondary education; they do not fully equip their students with the proper training with regards to taking college entrance exams. Universities and colleges focus on different subjects, so the content of their exams vary.”
The bottom line is this: of the 100,000 or so who apply to the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila, and De La Salle each year, only 10 percent actually pass the entrance exams. The remaining 90,000 who will not qualify for the Top 3 universities will join the 400,000 other students who will take the entrance exams of other schools. But even these institutions especially the good ones like UST, Mapua, Miriam, UA&P, Benilde and others will not be able to take them all in.
Yes, preparation is the key to passing this all-important obstacle known as the College Entrance Exam. While UP is focused on its above average general intelligence test in its UPCAT, there is a strong advanced math component in Ateneo’s ACET. The one given by La Salle in its DLSUCET is a totally different animal with its unique style of questioning and tough essay-writing sections.
Mesa says a review center can make all the difference between passing and failing. And as review centers go, AHEAD has proven itself as the leader in the pack. “We maintain the highest passing rate of 85 percent in the industry,” Mesa declares. “A big reason for this is that AHEAD’s college entrance review classes are packaged accordingly. Different classes are offered for specific entrance exams particularly the UPCAT, ACET and DLSUCET. Yes, our test-based programs are designed specifically after the actual tests.”
With the test-based method, only the topics that will be taken up in the actual exams are reviewed, thereby saving a lot of time and effort on the part of the student.
Recognizing that not all college entrance exams are alike is just one of the many things that make AHEAD different from other review centers. Its highly effective diagnostic test also lets its incoming review students know where they stand at the start of the review and what they need to do to improve their standing.
Best of the Best
At AHEAD, students are getting “the best of the best”. “AHEAD is committed to rigorous standards of screening and hiring teachers, which involves a qualifying examination, an initial interview, demo teaching, and final interview,” Mesa says. “Aside from the fact that our tutors and lecturers all come from the top three universities and belong to the top one percent of their respective batches, they can credibly answer questions about their respective schools and give survival tips better than anyone.”
The same goes with AHEAD’s Review Assistants. In addition to tutors and lecturers, AHEAD is also the only review center that employs these assistants who are mostly “former AHEAD review students and UP alumni who understand the pressure and difficulty of reviewing for college entrance tests.”
After all, these Review Assistants have gone through the same drill and their experiences are just as crucial in providing a favorable test outcome as the expertise of the tutors and lecturers. “Like our tutors and lecturers, our Review Assistants also provide motivation and help instill discipline among our students,” says Mesa. “Since they are young and dynamic, they also relate really well with our students, eliminating the communication gap that most students encounter with their teachers.”
Role of the Parents
AHEAD also recognizes the important role of parents in their success equation. It holds special seminars for students and their parents to give them tips before, during, and after the review, says Mesa. Insights about the top universities (their core values, principles, culture and overall environment) are also presented. Such orientation activities provide a greater understanding of the importance of college entrance exams. For students in particular, this is akin to attending their official college freshman orientation and getting acclimatized to their second home for the next four or so years.
“Not only are AHEAD students prepared for their actual test-taking, they are also introduced to college life through the experiences of their lecturers and review assistants,” Mesa notes.
Research and Development
But even as times change and the same entrance exams evolve to include newer items based on constantly revised curriculums, AHEAD continues to get ahead of its story with methods and techniques that are both evolutionary and revolutionary. Tutors, lecturers and staff members undergo constant and rigorous training by AHEAD’s professional training division, the AHEAD Professional Network. This is the same network that has also trained first-rate school managers all over the country with the Philippine Business for Social Progress.
Constant research and development make AHEAD’s materials the best reference for students preparing to get into top institutions of learning. To show just how much AHEAD has evolved with the times, in response to the growing demand from students in different parts of and even outside the country, review courses are now available through an lnternet-based virtual learning system that is also used by hundreds of schools in Singapore. Students can now see, hear, chat, and exchange resources with their teachers and peers online.
Top-notch people, top-notch support, and the highest passing average in the industry, these are just some of the reasons why AHEAD is the review center that many parents have trusted to help guide their children to a top-notch college education.