Sunday, July 11, 2010



WE’VE seen this before. Graduating high school seniors who did very well in their academic subjects confident of making it to one of the top three universities in the country only to get the shock of their lives by discovering that passing the entrance exams alone is not the piece of cake that they, their parents and even favorite teachers thought it would be.



Nothing could be further from the truth.



“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 Regina Jaojoco, Area Manager for 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 UP, Ateneo, and 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 good schools. But even these institutions will not be able to take them all in.



So yes, preparation is 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 also a strong advanced math component in Ateneo’s ACET. The one given by La Salle on its DLSUCET is a totally different animal as it is distinguished by its unique style of questioning and tough essay-writing components.



As Ms. Jaojoco emphatically points out, a review center can make all the difference between passing and failing. And as review centers go, AHEAD as its name implies, has proven itself to be very much ahead of the pack. “We maintain the highest passing rate of 85 percent in the industry,” Ms. Jaojoco declares. “A big reason for this is that AHEAD’s college entrance review classes are packaged accordingly where different classes are offered for specific entrance exams particularly the UPCAT, ACET and DLSUCET. Yes, our test-based program 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. Without the benefit and proper guidance of a very effective review center like AHEAD, many students are left in the dark as to what items will be actually covered in the entrance exam of the college of their choice. Hence, the tendency is to review everything, which not only puts more stress and pressure to pass but also wastes a lot of energy on items that will not turn out to be part of the actual tests.



Recognizing that not all college entrance exams are created alike is just one of the many things that makes AHEAD a lot different from other review centers. For starters, its highly effective diagnostic test lets its incoming review students know where they stand at the start of the review and what they need to do to improve this standing.



The review students are also introduced to two important learning tools: speed reading and mind mapping. With the high-pressured time limits of admission exams, speed reading is certainly a skill that would very much come in handy. AHEAD’s speed reading sessions helps increase students’ reading rates and comprehension levels, allowing them to not just “beat the time” but understand the test items more clearly and solve problems more easily.



Mind mapping is another learning tool proven to improve memory and enhance creativity and critical thinking as it also tempers the human brain’s infinite capacity to process information. With this ability, students will not feel like they have their hands full or have too much on their plate when the big exam day finally comes.



Both tools are crucial in not just passing the college entrance exam but also in hurdling the many other academic obstacles that students will further encounter in the course of their collegiate studies.



Of course, there is still no substitute to learning by doing and that’s exactly what’s developed by AHEAD’s review program which is also in line with Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience Theory: “Research shows that people retain 20 percent of what they hear, 10 percent of what they read, 30 percent of what they see, and 90 percent of what they do.”



To underscore the very importance of learning by doing, all summer students undergo a 16-hour refresher course weeks before the actual college entrance tests. AHEAD’s refresher course not only “refreshes” their minds or helps them recall the topics taken up in their review classes, it also boosts their confidence and gives them added inspiration.



In addition to these techniques, Ms. Jaojoco says that review students are also getting “the best of the best” with AHEAD. “AHEAD is also committed to rigorous standards of screening and hiring teachers, which involves a qualifying examination, an initial interview, demonstration teaching, and final interview,” she declares. “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 assistants who are mostly “former AHEAD review students and UP alums who understand the pressure and difficulty of reviewing for college entrance tests.”



These Review Assistants have after all, gone through the same drill that AHEAD enrollees are only about to undergo and their experience 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 Ms. Jaojoco. “Since they are also young and dynamic, they also relate really well with our students, eliminating the communication gap that most students encounter with their teachers.”



AHEAD also recognizes the important role of parents in their success equation. Ms. Jaojoco says that by holding special seminars for its students and their parents, such orientation activities provide for greater understanding of the importance of college entrance exams and in addition to  tips before, during, and after the review, deeper insights on the top universities (their core values, principles, culture and overall environment) are also presented. 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,” Ms. Jaojoco notes.



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 as it takes an approach that is both evolutionary and revolutionary. Tutors, lecturers and staff members undergo constant and rigorous training by AHEAD’s professional training division, the AHEAD Professional Network—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. In response to the growing demand from students in different parts of and even outside the country, review courses are now available through an internet-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.



With top-notch people, top-notch support and yes, the highest passing average in the industry, there are many reasons why AHEAD is the review center that has helped countless young students get a top-notch collegiate education en route to a brighter future ahead of them.



For more information, visit Photos taken from AHEAD Review’s Facebook page.



Posted by Jugs at 8:50 AM


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