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What to look for in a review program

Having a professional license is the turning point for most of the professionals. It serves as a bridge for them to practice their career and help others. In this path, aspiring professionals also seek help from those who can make their dreams a reality. A review center is in a perfect position for this job. However, how can you know if the review center will really make you succeed? Here are the 6P’s that you need to scrutinize every time you scout for a review center.

6P’s to Look for in a Review

1. The Program

What is the review program all about? Am I attending lectures? Does it involve practice exams? What topics are covered? Before you go into the review, you need to know first what are the review programs available for you. Secondly, you need to know what kind of review program is it. Is it a comprehensive “cover-to-cover” review? A brush-up review? Final coaching Q&A format? Or a combination of these? Here are some guidelines on what to expect on most of the review:

  • Comprehensive/Intensive review = covers most of the lessons you had on your undergraduate class. There is depth and breadth of topics and usually runs longer than the other review format
  • Brush-up review = the goal of this format is to visit the most important topics that will possibly appear in exams. Priority is the breadth of topics and it usually breeze over a set of topics starting from the most difficult. There is an assumption that you already have a framework in mind and a fund of knowledge about the topics to be covered. Brush-ups are usually done after the comprehensive review.
  • Final coaching = most of the final coaching includes a combination of brush-up and question-and-answer format of review. It prepares the students for the examination at the same time reviewing difficult topics.

Not all review centers have the same set of review programs. For example, SPARK adopts a hybrid review program where in brush-ups are done every week together with the comprehensive review. SPARK also do not believe in final coaching since we argue that coaching is an integrated part of the review program and should start at Day 1, not on the “Final days”, hence the term “final coaching”.

2. The Performance

Performance is of top priority for most of the students who are looking for a review center. Some of the markers you should look into are the following:

  • High passing rate, should be higher than national passing rate
  • Most number of topnotchers produced
  • High number of exam takers
  • Number of years in the industry
  • Consistent performance through out the years

SPARK prides itself for having the following performance during the first Psychometrician and Psychologist Licensure Examination:

  • 58% passing rate, higher than the national passing (39%) and higher than most of the review centers and universities.
  • 7 high ranking topnotchers (Top 2, Top 4×2, Top 5, Top 7, Top 8, Top 10). We have the most number of topnotchers among review centers and universities.
  • Our internal research shows that we have a 50% market reach showing SPARK as the top-of-mind review center among psychology students. We have approximately 600+ test takers in 2014.
  • SPARK is one of the first review center to offer review programs solely for psychology students. We concentrate and innovate in the psychology field since 2013.
  • SPARK is also the first review center to offer a Distance Learning Program which revolutionized the review options of students with geographical and work constraints.

3. The Professors

Professors and lecturers are the life line of the review. We believe that the reviewers should be experts in the subjects they teach, have actual practice and work experience, and has been teaching for a considerable amount of time in an academe and other educational institutions.

Although there are no fixed requirements for this, the Commission on Higher Education issued a memorandum for the qualifications of professors for the undergraduate and graduate classes for most of the professional fields. Likewise, the Review Center Association of the Philippines also released a code of ethics for the independent review centers regarding qualification of reviewers. Adopting these recommendations, SPARK made sure that reviewers in all their programs have at least 3 years teaching experience, 3 years work experience related to the subjects taught, and is an expert in the subjects they are supposed to teach in the review.

4. Pedagogy

So you have a review program and the professors. But how exactly do they conduct the review? Most review programs have the stigma of a traditional lecture that spans until you feel like sleeping even in front of the class. Reality bites but this is the situation for most of the review centers.

At SPARK we strive hard to re-define what a comprehensive review should be. The result is the RealSuccess Methodology which integrates the student coaching and group reviews into the whole review program. The review is not just lectures but there will be interactions that will supplement the learning needs of the students. There is also an online learning environment where in students can practice more exam questions and view previous recording of the lectures they have. The shift in pedagogy actually relies on how students control their own review and learning. This facilitates intrinsic motivation which is expected to have better outcomes.

5. The Products, materials, resources

The best review program needs the best facilities and materials for their students. You should consider these aspects of the review such as the materials, venue, facilities, ample seat spaces, and other products that will be offered inclusive of the program you availed. For example, SPARK made sure that original Scantron papers will be used in all exams so that students will be confident in shading their answers just like the actual board exam. Review materials will be available for students and can be accessed online. Venues are equipped with audiovisual facilities that aids students’ learning. An integrated Profile Page is also provided to streamline registration and payment procedures. These are some of the products and services you may want to see on your prospect review center.

6. Price

Last but definitely the first of your consideration is the price. Money is hard to earn so you need to maximize the value of your tuition in a review program. One crude way to know the affordability of the review is to divide the price with the number of hours of the review program. In the case of SPARK, Php 11,500 / 200hours means that the review program is roughly 57.5pesos/hour only. Compare that to a 12thousand review at 100 hours (~120pesos/hour), you know which review is much affordable. However, you should also consider the value of the previous P’s we mentioned awhile ago. Assuming the value of review hours is the same, but Review Center A has better facilities and more experienced professors than Review Center B, then you will definitely choose the former.

Also, a review center that offers promos is loved by the students. Look for group promos in a review center which may offer best deals and discounts. Try also to beat the deadline for rebates and early bird discounts. Some also offer discounts for students who are achievers in their undergrad years. These will be some of your considerations when assessing the price of the review program.

2 Responses so far.

  1. luem says:

    Good afternoon. Sir/Ma’am, I wonder, are ALL the professors and lecturers had their masters degrees (or Ph.D. perhaps)? Or merely “have at least 3 years teaching experience, 3 years work experience related to the subjects taught, and is an expert in the subjects they are supposed to teach in the review” as you have mentioned? Thank you.

    • Sir Jason says:

      Hello and good day, yes all of them have at least a Master’s degree. One have masters, the other 2 have PhD, and another one is an MD who is also the past president of Phil.Psychiatric Association. We do not outsource lecturers that have no masters degree and who does not do research or field practice.

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