It is very easy for many review centres to claim that they are the best, but as a discerning customer, you can also easily identify if they are telling the truth or are simply marketing their institution by paying attention to the following:
The number of students currently enrolled
Rule: If they were indeed the best review centre, they should have attracted the most number of students.
The concept of the word “best” is very subjective, and the only quantifiable definition for this is the number of students they attract. Be extra cautious when they tell you that the reason why they only cater to a maximum of 15 students per class is to maintain the quality of their reviews.
Analysis: We were not born yesterday. Whether they admit this or not, review centres do not exist simply because they want to help students. They ALSO want to earn a profit.
Truth be told, they only have 15 students because only a few find their programs helpful.
Tip: The next time you hear them brag about their limited number of students per class, ask them this: “Do you mean therefore that you will refuse admitting the 16th student just for you to maintain your so-called quality reviews?
The structure of their review programs
Most IELTS review centres, to entice students, offer “UNLIMITED” review programs.
Analysis: Are you really in the premises of an efficient review centre or have you mistakenly inquired from a very competitive restaurant offering unlimited rice or free drinks?
Rule: A truly effective review centre values the time of its students, and it can prove this by guaranteeing to make the students ready for the test within a very reasonable period of time. Time is gold. We have plenty of deadlines to beat.
Unlimited reviews simply encourage students not to be mindful of their progress. Also, this is a strong indicator that anything goes inside the centre, so no specific lessons are prepared at a particular schedule to avoid repetition of discussions in class. To make matters worse, there may be no regular discussions to begin with.
Truth be told, unlimited programs are not helping the students prepare for the test. They are simply marketing schemes resorted to by review centres to boost their enrollment.
Tip: Specific questions to ask:
-When they say unlimited, are the materials used also unlimited or are you expected to repeat them until you get fed up (because everything is repetitious) and do not come back to the centre anymore?
-If it is unlimited, are the lectures also unlimited or do they subject you to the same inputs until you are made to believe that you know already everything? Decide wisely!!!
The tuition fee they charge
Many review centres charge very cheap fees to attract more students.
Analysis: As the saying goes, you get what you pay for! What can you expect from review centres that only charge between P1,500 and P3,000 for unlimited reviews? How can they attract the best teachers, offer quality review materials and maintain a good ambience if they charge so cheaply?
Rule: A very dependable review centre is one that is chosen by many students NOT because of its cheap rates but because of the excellent quality of review services it is known for.
Their track record and their awards
Rule: The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
The so-called best review centre should hold the most number of awards and the record of having the most number of passers and top scorers.
Tip: Before you enrol, it is very helpful if you ask them first of their specific accomplishments. Do not just take their word for what they say. Let them show you their list of passers and top scorers.
Truth be told, it is very easy for review centres to claim that they have 100 percent passing rate and that they have the most number of passers. To verify these claims, ask them to show you visible proofs.
The centre’s physical transformation
One criterion to establish a centre’s reliability is its longevity in the industry. A dependable business establishment should have been operating for at least ten years and should have been leading the industry consistently.
Rule: The progress of a review centre is manifested in the way it has transformed statistically and physically.
Analysis: If indeed, you were in the premises of the best review centre, it should be the case that its centre has undergone dramatic physical transformation, from being very small to being one of the biggest.
Truth be told, one obvious proof that a centre enjoys high ratings from its clients is the growing number of students studying. If the number remains to be small, the review centre is not rated highly. If the number continues to shoot up, then you shouldn’t hesitate to enrol right away.