Saturday, October 17, 2009

Yesterday was a refreshingly action-packed day for me. For the first time in two weeks, I traveled past the border of our town and revisited my beloved UBelt. Me and my friend/classmate/groupmate Vanessa were supposed to meet at 10am but due to highly time-wasting circumstances that were not my fault, I arrived at St. Thomas at around 12nn. She was already processing her preliminary application for NCLEX at a center there. They also process IELTS applications for a fee of 300+ pesos. I grabbed all the IELTS review center fliers I could get my hands on for additional resource. When she was done, we visited a neighbor center ISCEC-KAPLAN and asked for rates and such.

Their rate for the IELTS review is 7,500, which is a bit on the higher end of the market as review fees commonly range from 2,500 to 10,000 pesos. I also didn't like their program which is comprised of non-flexible lecture schedules and the limited time in which you can use their facilities (maximum of 2 months). Plus, their latest review season has already started last Oct. 12, 2009 with only 13 students enrolled. Now, some people would say that a one-on-very-few approach is better. I say, depressing.

Next stop was another center I found on the internet which I dutifully labeled as interesting. So we looked for Niner's IELTS Review Center along the PRC street and found it right away. The office was small and homey packed with students coming and going as they please. On the front desk was a handwritten sign which said "Lunch Break" and there was no one there to talk to. I looked at the time and it was quarter to 1pm so we decided to wait until the break was over so we could inquire about the review program. I grabbed a paper from a box marked "Schedule" and written there was the schedule of all the lectures of all the branches of Niners for the next two weeks.

Each lecture runs for 2-3 hours and there are 3-4 lectures per day. 9-12AM, 1-4, 4-6 and 6-9PM. When the information lady arrived, I inquired about the program and lazily pushed a laminated piece of bond paper sitting on her desk. A long list of subject was there as well as the fees. P2,500 for the Crash Course which consist of only 8 lectures and P5,000 for the Unlimited Course with Final Coaching at SM Megamall or P4,500 without the final coaching.

I asked about the schedule, whether there will be a fixed schedule that a reviewee should attend and she said no. So that means, if I take the unlimited course, I can attend any scheduled lecture when I want, wherever I want. Also, even if I enroll in the branch in Morayta, I can still go and attend classes in other branches. Sounds great to me. Complete freedom!

I asked how many students per class and she said that the lecture hall could accommodate 50-100 students per session, which I thought was fantastic even though some would be appalled by the number (considering that other centers boast having a maximum of 10 or 15 students per class).

Here's the weird thing about me. I am not comfortable with a class with only a few number of students. I hate it when the teacher/reviewer is right in your face. It makes me uncomfortable and pressured. I've never been tutored and the one-on-one review style for me is just ridiculous. Hence, I would be perfectly comfortable blending in with a large crowd than sharing a class with only 9 other people.

I looked up the other centers on the brochures I got (Speakwell, Allgen and Rachel Allen) and found them not that suitable for me. Speakwell is more affiliated with IDP Australia and I'm quite concerned about that as I need to file in British Council and that they also have very limited slots per class which I hate. Allgen and Rachel Allen, I have the impression, is more concerned with NCLEX rather than IELTS and I want a center with IELTS as their forte.

So in the end, I am not completely decided yet but I'm veering on the direction of Niner's. Any suggestions for a review center?

Enough about this ramble fest on reviews and tests. Going back to my (yester)day, after inquiring, Vanessa and I decided to go to SM Megamall because of the 3-day Sale. After the long fx ride, we arrived at the mall famished so we decided first to eat at Shakey's before taking a look around. There were so many people but also so much stuff on sale. We had so much fun window shopping but in the end I bought a lip gloss from The Face Shop and 2 beautiful Fibrella Umbrellas, 1 for me and 1 for my future mother-in-law (haha) because it's her birthday. I was about to go home really happy with my purchases, until I saw the long line at the FX terminal. Long story short, it took me more than 1 hour before I got a ride. The fatigue and the hassle of commuting home did not dampen greatness of my day. I was still a happy camper when I arrived at home, my bed greeting me with soft and cuddly pillows.

I missed the outside world. Yes, I really did.


Trisha said...

Hi! I had my IELTS review at JRooz Review Center - they are offering registration assistance for free and I only paid about 5k for the unlimited review (i get P500 discount - orig price was 5.5k). the teachers are great and the location is very secure. It's not packed with students. I love their one-on-one coaching!

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