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How to run a review center

Running a review center requires meeting rigorous standards and helping clients realize their dreams.
By Dante Gagelonia |

Schooling can be hard on students. There’s the constant pressure of earning good grades, so that studying on your own sometimes isn’t enough. For those seeking to enter prestigious science high schools, colleges and universities, the admission tests could be a tough exercise.


To fill the gaps in their learning or prepare them for the next step in their education, those with the means can go to review centers to get the help they need. Another set of people that review centers cater to are would-be professionals. Every year, graduates of more than 40 disciplines take licensure exams administered by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). To prepare themselves and boost their chances of passing the test, many of these graduates look for an appropriate and credible review center. And because a professional license is essential for them to practice in their chosen fields, they probably won’t mind spending for a quality review as long as they get what they pay for.



Review centers address a real need so it can be lucrative for those who can master the trade. Putting up this kind of business “entails careful preparation, coupled with the creativity, resourcefulness and effective dissemination of knowledge to students,” shares Primrose Lamaroza, co-owner and administrative officer of Lead Tutorial and Review Center in Quezon City.


She also cites the importance of knowing how the academe works, as well as the general school curriculum per year level. It’s also a must to listen and learn from the experiences of parents who describe the specific needs of their children. “This helps the review center administration decide which is the most suitable program or package,” explains Lamaroza.


So exactly how do you put up a review center? Let\\\'s get down to business:


Capital and permits. Depending on the facilities of the review center and the services you intend to offer, the initial capital may range from P150,000 to P1 million. The amount covers renovation, marketing, initial purchase of materials and office equipment, plus fees for processing of permits and payment of building rental and dues. Only standard permits are required. This includes a barangay clearance, plus permits from the Mayor\\\'s Office and government agencies such as Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).



“Seventy-five percent of the capital will be spent on business permits, advance payments and deposits for leasing space, renovation and repairs, and furniture. The remaining 25 percent will be used for marketing,” says Engr. Jaime Tiong, president of Excel Review Center in Manila, which specializes in engineering licensure exams.


Location. A review center is best located near schools, apartments, condominiums and private subdivisions. “These places are potential markets since parents of students from international schools, or private elementary and high schools are those who usually need academic assistance through tutorials and review,” says Lamaroza. In the case of specialized centers like Excel, the most promising locations are those near schools that offer courses that your center focuses on.


The center should be around 70 to 260 sq m to accommodate the following:

• Reception area

• Administrative office

• Space for one-on-one or group tutorials

• Review classrooms

• Stock room

• Faculty lounge for the tutors

• Comfort rooms



Whatever space you choose, it should be “well-ventilated, with good lighting fixtures to make it conducive for learning,” recommends Lamaroza.


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