Company bridges digital, traditional reviews

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

WHILE others dismiss the need to undergo a review before taking the Civil Service Examination, a homegrown review center raised its importance, citing the average 90 percent failure rate among its thousands of takers.

Greater Heights Educational Solutions founder and president Barbette Barbon-Lominoque said in an interview with Sun.Star Cebu during the opening of the 445th founding anniversary of Cebu province last week that for last year alone, only 11.74 percent of takers passed the CSE, or 13,958 out of the 118,896 CSE takers for the professional level.

The high failure rate is blamed on the lack of preparation by the exam takers, she said, quoting the Civil Service Commission.


“They underestimate the test. They think the test is easy so they don’t prepare,” Lominoque said.

A Capitol employee, who asked not to be named, said many employees at the Capitol have been working for the government for years but can’t be promoted because they have not taken the exam. If they did, they only took the sub-professional level where promotions would be difficult.

In government hiring, sub professional passers can only be accommodated for clerical work.

The Capitol employee said there are many high-ranking positions needed in the Cebu Provincial Government but said the hiring could possibly start next year.

While she acknowledged that many in Capitol are interested to take and pass the CSE-professional level, many do not have the time to undergo a review program.

Greater Heights, according to Lominoque, offers an online CSE review program to help address concerns on lack of time among employees interested to take the exam.

The complete CSE review will take 54 hours, when reviewees can make use of Greater Height’s online resources. However, there will still be personal or offline coaching in their review center in JY Square in Lahug.


Greater Heights program manager Darlene B. Ganub said they provide a diagnostic test first to the reviewees to know which areas they should focus more.

“We provide a certain level of customization to our reviewees,” she said.

Greater Heights started to offer online review programs in 2013, a year after they were incubated in the Cebu Business Incubator in Information Technology (CeBuinIT) in the University of the Philippines Cebu.

Greater Heights started its operations in 2003. Lominoque said it is the biggest review center in Cebu, offering nine programs with a pool of 70 teachers in total.

The review program of Greater Heights covers the College Admission Test (CAT) review for the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila, De La Salle, University of Sto. Tomas, and University of Asia and the Pacific.

Last year, the review center recorded a 100 percent passing rate for CAT.

“(Now) there is a need for the public to shift to the traditional face to face to digital.. but what comes with change is the resistance, which (they think) might not be optimal as the personal (review method),” she stressed.

To eliminate the disadvantages of the online review method, Lominoque said Greater Heights adopt a blended method, where they still incorporate the traditional review practice.

“We follow the 60:40 rule (face-to-face to online) because we are still slowly shifting. We cannot shift immediately, we have to slowly make the change,” she added.

Among the review programs they offer are the National Medical Admission Test review, High School Admission Test review for UP and Philippine Science High School. They also offer workshops on art, public, speaking, and creative writing among many others.
Review fee in Greater Heights starts at P2,000 to P12,500.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 06, 2014.


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