Tuition is such big business in Singapore that it's not enough for tutors and tuition centres to promise to help kids improve their grades.
For those who want a slice of the tuition industry's $1 billion pie, innovation is key.
That's why tutors and tuition centres are now offering not just tuition, but a whole bunch of other perks designed to get their students to recommend them to their friends.
Here are some of the extras that Singapore tuition agencies are enticing their students with.
Tutors know that exam time is a great time to rake in the cash by accepting students who've been slacking off all year and now need to cram in the entire semester/year's worth of knowledge in the space of a month or less.
That's why so many centres are now running crash courses, which are generally more expensive and more intensive than their regular classes.
Quintessential Education Centre runs crash courses which summarise the entire syllabus for students, and then launch immediately after into exam techniques. These courses are geared towards helping students score the highest possible marks in a short space of preparation time.
Tuition centres understand that parents these days want more than just PSLE top-scorers. No, they want their kids to be brain surgeons, Olympic champions and ruling party politicians.
That's why the more atas of tuition centres now offer extracurricular workshops, especially during the school holidays.
For instance, the Learning Lab offers reading workshops and a GEP preparation programme designed to prepare kids for the screening exam, but more importantly, to give them the analytical and problem-solving skills they need to succeed both in and out of the classroom using applied learning techniques.
At Economics Cafe, the resident tutor teaches his young charges not just JC econs, but also wealth management-now that's something more Singaporeans could certainly use.
Kids now spend most of their time liking each other's photos on Instagram rather than actually meeting in person, so why not do the same for tuition?
Some centres like The Physics Cafe now offer digital classes.
While The Physics Cafe's digital classes are basically just filmed versions of their live classes, other tutors are now starting to offer lessons on Skype.
Tuition centres that are located far from the MRT station may have trouble attracting students due to the longer commute involved.
The solution? Provide a free transport service.
Make it convenient for your students to come for tuition and they'll be only to happy to sign up for extra classes during crunch time.
The Physics Cafe offers a free shuttle bus services for students who want to get to the nearest MRT station in time.
Tuition centres understand that students like to study at McDonald's and Starbucks. So some centres have opened study lounges, which is basically just a room stocked with Ikea tables and a free flow of snacks.
Some private tutors who teach from home also allow their kids to stay back beyond their allotted lesson time to finish their homework or do past-year papers.
GIVING AWAY FREEBIES WITH THEIR FLYERS
If you've ever been to Seoul or Taipei, you know that giving out freebies with flyers-usually in the form of tissue packets or beauty samples-is a common promotional tactic.
Well, who would have thought that local tuition centres would follow suit? These businesses are now stationing their flyer distributors outside of schools, and distributing free gifts which range from foolscap pads to breakfast sets.
Even if you're a straight-A student who doesn't need tuition, nothing's stopping you from enjoying these freebies.
As a student or parent, which of the above perks are important to you? Tell us in the comments!