How’s this to underscore consistent success: Since the last five years, JEE toppers in the UAE have been students from Knowledge Planet. That’s not all. The NEET toppers of the last three years have also been from the same coaching centre. "We also produced the highest number of selections in both JEE and NEET exams," says Sachin Bharti, who along with Monika Oli set up Knowledge Planet in Dubai in 2013.

The coaching centre was launched after they recognised the need "for an institution that could guide, mentor and channel students’ potential in the right direction". Sachin, a Harvard alumnus and graduate of Indian Institute of Management (IIM), and Monika, an investment banker, both quit their banking careers, keen to pursue their passion for education. "We’d been teaching school and college kids in India even while studying for our own degrees," says Sachin.

A few years after pursuing their careers in Dubai, they realised that students and parents needed a platform that could bridge the gap between the resources available and resources desired. Quitting their careers, they set up Knowledge Planet "to follow our passion to create success stories of UAE, right here in the UAE".

Starting off with around a hundred students, Knowledge Planet today has over 2,000 children in classes 9-12 from a cross section of Indian schools in the UAE studying at 13 centres in Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Ajman. Apart from school toppers and Sheikh Hamdan Award winners, KP’s rolls feature award-winning debaters and students with leadership roles in their schools. Studying in an environment of achievers will encourage students to discover their full potential, the mentors believe.

Sachin and Monika set up Knowledge Planet after they realised that students and parents needed a platform that could bridge the gap between the resources available and resources desired

Over the years, Knowledge Planet has built up a reputation for being a top-notch test preparation centre producing the best results in the UAE, consistently. "This is because we understand Gulf students better than anyone else. We know what drives them, how to motivate them and how to bring out the best in them," says Monika, lead mentor at the centre.

"Understanding our students has helped us design the right programs and pedagogies for them. We also have the best study materials, and the right team of educators and counsellors."

What sets Knowledge Planet apart from other test prep centres here?

"We have been producing consistent and exceptional results, including JEE and NEET toppers for several years," says Sachin.

Having good understanding of the needs of students is key to bringing out the best in them, says Monika

The fact that KP has branches across the UAE means students get to compete with not just peers from their school, but also with motivated students from leading schools in the country. "This brings out the best in them. Thanks to having the largest chain of entrance coaching institutions, we have the knowledge, resources and experience to adapt to any circumstances. For instance, during the current pandemic, we adapted instantly to start online classes much earlier than most institutions."

KP also prides itself in hiring the creme de la creme of teachers from leading Indian institutions. "They bring the best practices of all regions of India and we train them to adapt those practices to the requirements of Gulf-based students."

Sachin says Knowledge Planet has built a compelling digital platform consisting of live lessons, online testing to match real-life entrance exams, apps and a video platform

What’s next? "We are at the forefront of digitisation. To add to our extensive bricks-and-mortar study centres, we have built up a compelling digital platform consisting of live lessons, online testing to match real-life entrance exams, apps and a video platform. This allows Knowledge Planet to be a truly hybrid education institution – just the way today’s students want it to be," says Sachin.

5 points to keep in mind when choosing a test prep centre

• Track record: The most important factor to consider is results. Look for results produced by Gulf students. An institution that shows results of students based in India provides no assurance of performance in the UAE.

• Branch network: An institution with a large number of branches in the UAE will provide the best platform for students to compete and to shine. A larger institution is also able to invest more in its students’ future in terms of resources, support and career guidance. For students, a bigger pool gives a true picture of real competition.

• Quality of teachers: Teachers with exceptional qualifications and extensive experience from multiple coaching centres and regions of India allow for best practices to be shared across a common teaching platform.

• Hybrid Education: Look for institutions that not only have brick and mortar centres but also strong and varied digital platforms and apps that students can access 24X7. A critical factor for students these days.

• Study material: Review the full range of study materials provided by the centre. Check if academic content has been customised to the needs of children in the region. Reviewing and comparing study materials of different coaching centres would help highlight which coaching centre has actually adapted its content for the needs of the students in UAE.

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