How To Select A Coaching Institute For An Entrance Exam?
The fateful day an aspirant decides to appear for CAT and other b-school entrance exams, the search for a good coaching institute starts. Is coaching absolutely necessary during preparation? Not really. However, such institutes do provide a methodical approach for acing these exams. For exams with the ocean like syllabus with plenty of dangers to sink a student’s ship, a coaching institute act as a directional lighthouse. Hence, it is imperative to select the right institute for preparation.
Even though the final decision to enrol at a particular coaching institute depends upon several factors, following are the 3 most important factors:
1. The Teaching Staff
Generally, the faculty members at the coaching institutes appear for various B-school entrance exams every year and ace them with high scores. It helps them keep abreast of constantly changing exam patterns and nitty-gritty of the syllabus. This is immensely helpful for the students who can learn the finer nuances and save on valuable time.
But how effectively they are able to impart their learnings to the students are important. Also, many institutes have different professors for different batches at their various branch locations. Hence consulting with seniors before opting for a particular batch is important.
2. Study material
One of the most important resources provided by these institutes is their customised study material. The entire syllabus is divided into subject-wise booklets which are further categorised into various chapters according to topics and concepts.
However, an aspirant should not fall for all the material available in the market. Also, these books are marred by various shortcuts and formulas. Not all of them can be remembered and used on the exam day. Hence an aspirant needs to be careful while studying from these books.
3. Test Series
After learning all the concepts, the best way is to practice by solving mock tests. These institutes provide an actual exam like simulated environment to solve tests with detailed analysis of the result and regional & national level ranks. This gives the aspirant an opportunity to test his preparation level.
However, some of these test series are either extremely difficult to break an aspirant’s confidence or too easy to create a false impression.
Following points must be pondered upon before enrolling at a coaching institute:
1. “Sharmaji ka Beta went to XYZ Coaching and got into a Top b-school. Hence I will also join the same”, this won’t work. Just because it worked for someone doesn’t mean it will work for everyone.
2. The number and size of advertisements in the newspaper have no relation with the quality of the coaching institute.
3. Not all the ‘Top Performers’ shown in these ads come out of the regular classroom programmes. Some have enrolled for an online/ distant learning course while some join only for the test series.
4. If possible attend a demo lecture. The decision to enrol at an institute should depend upon the performance in the classroom and not at the reception.
5. Focus on the success or the conversion ratio i.e. the number of students selected at top b-schools to the total number of students enrolled at the coaching institute. But rarely this data is provided.
Thus before putting your hard earned money and to some extent your future in the hands of a coaching institute, think twice and make the right decision!
Image Credits : CIEE