Q: Shall I join a coaching Institute for securing a good rank in GATE?
(Equally frequent: Isn't self study more than enough securing good rank in GATE)
A: From What I have seen, joining a good coaching institute is neither a necessary condition nor a sufficient condition for securing a good rank.
Why not a Necessary condition:
I have seen a lot of people who secure good ranks without going to any coaching. A lot of people are so focused & self disciplined enough, that they collect the necessary resources and start off themselves. There are some others who form a peer group of interested students and study by themselves. If thought rationally, everyone has got access to resources which is more than sufficient, textbooks, video lectures, Previous year question papers etc. , may be what makes a difference is the effort and hard work one puts on the process. So if you think your enthusiasm will sustain even after the initial hullaboo, and you don't require any further push for your preparation, its best to go for self study.
Why not a sufficient condition:
A simple observation is more than enough to prove this point. Thousands of aspirants join for coaching (If you take distance learning & test series as well, it may well cross tens of thousands for CS alone). But those who make it to the top 500 are only 500 (A rank good enough to guarantee you a call for IIT Test/Interviews). So there is something these 500 have done extra to attain this rank. No institute has any magic portion which guarantees you a good rank.
Why go to a coaching Institute?
They help you to streamline your studies and also to put you on a fast track. Many coaching centers do have good faculty and help you to get your basics right. They teach you in a fashion which stresses on what is relevant to GATE, and helps you to eliminate less important topics. Also, for the lazy ones like me, coaching gives a push to complete topics within a time frame. Also coaching lets you write mock tests and that gives you enough incentive to look at your weak points, time management strategies, and relative ranking about how well you perform.
To Quote Mr. Bhaskar Ramamurthy, Director of IIT Madras from an Interview given to business today.
"Can you explain how somebody bright but without coaching can miss out in the JEE?
Somebody who is very good but didn't get coaching and didn't know the strategy and didn't know time management may lose out to somebody who does not have that spark. It could be a matter of a few marks. We are mortally afraid that too many people will get the same marks and we can't rank - our job is to find 9,000 people from six lakh. So there are always tricky questions. So poor people do not come in. But if I had gone for coaching I am taught how to decide when a question is beyond my capability and move on, not wasting time. But the instinct of any bright student is to 'let me take this up and do it'. So a person who is not coached may waste too much time on a question. We make the exam long. Second, the coaching classes give you practice. You know some answers in multiple-choice cannot be true. So you eliminate all but one. You may get 10 marks extra by these strategies - it can make a huge difference."
Read the full article at: http://businesstoday.intoday.in/…/bhaskar-ram…/1/194376.html
Though his intention was exactly in the opposite direction, this could be well inferred as a reason for what makes coaching significant, though GATE scenario isn't that fierce compared to JEE.
Also, as a byproduct you get to meet a lot of peers, who are eqully focused as you, and hence help you form good peer groups (Now also possible with the help of online forums & fb groups as well). often peers can help you clear doubts in a much better way than, one person alone cramming for hours. Materials provided by coaching centres often prove to be good for revision and practice questions as well(You can create your own notes, but again this is more handy).
What to be taken care of before joining an Institute?
- Keep in mind you are assured to fail, if you plan study from materials alone provided your institute
- Every coaching material is sure to contain errors at some portion or other.
- Make sure you are about to join a reputed institute with a good track record, especially for the particular program you are about to join (It may be the case, that some one has just joined for test series in one institute and secured a top rank, but you enroll for a classroom program, while topper was doing his classroom program at some other institute).
- Its best if you know someone who has already studied there and knows about the institute.
- Never sweat much brooding over finding the ultimate best institute. choose one among the good ones, which suits you best, say by location,timing or program flexibility, because ultimately its your effort that is going to pay off.
I hope this gives you an idea about whether to choose coaching centres or not. So the bottomline is, the decision completely depends on the type of person you are and how well you need to do.
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