Cracking a competitive exam is clearly not a cakewalk and requires some very serious preparation and commitment from the aspirants. Be it for Banking recruitment exams, SSC CGL Exams or for IAS/PCS exams; preparation remains the key to cracking these coveted government job exams. When it comes to preparation for competitive exams, students are faced with a challenging choice of either opting for coaching institutes or go for online education resources. What complicates things even further is that there is no one, single method or path that will assure success in competitive recruitment exams. While some students have been able to crack these exams with the expert guidance of coaching institutes others have been able to clear them with flying colours with the help of online education and resources.
With no clear winner among these two, it is up the candidate to evaluate the different pros and cons of coaching institutes as well as online education and decide which one suits their needs for preparation for competitive exams. To help students in this quest, we have compiled a short list of advantages and drawbacks for each of these modes of preparation.
Before we move on to the pros and cons of both these methods, it is very important for us to evaluate them in detail. Traditionally, coaching institutes have been the frontrunners as far as preparation for competitive exams is concerned. The impact of coaching institutes has been such that, it has been deemed as an independent stand-alone industry on its own. Today, students will be able to find coaching classes for any and every competitive exam, even in small towns and tier 2 and tier 3 cities across the country. Many aspirants, who have been able to crack competitive government exams with the help of coaching institutes vouch for the guidance and mentorship of their teachers, which helped them on their tough path. On the other end of the spectrum, there are aspirants who have invested quite a large amount and still are not satisfied with the substandard training offered by the coaching institutes.
Pros of Coaching Institutes
- Guidance: One of the biggest advantages of opting for coaching institutes has to be the guidance and mentorship of teachers. The teachers employed by the coaching classes have vast experience and knowledge regarding the competitive exams. Therefore, they are able to guide the aspirants towards success effectively by helping them hone their skills and transform their weaknesses into strengths.
- Study Material: The study material provided by coaching classes as part of the package is designed by experts after thorough study and detailed analysis of exam pattern and entire syllabus. Therefore, the coaching classes study material is more likely to cover topics on the basis of their importance in the exam and help aspirants take up targeted approach to crack them.
- Time Management & Discipline: For aspirants, who are just starting out in the field of governmental competitive exams, it is very difficult to manage their time and exhibit necessary discipline when it comes to studies. Many aspirants take up preparation for governmental exams along with their academic studies or professional jobs. For such students, joining a coaching institute would ensure that they would devote a minimum amount of time and effort for the preparation, irrespective of their other commitments.
Cons of Coaching Institutes
- Substandard Teaching Standards: One of the biggest criticisms levelled against the coaching institutes has been the substandard teaching standards followed by them. Generally, candidates who have been unable to clear the governmental competitive examinations are hired by coaching institutes to teach the aspiring candidates. Such candidates might possess the necessary knowledge and experience with respect to competitive exams, but they are neither equipped nor qualified to be teachers. Lack of proper teaching techniques contributes significantly to the substandard teaching standards of coaching institutes.
- Low-Quality Study Materials: Many have hailed coaching institutes for preparing targeted and effective study materials that can help students crack the competitive exams. But, if we look at this in detail the study material provided by coaching institutes is often outdated and fixed as per the traditional trends. When governmental competitive exams are getting tougher every year with frequent changes in exam pattern, style and syllabus; it is very unlikely that outdated and low-quality study materials will help aspirants.
- No focus on personal requirements: Despite charging a premium fee for coaching institutes, they still predominantly operate in the classroom format. Considering that, more number of students in a single classroom means more revenue for them, coaching institutes often compromise upon quality and teaching standards. Furthermore, in the classroom format, students do not get personal attention from tutors and do not get to work on their strengths and weaknesses.
Online Preparation for Competitive Exams
Online Education has been a recent development as far as preparation for governmental competitive examinations is concerned. With the availability of excellent resources in both written study materials as well as audio-visual resources; online education and training has emerged as a pivotal factor for aspirants preparing for the governmental competitive exams. While the online education mode remains restricted by the availability of internet in remote areas, it has proven to be a great alternative to substandard coaching institutes, who charge a premium for their services.
Pros of Online Preparation for Competitive Exams
- Self-Study Format: The biggest advantage of opting for online study resources for preparation for govt competitive exams is that it promotes and inculcates self-study techniques among the candidates. According to many experts, self-study is best and most effective form of study format that candidates should follow, especially when it comes to competitive examinations. Self-study not only helps aspirants design a strategy and pace at which they are comfortable but in the process also helps then identify their strengths and weaknesses.
- Excellent Study Materials: As far as study materials are concerned, there is no dearth of it in the online world. Aspirants and candidates will be able to find excellent quality study materials, some drafted by the coaching institutes and some by independent experts. Moreover, these materials are available in different formats and, therefore, offer a variety of choices and options to the aspirants to choose from, as per their requirements and needs.
- Cost Effective: Another significant advantage of opting for online preparation for competitive exams is cost effectiveness. Compared to coaching institutes, online educational resources are available at more reasonable charges and some resources are even offered free of cost. In addition to this in the online preparation format, aspirants have the choice of buying only part of study material, question papers or online videos, depending upon their requirements.
Cons of Online Preparation for Competitive Exams
- Limited Reach: When it comes to online preparation for competitive exams, the biggest hindrance in the widespread adopting of this method has been its limited reach. Despite being one of the most rapidly expanding fields, internet technology is still not available in remote areas. This makes online preparation for competitive exams not a viable option for rural youth, which forms the largest demographic among applicants for such tests.
- Lack of mentorship: Despite offering excellent study materials in both textual as well audio-visual formats, the online preparation for competitive exam still lack the factor of mentorship. With the lack of personalized attention from a tutor, aspirants are often found confused about complex concepts and have not one to turn to help them out. In addition to this, online preparation also takes away the advantage that experienced tutors have in terms of practical aspects of exam preparation.
- Too much of Everything: Internet is an encyclopaedia of everything, and more often than not, aspirants looking for specific study materials are provided too much information. This information overflow doesn’t help aspiring candidates, as cracking government exams need targeted approach that is focused around the syllabus. Many students, who opt for online educational resources for government competitive exams have reported this problem and its adverse impact on their preparation strategy.
As stated at the beginning, there is no single way that will guarantee success in govt competitive examinations. Both, coaching institutes and online education has their own set of advantages and disadvantages, and aspirants should consider both these factors before choosing, which mode would be ideal for them. Irrespective of which mode you opt for, it is your dedication; hard work and mental strength that will help you crack coveted exams Bank PO, SSC CGL and others.