Coaching vs Self Study for JEE Preparations
With JEE Advance just around the corner on 19th May 2019, the IIT aspirants are, without a doubt trying to buckle up and go the extra mile for best results.
Catch hold of this thought and rewind the past two years of your life. At the end of the 10th grade most of the students have to take an earth-shattering decision, should they opt for self-study to prepare for JEE or go for the traditional method of enrolling oneself in a coaching institute? Believe me, I too had my doubts back then. In my opinion, it hardly matters where you study. What is essential is how dedicated you are towards your studies. With the JEE community evolving and it is highlighted as one of the most famous entrance tests, it is essential to prepare well. According to the statistics, over 1 lac students from across India appear for this exam, and only 10% or about 10,000 students qualify it. One has to work hard and at the same time must keep their priorities set too. The hype created in the market by coaching institutes baffles one and all. Be it the unparalleled case about Kota, or the coaching success of Fiitjee, Akaash, VMC, Resonance and many more the established institutes are still prefered by people. Students are made to believe that they can’t crack the exam on their own, without special guidance from top-notch teachers of the subjects. These coaching centres introduce students to the competitive world.
The main advantage of how a coaching institute helps you in preparing for the JEE is that it gives you a direction. Almost every institute preparing students for the most coveted engineering entrance exam of the nation has a well-designed curriculum to be followed throughout the teaching period. Now, since there is a time-bounded course structure, one can be assured of timely completion of the syllabus along with regular tests and quizzes. Tests with standardised objectified questions, progress reports pave a substantial way for students. The second boon of coaching is that one gets to know people around them, their strengths, weaknesses, and their approach towards studies. If taken in a positive sense it can give one perspective. One can improve themselves by noticing others’ strengths and weaknesses, coming out of their own comfort zone, pushing their limits and achieving much more than one initially anticipated. The factor with which a JEE self-study student lacks is one-to-one interactions with teachers. This is beneficial for the timely resolution of doubts and gaining insights about one’s progress. Coaching institutes have the upper hand here as the students seeking their guidance generally have a proper system where one can get their doubts cleared.
These institutes focus more on the shortcuts and tricks rather than teaching the basic of the topic. Joining a coaching institute gives many students a sense of security that you will clear the exam at ease. A coaching institute acts as a catalyst, thereby lowering the activation energy (the amount of hard work required) needed to reach your desired destination. Unless and until you put up the required hard-work that’s expected out of a JEE aspirant, the coaching institute is good for nothing. To cover such large content in a limited time with all the restrictions they often keep the pace of teaching high, to which not everyone can adapt. There is a large possibility that one is unable to keep up with the pace at which things are being taught at the institute or one may not be able to perform to their full potential due to any factor, poor examination temperament can be one of them. This might lead you to a condition where one feels like quitting preparation for the JEE. The excess peer-pressure can overwhelm one. People often resort to unethical means to get a couple of marks. It is essential not to lose confidence at this stage. Almost everyone goes through a phase in their preparation where they feel like quitting, but quitting is never the answer.
On the other hand, self-studying allows one to control one’s own pace, with a more relaxed and stress-free environment with no pressure from oppressive tests and peer. But at the same time, one doesn’t get the hang of the standardised process nor the practice one should have. The major drawback of self-studying is lack of proper doubt removal. Extra efforts need to be put to get doubts cleared up. However, with the advent of a lot of learning resources online like My JEE Mentor and some excellent correspondence courses, there is hardly any issue which can’t be fixed. A student using JEE self-study may perform much better than those who have been taking coaching for years. That is, provided he/she utilises the resources well, and plans his/her studies efficiently, giving due importance to every aspect ranging from physical fitness to a calm and composed mind. One major factor supporting self-study for JEE is that most students attend regular high school, coaching hardly leaves them with any time to study or manage time between school and coaching effectively. Most of this precious time is wasted in commuting from one place to another instead of studying.
I think that success on JEE is independent of what mode of preparation you adopt. Getting a high JEE rank boils down to how much effort you put into your studies. Don’t be nervous if you are not going to a coach and studying on your own. You have got a lot of time in your hands. Read, understand, and solve the questions on your own.
On the other hand, if you go to a coaching institute, take this as an opportunity to fine-tune yourself as much as possible. Make sure to extract the best of what the institute offers, work smart, keep learning, and you will surely ace JEE.