I went to Kota for coaching for IIT-JEE exam in July 2010 and it was my first time away from home for 1 year. The year which was supposed to be life changing for me in a positive way proved to be the most unproductive year of my life. In the coaching classes there was a constant pressure to study more and more to move to higher batch where top teachers used to teach for which everybody had paid the fees in the first place. In my short stint of four months in Kota I studied day and night not caring about my health and unaware about the outside world. However, no matter how hard I tried it was very difficult to compete there and my health also deteriorated in the meantime. I tried to change my hostel there and some days were wasted in finding the new place and adjusting to its environment. Even after moving to a new place things did not change at all. There were all sorts of advice from all side and I was unable to decide which one to follow. I missed some of the mock test due to ill-health and wished those tests could be conducted again which was not possible logically. In these tumultuous times only thing which seemed to me logical was to return home as I was missing it badly. Also in the meanwhile due to missing out some tests I was demoted to a lower batch and the teaching conditions was not satisfactory there. Amidst all these things one day my friend was attacked by a thief with a knife for robbing his purse and he was seriously injured and had to return home. Also it was the area where mostly students lived, such type of incidents were on a rise. That incident gave a final blow to my idea of staying there and I decided to move back to home.
Eventually, I had to leave Kota and come back to home for the sake of my health which took 2 months to recover. After that I knew I was not going to clear the JEE and made up my mind to strike at the very next opportunity to get into IIT and not follow the herd(bhed-chaal). I did some self-study and managed to get the best college possible in my state. In Kota also I had realized that no matter how good they teach in the class it’s only the self-study you do which launches you ahead.
With the importance of self-study in mind, I started the preparation of GATE exam to pursue M.tech in IITs on my own going against the orthodox way to joining coaching. This time I searched for better options and found all on the internet. All the papers, study materials and books were ordered and even the lectures were attended online. I was also aware of the recent changes and trends in the exam and finally made it to IIT-Bombay. It was a dream coming true. I seriously wished there was some online platform in my JEE days so that I could have prepared in my sweet home.
Nevertheless, when my younger cousin brother asked me what to do for preparation I advised him to use the technology (toppr.com).
Learning from my experiences can be put up as below:
1. No matter how big the name of your coaching is, it’s only your self-study that will pay you.
2. Since you may or may not get the chance to get taught by best teachers in a coaching, in online platform you can always view the lectures from the elite one(in fact, they mostly put the best only there)
3. Since being away from home diverts your attention, deteriorates your health and may entice you to indulge in leisure activities, it’s better to stay home , stay healthy and prepare comfortably.
4. Since our attention span is limited(say 30minutes average),in online lectures you have the facility to pause the lecture and make your mind refresh , in offline lectures which are usually 1 to 1.5 hrs, once you lose attention rest of the lecture goes in vain and never recovered.
5. The flexible timing for your learning, on the spot doubt-solving are other advantages of online platform which are handy and their importance are only realized when you have done offline coaching.
6. In big offline coachings there are always batches in which you are promoted or demoted according to your performance in mock test. Adjusting to a new teacher after every month becomes difficult and takes a toll on your preparation. I sincerely recommend to stick to a teacher only if you are comfortable to him/her and once your frequencies match don’t change.
Wise men learn from their experiences, wiser from others. Choose the better option don’t follow the rat race.
Yo can also get a more detailed insight about online and offline study. All the best 🙂