Mythbuster: Coaching for Civil Services (IAS) Exam
Given the fact that civil services is one of the most preferred profession among the students, the Civil Services coaching market is a booming business. Visit Mukherjee Nagar, Rajender Nagar and similar places, and you’ll see the rush that UPSC exam has created among the junta.
Nevertheless, before going into the discussion about the coaching centers, here’s a short story about an Aspirant named- Dipesh (the real name has been kept secret to save the person from embarrassment).
Dipesh is an Engineer from IIT, Delhi, and wants to be an IAS officer. He came to Delhi, from his hometown in Uttar Pradesh, to get coaching for IAS. Impressed by some classy advertisements, Dipesh got himself enrolled in the IAS Coaching program of the Bhaiya ji IAS Academy (cannot take the real name, otherwise we’ll be threatened). The coaching promised a comprehensive coverage of UPSC syllabus, books covering 100% matter, and an expert faculty to guide the students. So far so good, but after one month, Dipesh had to rush from the coaching, after being frustrated to the core of his soul.
The coaching supplied him with about 10 Kg of books (with 10000+ pages) and expected him to read it within a couple of months. He also got the original reports, adding another 10000+ pages. Added to all this was the 12th pass faculty, who were expert in giving excuses and over-motivating the aspirants. Finally, Dipesh got depressed and lost the amount that he had paid as fee (only Rs. 51000)
The market is brimming with such coaching centers. Your career is a major decision, and you should not make any hassle while choosing the right profession or coaching.
Before going to the coaching, you should decide, is it really worth for you to take a coaching?
Why does the Coaching Matter?
- Most of the IAS coaching institutes attract the aspirants by claiming their success records and comprehensiveness of the study materials. But, it is an error to join any coaching institute by observing the success statistics presented by them. Generally, the proportion of the successful candidates, to the total number of students enrolled under the coaching institutes, is microscopic.
- The success in the IAS exam is not defined by the popularity or fee structure of an institute, but by the effort and hard-work of the aspirant himself. Thus, while many of the candidates clear the civil services exam through various coaching, many others crack it without any regular coaching classes.
What does the Coaching Institutes Do?
While there might be a few coaching centers who provide genuine guidance, most of the others are just money-minded businessmen. Every coaching institute claims to provide a comprehensive coverage of the syllabus covered under the civil services examination.
None of the coaching-wala understands the fact that it is important to build a strong foundation before going deep into the studies. Generally, most of the institutes quickly go through the main topics asked under the civil services examination, without attempting to lay a foundational understanding of the different concepts. This leads to a fractured development of the knowledge base of an aspirant. This seriously affects the candidate, by creating confusions and misunderstandings in the Mains examination.
Most of the coaching centers assume that the aspirants coming to them are the scholarly-intellectuals, who come prepared for the massive dose of study material and high-level language. In this context, it would be incorrect to view the coaching centers as a center of learning.
The coaching centers follow an incorrect assumption that the students will learn whatever they listen and read in a day. They does not give any time for internalisation of new ideas.
You should understand that you can prepare all by yourself, if you read everything available in the market. The task of a coaching is to guide and direct the aspirants through the ocean of resources available in the market.
Thus, we recommend, for the serious candidates, to judge a coaching and its course structure, before joining such classes. A poor coaching can lead to a wastage of your priceless time, by indulging you in useless mind-boggling exercise for irrelevant papers and material.
Choose your coaching judiciously. Do not let the market rumors come over your mind. Most of the coaching institutes use massive marketing strategies to attract the budding aspirants. However, a poor coaching institute could ruin the opportunity for an aspirant by furthering him on a wrong path.
How does Coaching Centers Market themselves:
Claim 1: We Provide a Comprehensive Coverage of the UPSC syllabus.
Fact: The Coverage comprise of Tonnes of study material, that they expect you to read, with understanding!!
Claim 2: Most of the Questions were asked directly from our Sample Papers.
Fact:Providing 100025446 questions would give you these questions, even if the percentage of questions
asked is as low as <0.01%
Claim 3: We Give comprehensive Coaching for all the subjects.
Fact 1: The course is crafted for a particular section of student community, which might not be suitable for all.
Fact 2: The syllabus cover the latest facts and brief notes, while giving nothing to clear the basics.
This leaves you without any foundation.
Claim 4: We provide Books, Bags, Tablets, etc, etc, etc…
Fact: Are you here for coaching or is it a Supermarket!! Do not come under such Hoax assertions.
JAGOO GRAHAK JAGOO!!
What to do then??
Understand a simple fact,
You are the best teacher of yourself.
- No external coaching can be better than a devoted self-study. However, you might consult some experts, when faced with confusion and complexity.
- A Coaching expects you to study the course, being taught everyday, regularly. Because of the limitations of time, the coaching institutes are forced to rush through the syllabus of the civil services examination. Therefore, you might find yourself lagging behind the coaching’s speed of tackling with the syllabus.
- A analysis of various civil services aspirants showed that most of the candidates are unable to keep up with the pace of the coachings. Thus, by the end of their coaching classes, most of the students are unable to link with the different courses, that have been taught to them. This results in great confusion and misunderstanding.
- Also, it is not guaranteed that one would be able to clear all the concepts and facts, through the coaching classes. In a class-hall of 150-300 students, it becomes difficult to establish a communicative environment. Thus, most of the student, in the coaching classes, are often, unable to absorb the lectures, thus, failing the whole purpose itself.
Still, if you think that you need regular coaching, a rational strategy is to opt for the correspondence courses of the coaching institutes. A Correspondence course allows you to go with the syllabus, at your own pace and comfort level. Also, make sure that the correspondence course offers you the opportunity to contact the reliable experts, to help you in clearing the concepts and confusions. Remember, it is important to plan your strategy before going for the preparations.
Before going to join the coaching, you might choose to evaluate the study material and aspirant reviews about the coaching. You may check the reviews of the aspirants on different forums. (click here to see good forum for UPSC aspirants).
A wisely planned correspondence course material can help you in covering the syllabus for the exam with minimal stress. Whereas, it is highly irrational to dig deep into the available resources on the subject, without considering their relevance for the exam.
Secondly, if you have all the concepts and basic knowledge of the course, you would not like to spend your precious time going around the coaching institutes. Instead, you must get some quality notes, that are updated, and embellish your foundations. Going to the coaching classes would not be a rational strategy for such candidates, as these classes are crafted from the perspective of a fresh aspirant, who needs to be told about the ‘ABC’ of the subject. Since you have attained a basic knowledge of the various concepts, you would want to reinforce your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
One must understand that all coachings have a perspective, that might not suit to the needs of someone, who has a grasp of different concepts and disciplines. Thus, it is recommended that you must fabricate you own study plan, and merely get the resources from a reliable source.
A final Note:
We not claim that no guidance is required for the preparations of the IAS, IPS exam, but it is wise to judge the credentials of the mentor that you choose.
Understand that teaching and mentoring are two different things.
We will come back with more analysis and guidance for the fellow friends.
Till then, Beware of the fake coaching-gurus!! (pun indented)
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