rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » 8 benchmarks to pick a CAT coaching class

8 benchmarks to pick a CAT coaching class

Last updated on: March 30, 2011 16:31 IST

8 benchmarks to pick a CAT coaching class

     Next

Next
Shashank Prabhu

This year's MBA season is gone and the new one is on its way now. Freshers have a plethora of coaching class options to choose from. How do you make the selection?

This year's MBA entrance season is done with, and the new season is about to begin in full swing in a few months. Freshers and those who are enthusiastic about joining coaching institutes for CAT preperation may indeed be confused, what with the plethora of options around. With each coaching institute claiming to be better than the other, there are a few factors one needs to think through before picking one.

1. Faculty

Inquire about the credentials of the faculty members. If possible, ask for a demo lecture before you enroll. The bigger coaching classes have various branches, and it is difficult for them to have the same set of teachers at every center. There might be a few lectures here and there from the biggies, but the rest of the faculty consists of those who are affiliated to your center. Get to know about the regular faculty, and if possible, try to get reviews about them from current students. Also, inquire about whether the teachers are approachable and available online as well as offline to clear your doubts at each stage.


Photographs: Careers360.com
     Next

No. 2: Amount of practice

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The number of simulated tests that are taken in a proctored environment is an important factor. Ask the institute about their tie-ups with the various colleges, or web worlds, or cyber cafes, and whether there are any hindrances they face while taking the test. Make sure that you are able to take the test in a proctored environment, where you don't face any distraction.

The number of tests that you take is an important factor. Ask the coaching class specifically about the number of proctored all-India tests they provide, and other unproctored tests that don't be taken by many aspirants. Ask them if the cut-offs and percentiles would be available for the same and what kind of feedback would be given to the candidate.

Coaching institutes also offer mock tests for other management entrance tests, besides the CAT (XAT, FMS, SNAP, IIFT, MAT, ATMA, IRMA, TISS, JMET, CET, etc). Ask them if they provide papers for these tests too, and whether they will be take-home tests, or whether they will be meant for solving in a proctored environment.


Photographs: Rediff Archives
Prev     Next

No. 3: The quality and popularity of the tests

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
The quality of various different tests can be checked by asking previous year test takers. The number of test takers is also a good indicator of how good or bad these tests are. Do not blindly believe the tall claims made by institutes regarding the number of test takers. The more the number of test takers the better, because it gives you an idea of where you stand among others. The quality of tests is important as it makes you aware of your overall progress, and your strengths and weaknesses.

Photographs: Rediff Archives
Prev     Next

No. 4: Your batchmates

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Inquire thoroughly about the size of the batch. Many coaching institutes have huge batches (sometimes running into a few hundred students at a time) and so what suffers is individual attention. Solving specific personal doubts can become a problem. It also makes it difficult for students to approach faculty members. In case you require individual attention, try joining a coaching class that has a smaller batch of students.

Ask if you are eligible for any of the special batches based on your performance on previous tests, or the scholarship tests which are conducted by a few institutes. The teaching quality and the student quality will definitely improve.


Photographs: Rediff Archives
Prev     Next

No. 5: Resources and study material

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Every coaching institute will provide you with basic material. You can have a look at the material before enrolling, and see whether it's extensive or not. There is very little difference between the content of the material provided by different institutions; all of them cover almost the same things. Even if some institute gives you a lot of quantity of material, it is not necessary that you have to solve every inch of it. The material is only used for the purpose of building up on concepts, and to get you used to various topics. One does not need to get addicted to solving the entire set.

Many institutes also provide students with monthly magazines in order to keep them up-to-date with current affairs across the world. Do not forget to subscribe to these magazines regularly, and if you don't get them delivered, do not hesitate to ask for them again.


Photographs: Rediff Archives
Prev     Next

No. 6: Library and infrastructure

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Certain institutes allow students to take various library books home to read, or allow them to be read in class. Find out what kind of facility is available at the place you've chosen. Also, have a look at the classroom if possible, and check whether they have enough space to accomodate various batches.

If they happen to conduct the online mocks at their center itself, ask them if they are also technically equipped to carry out the test too.


Photographs: Rediff Archives
Prev     Next

No. 7: The online support system

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Most of the institutes have their own website, and discussion forums. Inquire about what kind of online support they provide. Go through their website if possible, and check out how active their forums really are. Ask them if there will be any newsletters or tests on the site.

Photographs: Rediff Archives
Prev     Next

No. 8: Accessibility and location

Prev     More
Prev

More

This is one of the more important factors that gets neglected. However good the faculty is, at the end of the day, you are the one who has to put in effort. Traveling for hours to reach the class will not be very useful if you aren't putting in the effort on your own as well. Also, you might lose motivation in a few days if the place is situated too far away. For working junta, it becomes a pain to travel after a while. Consider all these aspects and think hard about why you want to join a particular center.

So, no matter how sweetly the person at the counter speaks to you, it is important to get a few queries answered beforehand. At the end of the day, coaching institutes are a business and you are a consumer. So, you do have the right to ask questions about what concerns you.


Photographs: Rediff Archives
Prev     More

"PaGaLGuY.com is India's biggest and most trusted MBA preparatory resources website, using technology, community and high quality content to empower the MBA aspirant community."