NEET or the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test is the most reputed entrance examination for MBBS and BDS aspirants in the country. Every year the NEET exam sees lakhs of aspirants striving to appear and clear the exam to ensure a seat in some of the top government and private medical colleges. However, only the chosen few achieve this feat and they are the ones who prepare in a systematic and streamlined manner. While, it is indeed the aspirants self-determination that makes him/her motivated enough to prepare well, the medium also counts. In today’s era aspirants have all the choices for NEET preparation; from self-study to online coaching, and offline coaching. Or they can even choose a judicious mix.
While, self-study is anyways a part of any approach to get coached, we would try and understand the benefits and shortcomings of online and offline modes to NEET coaching.
From the very onset of the culture of coaching centers, students have been attracted to the format of getting guidance from the experts. There are various advantages to this mode of coaching:
- Dedicated Guidance: Unlike school teaching, coaching centers provide dedicated guidance for specific entrance examinations. While a student can attain the foundational understanding in school, he/she can join a coaching class for that specific guidance.
- Direct Connect with Experts: School teachers are trained for school teaching and their teaching methodologies adapt to the same. However, experts and coaches in a coaching center focus on methodologies per the entrance exam pattern. They take the students through the required curriculum in a manner that helps them to solve problems quickly and be more specific in their choice of questions. Since, the experts have lots of experience in the field they can guide the students to make a better plan to prepare for the exams.
- Competitiveness: A class in a coaching center comprise of many students, preparing for the same entrance exam, in short vying for the same set of seats. This enhances the spirit of competitiveness within the students
- Regular Test Series: Coaching classes conduct regular mock tests and this is how students get to gauge their preparation level for the concerned examination. They can assess their performance and plan and prepare in a better manner.
While, the above points highlight many benefits of attending offline coaching classes, there could be some disadvantages too.
- Costly: Attending coaching classes can prove costly for the students, in comparison to studying on their own or attending online sessions. Moreover, there are many overheads involved like: cost of transportation to the coaching center, renting PGs/hostels near coaching centers, cost of eating out during odd hours etc.
- Effort and Time Consuming: Attending offline classes in a coaching center ask for a lot of extra effort. Students need to attend their regular school hours and then travel to and from their coaching centers. This drains them out of energy and they are unable to give much time to self-study and at many times even start ignoring their health. A lot of time gets wasted in this process, which has no compensation.
- Lack of Individual Attention: In a class of around 30 students, it becomes difficult for the experts to focus on the requirements of a particular student.
In the digital era online coaching has overpowered the coaching scenario and has reached the comfortable confines of a student’s home as opposed to an offline coaching class. There are various benefits of an online coaching session.
- Cost Advantage: While an online session proves more costly than self-study, it is on a lesser side than as compared to an offline session. This is because there are no overhead costs involved; students only need a laptop/desktop/tablet with a good internet connection.
- Connect with Best Experts: Since the online mode connects experts and learners from across geographical boundaries, there is no limitation on expertise. This is why online coaching classes only provide live online classes conducted by the best experts. Students can directly connect with these experts for any issue through live chat. Moreover, the reach of an expert is greater in this case, as the class strength does not limit his/her attention. They can provide live sessions to many students at one go and students can still reach out to them directly for clarity on their doubts.
- Comfort and Convenience: Unlike an offline coaching class, live online classes could be attended from the comfort of their homes. This is what makes more and more students opting for this mode, with every passing year. Not only does this save a lot of travel time, but a lot of overhead cost and energy.
- Regular Test Series: Just like an offline coaching class, students get to appear in regular mock tests, they can also opt to take specific test series and prepare and practice at their own pace. All tests are marked and analyzed to provide a full proof performance report to the students.
- Add Ons: Students who enroll in online coaching sessions get to have the most comprehensively defined syllabus, notes and other reference material. They also have choice to select customized short subject wise courses, which is missing in an offline coaching system. They are also provided with recordings of each session to go through the same again, in case they missed it. This is certainly not possible in any offline session.
Unlike an offline coaching session, the online mode comes along with lesser disadvantages.
- Lack of Personal Connect: This mode does not allow a personal connect with the experts or the class mates. However, students can stay in touch through live chats or other online modes. Experts also provide various opportunities of team work to make the students go that extra mile to stay in touch with each other and to collaborate on a project.
- Time Lag: At many times there could be some buffering issues or time delays in getting a response from the expert’s end. However, this could be best avoided by using a high speed internet connection.
The above article emphasizes on all modes and means of attaining coaching for NEET preparation. Preparing for a medical entrance examination is indeed a tough job that requires complete dedication. However, as we can see an offline coaching module brings along various distracting scenarios. There is also no provision to offer multiple customized course. This is why online medical coaching is gaining momentum with every passing year. However, students can certainly select a judicious mix of online sessions and self-study to achieve the required results.