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10 questions to ask before choosing a coaching institute for IITJEE, AIEEE or AIPMT
Exams like IITJEE, AIEEE, AIPMT etc. need coaching
When class X board results are declared most of the 10 and 9 plus graders get ready to join a coaching centre for next two years. When it comes to competing for IITs, NITs, AIIMS etc., even those below 9 CGPA are not far behind. Many of these students too aspire for institutes of national fame. That is not quite unreasonable because IITJEE, AIEEE, AIPMT and such other exams not only test the students for the hard work they have put in but also for their situational intelligence . Two years is a period in which scores can be reversed and even below 9 graders may spring up a surprise. Role of coaching centres is very important for success in the gruelling tests. Most of the parents as well as students are puzzled over the matter of selection of a coaching centre. After certain amount of research the following criteria were found to be failure-proof in choice of a coaching centre:
1. What is the track record of the coaching centre?
Experienced coaching centres have an edge. You have to know how old a coaching centre is and how skilled a coaching centre is in the art of turning mediocre students to extra-ordinary ones and that of grooming geniuses in the manner needed. For this, try to look into their track records, i.e. how many students were enrolled for a course, like, say IITJEE or AIPMT, how many were successful, what percentage of students secured ranked within top 1000 or top 500 or within 100. In this matter do not go only by testimonials or reception desk of the coaching centre. You can try surfing the internet for concrete records or read the latest issues of career magazines. A relative or friend whose ward has earlier cleared such exams may guide you well in this regard.
2. Who are the lecturers/ professors constituting the faculty and what are their qualifications?
This is one of the most important considerations while deciding about a coaching centre. Recently I watched a Youtube video of a lecture on ‘Permutations and Combinations’. You may also see the video through this link:
I was quite impressed by the way the teacher made difficult things looks easy. I went on searching and watching more and more videos of the lecturer.
The point is that good teachers have the ability to transform students entirely from non-thinkers to intense-thinkers.
So ask for a list of lecturers/ professors constituting the faculty along with their qualifications.
Presence of teachers in the faculty who have themselves, at some point of time, cracked such examinations is always a plus for the institute as well as for the students. For example, an institute coaching for IITJEE, which has IITian pool of teachers, surely has an edge over another institute which does not have such faculty.
Nowadays, many coaching centres conduct demo classes and mock sessions for students and parents to showcase their faculty. These sessions help in making correct and wise decisions.
3. What is the fee structure and refund system?
You may get a shock if you are not conscious about this aspect. Fees of coaching centres vary widely because many are new and many of these institutions are in the process of establishing themselves. In order to lure students discounts and special facilities are provided. But always remain concerned about your basic requirement. Remember you want quality education in a student friendly environment. No other factor is as important.
Ask whether you will have to pay the entire amount at a time or in instalments and whether you get a discount if you make the entire payment at a time. Chose the option that suits you.
These institutions conduct entrance tests and discount is given on tuition fee based on how a student scores.
Students dropping out after attending the coaching centre for few days/weeks is quite commonplace. So have a look at refund system as you zero in on a coaching house. Such centres have the system of refunding a percentage of the paid amount depending on the period for which classes were attended.
4. Are class rooms and seating arrangements up to the mark?
Coaching centres show you their class rooms, seating arrangements, lighting arrangements, discussion rooms and availability of other facilities like air conditioning, drinking water etc.
Imagine your ward sitting in a class without air condition or coolers on a typical 44 degree Delhi day. However good a lecturer is, your ward is quite unlikely to imbibe everything that the teacher delivers.
So, do look for good sanitation facilities as health plays a vital role in preparation for such exams as would require long sustained effort from a student.
5. Does the coaching house have a system of classifying students?
Coaching houses have, over the years, taken to a system of classification of students. Either in the beginning or in the mid of the course somewhere, students, depending on their performance in weekly or monthly tests, may be classified. Best students are groomed in a different way. Special sessions are held for them with advanced tips for cracking tough problems. Teachers of the coaching house take extra pains to conduct separate doubt-clearing sessions for the privileged batch of students.
Such a classification may be good or bad for a student. Comparatively weaker students suffer in such a scenario whereas the scheme creates the right milieu for meritorious students.
You may choose or not choose to go for such an institution in accordance with the capabilities of your ward.
6. Does the coaching centre provide quality study material and has a library of important books?
Most coaching houses provide the theoretical study material in the form of study modules supplemented by a plentiful supply of solved and unsolved numerical and reasoning problems. You are advised to collect some pre-information about the quality of such modules. The best quality modules are the ones which provide problems of varying degrees of difficulty level. In fact tests like IITJEE, AIEEE and AIPMT etc. also have problems of different intelligence levels.
Ask if the institute has a good library of supporting books and whether your ward will be allowed to use the library facility for free.
7. How does the coaching institute test students’ performances?
Different coaching centres have different ways to monitor the performance of their students. They conduct weekly or monthly or quarterly tests to ascertain a candidate’s ability to perform in a time bound tough test. The classification decisions as mentioned in point 5 above also depend on the result of these tests.
Try to know the system of performance monitoring in entirety. Ask if the parents are briefed about the results through e-mails or SMSs. Also try to know whether separate motivation classes are held to boost performance and confidence-building.
8. What is the travel time to reach the coaching centre?
This is a very important question which you must ask to yourself before making any decision over the matter of choosing the right coaching institute for your ward.
A typical student in class 11 0r 12 goes to school at about eight in the morning and comes back home by about 2 to 3 P.M. He/she naturally requires some rest and if the coaching centre is a long way from home he/she will be hard pressed to maintain the timings and perform well as well.
So make a choice keeping in mind the total travel time for going to and coming from the centre. It is due to travel time factor only that in big cities a fraction, though very small, of the students is resorting to online coaching. So before you decide about your choice think about the distance of the institute as well as available means of communication.
9. What are the timing options for classes and whether they are changeable?
You must also ask the available options for class timings and also know in advance whether you can change from one type to another type. Institutes generally provide weekdays or weekend options. Work out a plan that fits into your ward’s daily routine in the best possible way. Ask whether the coaching centre will allow flexibility to change to another set of timings in case your ward does not like your choice after attending the classes for sometime.
10. Does the institute try inserting the ‘Change’ element?
You must be knowing that exams like IITJEE continuously change their pattern of question papers. Moreover due to other factors changes take place every year. For example, many admission tests have gone online from the written pattern. Ministry is also concerned about making changes in the way leading examinations of the country are held and shortlists are made. Moreover, negative marking, comprehension type questions, HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills) questions and newer ways to test the intelligence quotient are regularly being introduced.
Hence before finally making your choice attempt at learning from various sources whether the institute regularly amends its techniques to coach students. Does it hold surprise tests, challenge sessions and non-conventional tests?
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