One of the most fundamental needs of a student while preparing for CAT is for coaching. Given the fact that we grow up with tuitions at the primary level i.e. School, then move on to coaching for engineering or other graduate programs, by default, we start looking at various options during the postgraduate stage to help the student tide over the ghost of CAT.
Who Should Take Coaching For CAT?
The first question that comes to mind of students is – should I take coaching for CAT? My aptitude is at this or this level, so what should I do to maximize my chances of making it to the top B school. All the people who fall in any of the following categories should certainly consider coaching for their preparation.
- Anyone who scores <60%ile in Mock CAT exam and past 2005-2008 year papers of CAT.
- Anyone who scores >80%ile but thinks that he is not motivated and needs a classroom environment to study and remain focused.
- Anyone who finds it hard to grasp concepts in an efficient manner but can improve if external help is provided.
- If you are seriously looking towards an MBA as a long term career changing option in every earnest. Why not find out why you want to do MBA if you haven’t done so already over here. If you are giving it for time pass, might as well just save some money.
- Basically, a number of scenarios arise. Looking at the other end would probably be a bit easier. Let’s see:
Who should NOT take coaching for CAT?
- A highly motivated individual, consistently scoring >85%ile in Mock CAT and past CAT paper.
- Has time, can stick to a schedule and dependent on himself or herself for studies. Has a self-belief that he can do it, despite the odds and good at researching for information online and via own network of friends or seniors.
Now if you do decide to take coaching for the CAT exam, then the next question that comes in line is
From Where to Take Coaching?
There are three types of coaching available as of now:
- Class Room Coaching wherein students go and study by attending regular classes. Most coaching providers take classes 3 days a week, alternate days for around 90-150 minutes, depending on the class in question.
- The other is a self-study mode, wherein you order books from coaching providers and solve them yourself like from TIME and prepare accordingly.
- The third and newest form of study that has just evolved, deals with online coaching.
Honestly, given the flexibility and advantages of online coaching, the 2nd mode of study has become practically redundant and useless. Not only is the 3rd option cheaper, but more flexible and has superior content and application, hands down! The question for students is whether to go for #1 or #3.
The decision is pretty simple – if you need classroom coaching, go for #1, else #3 is for you. If you wish to check out, you can see the case of TestFunda.com, one of the best online service providers.
In terms of classroom coaching, the best options are TIME, Career Launcher, Total Gadha, BIJYU classes and IMS. Also, the coaching center is made by the faculty of that place and since that is very hard to determine, it’s best that you take some sample classes before you decide to join any particular coaching institute. It would be worth your time if you watch this video on CAT.
Now the last part,
When to Start With CAT Coaching?
This is again an agonizing question because of relative pedagogy that we are brought up in where we take coaching for IIT for 1,2,3 or even 4 years at times. However, if you look at the syllabus of CAT over here, you will find that most of the syllabus is just 9th, 10th level of mathematics. The base is the same, the difficulty rests in the time constraint and the quality of questions which can be quite tricky to tackle at times.
Logical Reasoning is something that cannot be taught, it’s more about hard work and your own penchant and IQ. There are elements and nuances in Data Interpretation which students can be made aware of.
Now, considering the whole exam paper, 6-9 months, with 3-4 hours of study a day is more than good enough to finish the syllabus for a 70%ile student.
If you are perpetually weak in any particular subject (i.e. scoring less <40%ile in mock exams), like English, then perhaps you can inculcate a habit of reading, which can definitely help you a long way in cracking the CAT exam. If you too weak in Quant, then perhaps you can start with NCERT books of 9th and 10nth and then move on to the coaching books 9-12 months before the exam.
In any case, since the CAT exam happens sometime in October-November, the first quarter of the year i.e. Jan to March is a good time to begin for an average student.
Keep in mind that ideally, you should finish the same Books For CAT at least twice before you start with your Mock Exam in August i.e. Around 2 months before the CAT exam.
So that about covers all the facets of coaching, if you feel there is a question that we have left out, please leave your comments below.
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