Online study has become a fad, so much so that it seems to be gradually replacing the traditional way of studying. But it has its own pros and cons, and by being aware of these pros and cons a CAT aspirant would be better able to orient his prep to suit his requirements, which varies from student to student.
For instance, most aspirants would love to have video solutions for every concept and question, but I have come across students who feel video solutions result in significant loss of time. Thus what is good for many may not be good for some.
There are, however, a few things that are common to all. These things should be kept in mind before you choose online CAT coaching. I will first present the pros of CAT online coaching followed by a few cons.
The pros of CAT online coaching
1Saves time and money:
There is no doubt that the biggest plus of online preparation is that it saves both time and money. There is no need to travel, there is time flexibility, there is ease of access. All these are major advantages.
The time that you save can be invested in preparation, and the money can be used to fill more forms and apply for a greater no of colleges, particularly if you are a working professional.
2Provides greater options, both qualitatively and quantitatively:
Though you have to be choosy with the material you study from, good online courses are qualitatively better than the inputs that you get in most classroom coaching.
Of course there might be classroom coaching that provide you quality that no online coaching can match, but such coaching centres are few and far, and are not capable of handling more than a certain number of students.
The limitation of distance and time makes such options either inaccessible or unaffordable. In comparison, online coaching is capable of providing the same quality to one and all. You can even customize your preparation.
3Trains you for the test-taking environment:
Almost all the MBA entrance exams have gone online, so you must have the stamina and concentration to focus on the computer screen for at least 150 to 180 minutes. If you are not used to studying online, concentration could be a serious issue. Online preparation inadvertently trains you for that.
4Easy to revise:
Even if you have used up the course content completely, you can always revise and revisit the topics with ease. There are better analytics to show where you stand and how you perform with respect to others.
5Updated course content:
The hard copy practice material of major classroom brands takes time to get updated, because of the volume and the cost involved. We have seen that even today the classroom coaching teach maths topics that have stopped coming in the exam.
The difficulty level of the practice material is very high, and there is too much focus on Number System and Modern Maths. The advantage of online prep is that it is easy to upload and update content, and shape the course according to the latest CAT pattern.
The cons of CAT online preparation
1Might result in inconsistency:
Too much of time flexibility can often result in inconsistency. There is no one to reprimand you. You may start as you please and end as you please. There is no strictness with respect to time and discipline. As a result, unless students are driven and have the desire to study, online preparation often results in the aspirant becoming inconsistent and complacent
2There might a feeling of isolation:
Students often love to prepare in groups. The peer group motivates you and keeps you on track. In online preparation, there is no such group; Facebook groups and WhatsApp groups often divert your attention from the core issues.
Often there is this unnecessary chit chatting, with little focus on content and problem-solving. Avoid groups as much as possible. If at all you feel like joining a group in order to stay updated, then join not more than one group.
3 Easy to get diverted:
While preparing online, you have access to your smartphone, mails, YouTube. It is so easy to keep on switching from one thing to the other. You watch a vocab video for a minute, and then switch to reading an article on ‘how to prepare for quant’.
After 5 minutes, you read the interview of someone who went IIM A. There is no one to bring you back on track.
The online portals are there to distract you. Too much of noise will result in low productivity. You will have the feeling that you have spent 4 hours in preparation, but in reality you would have done nothing substantial in those 4 hours.
4No contact with real-time teachers:
Personalized support is way better than virtual support. There is no doubt that there are better experts online; but it is difficult to say who is more reliable and who is telling the correct thing. It is for this reason that offline preparation is more expensive than online preparation.
There is someone always there whose experience and insight might pull you out of the deepest troubles. No such thing exists in the online domain; at most you can chat with someone or have a word on call, which is, again, not always possible.
Thus, after reading this article, you will feel that online cat preparation has its own advantages and disadvantages. Finally, it all depends on the student and his own strengths and weaknesses. He should evaluate things keeping in mind his preferences.
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