In the last 4-5 years, there has been a paradigm shift in the way preparation for the CAT exam is done, with more and more online coachings gaining substantial traction. And the results have been positive as well.
I have seen many people acing the CAT exam without taking coaching from established institutes like TIME, IMS, and CL. These people prepared mostly through online platforms and with the guidance of the ones who have been through the same journey.
Having said this, I agree that online coaching is gaining traction, but it doesn’t mean that offline coaching is not worth it.
People often seek answers to the following questions.
“Should I join coaching or prepare on my own?”
“Which coaching should I join – online or offline?”
I feel these questions are very subjective, and the answer to these can be different for different individuals.
CAT is one exam in which, more than intelligence, patience and persistence matter. It is an exam in which, more than talent, intent matters.
There are 3 Ps that are of utmost importance in the CAT preparation.
Persistence: Can you continue your studies even if you find it difficult? Do you have enough motivation to crack the CAT that you willingly face the challenges?
Perseverance: Can you slog daily for 3-6 hours for days and months? Can you adjust your schedule to ensure that you take out sufficient time to study?
Patience: Can you calmly prepare for 8-12 months without getting frustrated to such an extent that you decide to quit the CAT preparation midway?
The syllabus of the CAT exam is no rocket science. Anyone can master it with the help of above 3 Ps. And I believe, coaching institutes help you with these 3 Ps more than the teaching (I don’t mean to offend anyone. This is just my personal opinion). They offer you an environment to study that helps you trudge this long walk.
The biggest advantage of coaching institutes is that they provide you with a schedule. And when you are let down, they can motivate you.
So, if you feel that you have your basics right in place and you can manage your schedule well, I feel you can ace the CAT without any coaching. Nowadays, so many online platforms are available to help you with your doubts and other queries. There are so many online platforms available that facilitate peer learning. And the best thing is – you can study at your own pace.
However, if you feel that you are not able to manage your schedule on your own or your basics are not in place, you should join a coaching institute. Now, which one to join depends on your daily routine and your budget.
If you are a working professional and have a paucity of time, I feel you should go ahead with online coaching. It is because –
It will save travel time.
It will let you study at your own pace because their lectures can be viewed again and again at your convenience.
If you are not a tech-savvy person who is comfortable with the online mode of learning, you don’t have a paucity of time, and also if you don’t have any budget constraint, you can join any offline coaching. That will give you a fair schedule to follow.
I have seen people getting 99+ percentile with no coaching and people failing miserably even after taking coaching for a year, and also the other way round.
So, no matter which coaching you join, eventually it all boils down to how determined you are to crack the CAT, how much practice you have done, how many mocks you have taken, how well the analysis of mocks you have done, and whether or not you have followed the 3 Ps.
All the best!
May The Force Be With You!