Online learning was already quite popular well before the pandemic. The pandemic has taught even naysayers to adapt to learning online. In this scenario, preparing online for an online exam like CAT seems a no-brainer. In terms of ease of access and flexibility, online CAT coaching is unmatched.
This article attempts to highlight some key aspects of online CAT coaching and answer a few questions you may have in mind about online CAT coaching versus classroom coaching.
Fact 1: It is the teacher who makes the difference, not the classroom.
Learning, whether online or offline, is centred around the teacher. Cracking CAT is easier if you have a teacher who has been there and done that before. The biggest advantage of an online course is that it gives you access to the best CAT teaching out there- that highly experienced CAT 100%iler whose fantabulous classes you have heard about can now be your teacher!
You no longer need to be constrained by time or logistics to choose the coaching available at the nearest centre to your college, office, neighbourhood or city. You don’t have to roll the dice to see if your batch has the right set of teachers. In one stroke, the online medium gives you the choice between the best online coaching and your average local coaching. This is a big plus.
What’s more, in an online course, most of the teaching you experience is by a narrow set of qualified teachers. In terms of consistency, the flow of ideas and hand-holding from start to finish, it can’t get any better. A good online course will even let you sample the course before you buy. 2IIM’s online CAT coaching course, the best online CAT course there is, sure does.
Fact 2: Not all online CAT coaching courses are equal; Content, testing and analytics are key.
Do your research. Here are some questions which can help you evaluate and choose an excellent online CAT coaching course:
- Does the content start from the absolute basics and bring you up to CAT level?
- Can you learn at your own pace through modularized content?
- Is it accessible on any device, at any time, anywhere? (You would think this is a given with an online course, but there are some which have a series of classes at set designated times only!)
- Do the practice sets actually mimic the exam?
- Are the analytics thorough? Do these report the time you take to solve each question, point out the topics you are strong /weak in and help you benchmark against a sizeable peer group?
- Is the content updated regularly with changes in the CAT pattern?
- Are the mock tests at the CAT level without being super easy or uber tough?
- Are the reviews good? Most importantly, are they genuine and not paid for?
Just so you know: 2IIM’s CAT coaching course covers every aspect of the CAT exam, with 6000+ videos, 10,000+ practice questions, 200+ live classes and 25 + mocks.
Fact 3: The advantages of classroom coaching are NOT the disadvantages of learning online
Often, the arguments in favour of classroom coaching– “I am too lazy to learn without the rigour of fixed schedules”, “I can easily clarify my doubts then and there with the teacher”, “ I get to interact with and benchmark against peers”, “ There aren’t that many distractions in a classroom”– are mistaken to be the disadvantages of learning online. Well, let us take these points up one by one.
On learning schedules
CAT is an Intensely Competitive Exam. An MBA course is no walk in the park. If you want the best; then, well, work for it. An online course gives you the flexibility to learn what you want when you want, and where you want. Plan well, push yourself and prod on. Weaselling out with excuses on fixed schedules will only put you in jeopardy.
On doubt clarification
Answer honestly: how many times have you lost the plot in a classroom, see your classmates nodding their heads brightly and shied away from asking whatever doubt you had in mind? Yeah, a vast majority of us would :
(a) rather pretend to understand than risk looking dumb in front of a class, or
(b) only pluck up the courage to ask our doubts cornering the teacher after the class is over.
With an online course, you get two advantages: One, you can rewind the class. You get the flexibility to linger on/revisit topics as you choose and see if you can understand it the second time around. Two, if you have a doubt, all you need to do is to post your question in a discussion forum, whatever time of the day it is. Most doubts posted on the 2IIM discussion forum, for example, get cleared within 48 hours—in detail.
On peer interaction and bench-marking
The best online courses also conduct live classes which help you interact with others preparing for CAT. Online analytics is far more detailed and accurate than any you may get access to in a classroom. The CAT, being an online exam, does it not make sense to practice taking tests online?
Do you really believe it is not possible to be distracted in a classroom? Been to school, anyone?:)
The point here is not to devalue classroom coaching, but to clarify common misconceptions about online CAT coaching!
Hope this article has given you some clarity on preparing for CAT online. Whether you are a college student hard-pressed for time or an office-goer who would like to learn at your own time and pace, don’t hesitate to take the plunge and start preparing for CAT online! Best wishes from 2IIM.