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Are Coaching Institutes Effective For UPSC Exam Preparation?

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | February 16, 2023 09:07 AM

Most applicants who begin their Civils studies are uninformed of the specifications for this exam, and the majority lack the financial means to simply travel to Delhi and attend tutoring. 

There are many misconceptions and ambiguities surrounding the decision to enroll in Civil Services coaching. So allow me to make things simpler for you. For the purposes of this piece, let me make it clear that, with beginners in mind, I refer to coaching in its broadest definition, which is the act of visiting an institution and participating in its classes. At the top coaching institute for UPSC, test series, coaching notes, and mock interviews are properly separated. 

Therefore, when I claim that coaching isn't really important for GS, I'm also implying that going to courses isn't necessary. I don't intend to imply that you shouldn't take practice exams or study for exams. 

Is coaching required?

Consider a professional athlete like Virat Kohli. Does he have a private trainer? He does, indeed. But do you think his coach alone is to blame for his professional success? Obviously not. Every day Kohli trains and endures pain in order to learn and develop his game. He is the exceptional player he is due to his self-control, diligence, and unwavering commitment to succeeding in the game. 

The same holds true for passing the civil service exam. Coaching does not guarantee a rank; it only provides assistance. Much more important than what you do in coaching classes is how diligently and consistently you study on your own. 

As a result, if you are taking coaching classes, you should take notes, but you shouldn't rely too heavily on them to the point where you ignore normal books. In my first Mains, I made the error of relying excessively on coaching notes; I hardly read any of the required texts. In 2012, when I wrote my first Mains, it was clear that I lacked conceptual clarity. Unsurprisingly, I did not receive a call for an interview. 

Always keep in mind that you shouldn't rely on coaching lessons for more than 25–30% of your preparation. It is a falsehood to say that you cannot pass UPSC without coaching. Some people have passed this exam after putting in just 25% of the required effort on their own (that is, they might have read coaching notes but did not attend any classes.) Therefore, whether you require coaching relies on your personal beliefs, self-discipline, and general knowledge. 

If you know which standard books to read and which coaching notes to use and are able to learn the subject by doing so, that's fantastic, and you don't need coaching. 

On the other hand, coaching institutes would undoubtedly assist you in gaining a general understanding if you have no concept whatsoever about the exam process or the materials you must study. However, as I previously stated, in order to surpass your rivals, you must still read standard books, take the necessary notes, and put in the effort. 

How would you contrast coaching in Delhi with other places?

As I have stated, no more than 25–30% of your preparation should be spent on coaching. Additionally, coaching institutes in Delhi are not particularly significant. 

If you are preparing in a remote place and cannot afford to travel to Delhi, it is entirely acceptable. In most cities, you may find notes on all the major coaching centers with the help of the best classes for UPSC online. 

So go to a nearby city once, purchase them from a bookshop, and do your own independent study. 

Additionally, I think that the internet has effectively democratized information and made it available even to people in remote places. Many institutions now offer coaching lessons through video lectures. You may choose them as well. 

The value of coaching notes: Can they replace traditional books?

Standard books are crucial since they lay the groundwork for your knowledge and are written from the very beginning. Reading coaching notes gets a lot easier if you've read several basic books and you can understand how a minor topic fits into the bigger picture. 

Reading only the coaching notes has the drawback of failing to provide you with such a broad perspective. You will be left with jumbled ideas and knowledge that don't stay in your memory for very long. The context of a topic is necessary for long-term memory, which is why you should always start with standard texts. 

For instance, before I began studying anthropology, I read Ember & Ember to obtain a general understanding of the field. Then, when I looked back at the Braintree coaching materials, I could easily see how a specific subject, like Primate Adaptation, fits into the more general idea of Human Evolution. Standard books are essential because of this. 

Keep the following in mind when you read coaching notes:

Online Coaching notes for UPSC are beneficial and simple to review prior to the test. However, they cannot replace standard books; they can only serve as a supplement.

To the chapters and topics in the syllabus, always map your notes. The majority of coaching facilities don't completely cover the curriculum. 

Even though they frequently skim over some passages. Therefore, read independently from different sources and take notes when you see a topic that is not well addressed in your notes. 

You must keep in mind that the UPSC is nothing like a graduation test. It's not difficult to read simply the notes, and you perform exceptionally well in college. However, the questions in the UPSC are more challenging and in-depth in their analysis. 

Normally, none of the inquiries are directly derived from your coaching notes. Your conceptual clarity—particularly in the optional—will aid in the creation of strong responses. 

How to choose which coaching institute to join?

Don't base your decision to attend a coaching institute on its marketing. Numerous institutions merely list the names of top students, even if they may have only stopped by for a free open mock interview. You must understand the different levels of a topper's affiliation with an institute before opting to join them. 

To make an informed choice, it is usually advisable to ask those who have already received coaching at the institution for their perspective. Rather than leaflets or advertisements, their opinions should be given more weight.

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