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How to Find the Best Online Course for Your GATE/ESE/PSUs Preparation

Chithrakala Babu

The Covid-19 pandemic came into our lives with countless challenges, and one among them is to find reliable alternatives for traditional GATE/ESE coaching centres. The absence of conventional learning methods calls for trustable online learning platforms for GATE, ESE, and PSU exam preparation. Online classes offer a flexible and seamless learning experience to students. They can prepare for these examinations from the comfort of their home and at their convenient time. But choosing the wrong online course for your GATE/ESE preparation can result in the wastage of your valuable resources – time, money and effort.

Coaching institutes and online courses are springing up like mushrooms every day. The fact that there are plenty of them makes it challenging for students to choose the right one. Most of them use convincing ads to attract students. But students must be well aware of the consequences of carelessly choosing an online class just looking at the ads. Ads can be misleading and exaggerated. You have to spend considerable time doing a background check of the leading institutes before choosing. It can be a tiring process. Don’t worry, we will help you choose the best course for you. Here are the factors you must consider while searching for an online coaching platform for you.

  1. Faculty

The most important factor that you should consider is the quality and expertise of the faculty. Training under expert and experienced instructors will have a positive impact on your exam success and career. When you consider an online course, go through the faculty page on their website, and check each instructor’s qualifications and experience before joining. You should watch the preview videos available on the website and ask for a demo class if previews are not available. This will help you get a taste of the actual class. You should look at the pace, clarity and accuracy of concerned instructors through the sample videos and other sources.

Inspiring and encouraging teachers can bring the best out of every student and you need to make sure that all the instructors are well qualified and have an encouraging attitude. Discuss with previous students who took the same course and listen to their feedback about the faculty.

Many institutes employ freshers as teachers and there is nothing wrong with it. But there should be a balance in the number of freshers and experienced teachers. If the course is conducted by freshers alone, they may not be able to give proper guidance throughout different stages of preparation. We cannot ignore the fact that the experienced faculty have more knowledge about the changing trends in the exams. They can be more than just instructors. They are qualified to give insightful advice and timely guidance throughout the preparation and even after that.

If you like the teaching style and standard of the faculty, you can are halfway to finding the right course because the quality of the lectures is the crucial factor that retains the focus and interest of the students. If the lectures are not great, students may not be interested in the course despite all the other impressive features a course might offer.

2. Success Rate and Legacy

The only thing that genuinely defines the credibility of any institute is the success rate. You should look at the number of students who qualified these exams from the institute. The numbers can never lie. It will give a clear picture of the effectiveness and quality of the course. Check student’s testimonials to see what they have to say about the classes.

Another factor you should consider is the legacy of an institute. See for how many years they have been training students for GATE, ESE & PSUs. The more the number of years, the better. For example, ACE Engineering Academy has 25 years of experience and expertise in the domain of GATE/ESE coaching. It has 62 All India First Ranks in GATE and 19 first ranks in ESE. It is a proclamation of their successful coaching history and expertise in the field.

3. Methodology

The course should cover the entire syllabus of the exam that you are planning to write. You should look at the course structure and compare it with the official syllabus to see if all the topics are covered. The course should be designed in such a way that the videos are of the proper size. Short video lectures are effective to retain the energy and enthusiasm of the students throughout an entire session. If the tutorials are too long, students will get bored and they can’t remain focused.

Another point you should remember is whether the whole course design is workable. If you are starting late, you may not be able to cover everything included in the course, which will create stress. To avoid this, you must start planning at least 6-8 months prior to the exam.

An overambitious or over-stuffed course is something that you should avoid. Some institutes may include unnecessary topics or stuff the classes with more than enough information just to win over the competitors. But in competitive exams like GATE and ESE, learning unnecessary topics will cause more harm than good. It is the strategy that matters. Effectively covering all the prescribed topics, regular revisions, proper evaluations, timely doubt clarifications, effective Online Test Series etc., are the significant factors that make a course flawless and effective.

Watch previews or demo videos to understand the standards of instruction, the usability of the app, and the quality of the course. Each student has his/her own style of learning. So blindly joining a course just because your friend joined is foolishness. You should make sure the teaching style that they follow is suitable to you. Besides, you should see if the classes are arranged in an orderly manner. Disorganised classes will lead to unnecessary confusions.

4. Price

There are plenty of free and paid online courses available for GATE, ESE and PSUs coaching. The course you choose must be affordable, but you should not go for cheaper options just because they are available for a lesser price. Cheap options come with several risks. On the flip side, if you are spending a considerable amount, make sure the course is worth every penny you have spent. Find out if they offer multiple payment options for buyer’s convenience, including UPI. Some online courses provide EMI options, which is an added benefit to those who cannot afford a one-time payment.

5. Resources

Video lectures are the primary resource an online course would offer. However, study materials, OTS, doubt-clarification, career counselling etc. are the other equally important factors that should not be ignored. You should check the quality of each one of them individually. Visit the website and collect maximum details about the resources. If you need more information regarding this, contact customer support and ask for samples. Make sure that the study materials or notes are exam-focused and thoroughly developed by the experts.

Another major resource is Online Test Series. Everyone knows how important test series and mock tests are. Effective and timely tests boost your preparation and improve your time management skills. They give you a chance to assess your pace and progress of the preparation and to readjust your learning goals if necessary.

6. Usability

Online classes come with the challenge of involving several external factors such as access to gadgets, internet connection and steady power supply. You must ensure the course app of your choice has a simple user interface. Using bad apps can be a time-consuming and off-putting experience. The video lectures must be downloadable so that students can watch them later, offline. This might be a blessing to the students who face internet issues and other technical difficulties.

The app should be designed in such a way that the resources are easily accessible. Easy navigation across the app, well-organised pages with clear instructions, fast loading videos etc. are some other factors that make online learning engaging. To go further, if the audio and video quality is not up to the mark, students cannot enjoy learning, no matter how capable the instructor is.

7. Features

Explore the features of the course and the features included in the app separately. While all these points constitute the course features, here are the in-app features that your need to consider.

  • Customer support: Apart from the flexible and convenient learning, a virtual class can have several drawbacks. There are possibilities of technical errors and other difficulties. Students must have access to effortless customer support to share their concerns instantly. The customer care team should be responsive and prompt in resolving the complaints without any delay. A friendly and considerate customer service will make your online preparation much easier.
  • Doubt-clarification: Recorded video lectures don’t give students an opportunity for live interaction with the instructors. To compensate this, the course must offer a separate doubt-clearing session for students to get their doubts clarified.
  • Downloadable lectures: The video lectures must be downloadable with multiple resolution options. This allows students to download the videos when they have access to the internet and watch them later at their convenience.
  • Counselling: The course should offer free counselling for students who need assistance in deciding what works best for their GATE/ESE preparation. In addition to that, some online institutes provide career counselling and interview guidance.

Consider all the above-discussed factors to find out the right course for your GATE/ESE preparation. Start by defining your learning goals and identifying what you are expecting from an online course. Next, make a list of leading online platforms and spend some time browsing. This will help you understand the pros and cons of each course. By the end of this process, you will be able to choose the right course for your GATE/ESE preparation like a pro. Happy learning!

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