Scores of aspirants try their luck at Common Admission Test (CAT) every year hopeful of getting into the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management and other premier institutes. CAT went online in 2010, but the booming entrance test coaching institutes in the country’s traffic for classroom coaching wasn’t deterred. 2iim, one such player in the segment has come forward to offer online coaching for CAT. Edex gets into conversation with Rajesh Balasubramanian, the man who runs things at 2iim.
“While it is true that aspirants continue to bank on traditional classroom coaching, there is more interest day by day in online coaching, as you get to study at your pace and you can access the classes from anywhere. 2iim jumped on the online bandwagon three months ago — we wanted to expand our business beyond Chennai, Mumbai and Bangalore, where we operate,” says Rajesh, who has the tags of IIT (Madras-2001) and IIM (Bangalore, 2003) on his resume.
2iim offers mock tests and study materials like books and other content, delivered to your address as part of the online preparation kit. “The study material contains slides and videos on every imaginable subject that students could encounter in CAT. As you might be aware, unlike GMAT, CAT doesn’t have a defined syllabus and students are pretty much tested on anything that comes under the purview of Mathematics and other sections like Verbal Ability. Each subject, say for example, Geometry, will have a theoretical introduction to it and also solved examples for students to get a grasp of that segment,” says Rajesh. Each subject has around 100 slides and 13-15 videos, spanning four-eight minutes.
Offline or online coaching, students need to get their doubts clarified. What provision has 2iim made in this regard? “Students can email us their queries and we try to solve the same within 24 hours. Also, our videos are self-explanatory and detailed. We are also working on a webX platform, where a lecturer can solve the problems of students in real time,” he says.
One of the main advantages of classroom training is the scope for peer learning, which doesn’t get much space in offline learning. Rajesh sees it differently. “There are quite a few flaws in classroom training. For example, the trainer could go fast or slow and, invariably, one segment of the target audience gets missed out. Frankly, with time constraints and everything, the impetus on peer learning has come down. Online teaching works wonders for someone who wants to learn at his convenience.”
On the ideal time required for preparing for CAT, he says, “On average, you need about 350 hours of preparation. But again it varies from individual to individual. There are some who need to do it in three-six months while final-year undergraduates can even spend about nine months to a year.” While CAT is undergoing minor changes, Rajesh feels there won’t be a significant impact as the syllabus is vast and undefined. However, he offers last minute tips (CAT is scheduled for November 16-22 this year). “Mock tests should be a priority at this time and it is important to keep your calm while at the examination, which spans two hours and 50 minutes. Else, months of preparation will go waste.” The online test package comes at `8,800. Details at www.2iim.com.