If you have decided that you want to clear GATE Examination in order to pursue M.Tech from IITs or to get into PSUs, your next step is to find out a good coaching institute in a nearby area where you can get proper guidance and learning environment. But due to a lot of competition and marketing activities by different coachings, it is very difficult to select the best from many.
In order to select best, you need to be very sharp and informed! Here I have tried to collect some questions that will help you in selecting the best one for you. Try to interact with your seniors, faculty members, attend demo sessions and find out answers to these questions!
So, here’s your list of questions you should ask and why:
What are your past achievements/results?
Answer – For any business, the most important thing is the quality of its services. The quality of a coaching institute is determined by the kind of results it has produced in “your city’. Here I have highlighted ‘your city’, because it is important to check local results (you can even ask for results from your own college!). It is necessary that the coaching center of your city performs well.
What are your Unique Selling Points ( USPs) i.e, what differentiates you from any other coaching institute?
Answer – It is important to note down what are the extra services provided by the institute. Some coaching institutes provide interview and GD/PI guidance for free (and some charge for it), some provide internships, motivational sessions, super talented batches, extra classes, etc. All these features help you to zero in and select that coaching which will provide you best return on your investment (ROI).
Batch timings? Is there a rigid attendance system to ensure students attend diligently? Is rescheduling possible in case one session is missed?
Answer – An important question as students usually join coaching when they are in school/college and often timings of the coaching center and other private tuition timings clash or due to various personal reasons students may miss classes. Usually, a good coaching institute will reschedule a class, but do ask whether the class will be arranged on a day decided by them or as per your convenience. A rigid attendance often doesn’t allow those rare mischievous students to bunk classes and institutes should provide attendance details to parents, if needed.
Do you offer Demo or Trial class before joining?
Answer – A good coaching institute usually offers 3-4 demo/ trial classes to students. Just make sure that you select the subject and time of the class so that you get an independent assessment of the quality of teaching. That way the institute cannot plan to impress you with some lecture by their best faculty member, which may not be the case with their other classes.
How much time will you finish the course in?
Answer – This will help you in calculating the revision time that you will get with the coaching institute and its faculty.
Are you providing any study material and mock tests, revision, crash courses?
Answer – Good coaching institutes usually tell most of the things mentioned in this question themselves. But in case they don’t, do ask these questions. Revision tests, tips, and tricks, teaching pattern, interactive classes along with time management tips for building test speed will help you perform better. Practicals for GDs and interviews are important as that will prepare you mentally and physically about what can happen in that closed room with 5-6 panel members.
What is the experience of the faculty members? What’s the Teacher/Student ratio? Do you have any tie-ups with schools/ colleges?
Answer – To get an idea about the dedicated teachers for a particular subject, educational qualification of the faculty and also the teacher-student ratio will help in obtaining more personal guidance.
Some coaching institutes have tie-ups with schools and colleges and conduct classes at their facility after the school/ college hours. If your school/ college has a tie-up with any such institute, you can consider it as it will save traveling time. You will have the advantage of sitting with known faces and don’t have to worry about any time clash.
How many centers do you have? What is the infrastructure and learning environment provided?
Answer – Infrastructure and conducive learning environment form the core of any good institute. Most of the good institutes offer libraries and study rooms to students for practicing alone.
The number of centers will tell you whether the institute is famous or not. However, many good institutes have very few centers but are actually good.
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What’s the batch size? Will I get personal attention?
Answer – An average batch size could be min. 18-22 and max. 25-30. The smaller the batch, the more personal attention you will get.
What is the feedback structure?
Answer – Many good institutes conduct one-on-one feedback sessions with the students to tell them where they are lacking and need to practice, and the students get the opportunity to share what they feel about their preparation and where the institute is lacking in guiding them.
What’s the fee structure? Are there any discounts and refund policy?
Answer – This is usually the first question which one asks. The fee is usually similar in most of the institutes, but what makes one better than the other is the payment options and the discount they are offering. Refunds are very rarely made. However, many good institutes offer an installment option for payment of fees.
Usually, discounts are offered on the following basis:
($) Entrance test conducted by the institute.
($) Marks secured in past examination.
($) You can expect some fee refund if you top the exam for which you joined the coaching institute.
Ever thought of how you will be grilled in the GD/PI session at the time of admission once you clear the entrance. That is exactly what you need to do as well when you are hunting for a good coaching institute. Ask as many relevant questions as you can. It’s important. After all, you are not only slogging it out to prepare well for the test but also paying a good amount of money to the coaching center!