Why coaching is neither necessary nor sufficient.

6 reasons why coaching (both classroom and online) is neither necessary nor sufficient to help you clear the UPSC civil services examination.

1. Shahrukh Khan sells BYJU’s brilliant genius on billboards and TV and YouTube commercials. But his kids went to Ambani’s uber expensive school. This means advertisements extolling virtues of this coaching centre or that are selling expensive lies. 

2. More than hundred thousand (a conservative estimate) aspirants spend truckloads of their parent’s hard-earned money on coaching classes (in Delhi, Chandigarh, Patna, Lucknow, Chennai, Hyderabad and hundreds of other cities and towns) every year. Year after year. Only one thousand (maybe less than that) qualify. Every year. This means joining a coaching institute is no guarantee for one’s success.

3. Even the finest of the coaching centres don’t disclose their strike rate – the percentage of the students (who enroll with them) who actually score brilliantly in their respective papers (CSAT, general studies or optional) because of their coaching. So, no transparency here.

4. When the UPSC civil service exam toppers give interviews on how their coaching centres were instrumental in helping them clear the exam with good ranks, they forget to mention what happened to the thousands of other aspirants who enrolled for the same courses in the same coaching centres. So, no sense of proportion here.

5. Who is teaching the hapless aspirants in coaching centres? How many of them have actually cleared the UPSC CS exam? What are their specializations? Who are they accountable to – their students or their employers?

6. If twenty odd students get good scores and two thousand students get lousy scores, where is the magic wand? Even in the same coaching centre. Even in the same course package. Even in the same batch. 

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