Students mostly go to coaching centres because they don’t want to lag behind in the race to ace the JEE and NEET exams. Unlike earlier times where tuitions were for students who needed extra help, today coaching is considered to be essential. Because everyone around you is taking coaching – your friend’s son, the neighbour’s daughter, your son’s classmates – you fear that your child will miss out if they do not enrol.
As parents, you want your children to excel at everything, and understandably so. But in this endeavour, you may lose sight of whether the step you are taking is the best one for your child or not.
It is said that coaching for JEE and NEET works best if one starts early. As multitudes of students enrol in coaching from class 9 onwards, the questions becomes, is coaching for entrance exams like JEE/ NEET really required in class 9?
Why do coaching centres offer admission from such an early age, and is it better to keep it off till class 11 or 12? To answer these questions, let us understand the pros and cons of coaching in both class 9 and class 11.
Why Should One Opt For JEE/NEET Coaching From Class 9th?
- Taking coaching for competitive exams at this stage helps students build logical and analytical reasoning skills, which are useful in studying for school exams as well.
- The CBSE syllabus of Class 9th is the base for class 11th and similarly, the syllabus of class 10th is the base for class 12th. Coaching can thus help in scoring better in both class 11th and 12th.
- Coaching centres provide an environment that promotes dedication towards a goal. A competitive environment drives students to work harder and build a habit of punctuality and discipline.
- Since the curriculum of the coaching is spread out over 4 years, it evenly spreads out the pressure and stress faced by students. With more time to grasp lessons at their own pace, understand the logic behind concepts and clear their doubts, students can also solidify their learning and develop a greater understanding.
- Coaching centres prepare students for Olympiads and other competitive exams like NTSE, NLSTSE, IMO, IAIS, etc. also.
Is It Too Early To Start JEE/NEET Coaching From Class 9th?
- Coaching is worthwhile only if one is particularly clear about Engineering or Medicine as their career path. Taking coaching for 4 years, only to realize that Engineering or Medicine is not their cup of tea will mean a waste of time, effort, and of course, money. If your child is not clear about what these career paths are all about, or if there is even the slightest bit of doubt about their fit with these careers, it is much better to gain that clarity first before you enrol them in coaching.
- When students are focused only on JEE or NEET, their visions get restricted to only two careers. They are not very receptive to other careers and can restrain their potential to explore other options that might be a better fit for them. The age of 14 or 15 is too young to make such a lasting decision about their career.
- High school is a very crucial time for a child’s emotional, social, and personal development. Academics are important but they also need exposure to other activities in the outside world that will develop them into holistic individuals. Such type of personality development may be hampered if the child spends a major part of the day attending coaching and studying for competitive exams.
- Coaching curriculum is very rigorous and intense. It expects students to spend a lot of time in coaching and even at home to self-study. Classes and exams take most of the student’s time; hence involvement with the school is very limited. The academic and social life at school gets affected when they are occupied solely with coaching.
Why Should One Opt For Coaching From Class 11?
- With coaching classes beginning from class 11th onwards, earlier years are left relatively free. Students have more time to participate in multiple activities and build their skills and personality.
- This also gives them the opportunity to expose themselves to multiple careers before settling down for one.
- By the time students enter class 11, they have better knowledge about the world, different careers, and scope of these careers. In addition to information about the outer world, they even have a better understanding of themselves. Such awareness makes it easier to choose the right fit for themselves. When students have a thorough understanding of the careers, they are much more confident about their decision and it motivates them further to work harder.
- Age and greater maturity put students in a better position to evaluate whether they will be comfortable with coaching or not, and if they can manage the time. With emotional development also comes a greater capability for handling pressure and stress caused by competition and a hectic schedule.
Is It Too Late To Start JEE/NEET Coaching From Class 11?
- Starting entrance exam coaching can become added pressure for students at a time when they are bombarded with multiple expectations. Having just crossed the milestone of choosing a stream, they need to cope with a more advanced syllabus and coaching may become an additional burden.
- Beginning coaching in class 11th may put the student at a disadvantage compared to students who have started their coaching early. They might need to work twice as hard to reach their level, inculcate study habits and alter their daily routine.
- They only have two years to complete their entire syllabus of entrance exam students get less time for board preparation which might affect their scores. This can also lead to increased stress and pressure.
So, When is the Right Time to Start Coaching – Class 9 or 11?
The answer to this question lies in multiple factors – your child’s ability to handle academic pressure and a hectic routine, their clarity about their career goal, and their comfort with tutored learning.
If you are unsure about beginning coaching in class 9 but don’t want them to lag behind, you can find a middle ground by encouraging them to begin self-study in class 9 and 10. Begin with books for competitive exams that strengthen concepts, without adding the additional pressure of JEE and coaching. Get them to start slow and increase their pace as they go on. The ground covered in these 2 years can provide fertile ground in which to sow the seeds of dedicated preparation and tutored study later on.
And all in all, remember that coaching is not an absolute necessity and there are many people who perform wonderfully without it too. It is up to you and your child to decide what works best for them.
Recommended Read: 7 Effective Tips to Crack IIT JEE Without Coaching
All parents want to see their children successful, but in seeking this out, you may sometimes set high expectations for them. Such expectations might put undesired pressure on your child and affect their emotional well-being.
Don’t set their career decision in stone at this early stage, without exploring their options first. There are many career avenues present that are as good as Engineering and Medical (or even better) in growth potential, and thus you should not limit your child’s purview. Let them explore their potential and find the career that fits them best.
If you feel doubtful about this choice for your child, feel free to talk to an expert.
What are your thoughts about sending children to coaching in class 9? Share with us in the comments section below.