Is it necessary to join any coaching center? If it is, then which coaching center? These are the two questions which inevitably come to a beginners mind.
The 'necessity' of joining any coaching center depends on the subject, the person's ability to work hard, ability to understand the things, his memory power, quality of his peer group, quality of the guidance he can get etc.
I call a subject static if the content of the subject isn't dependent on the current events. I call it dynamic if the content of the subject is dependent on the current events. In a dynamic subject, the questions asked in the exam 'may' be based on the current events. So are the answers to that questions. One needs to read the newspapers for the current events which are related to the subject and constantly update his knowledge about the subject. Needless to say, static subjects don't need all this.
General Studies, Public Administration, Political Science, Sociology, Economics etc come under the category of dynamic subjects.
Sciences and engineering subjects, History, literature subjects, Philosophy etc come under static subjects' category. Content is not at all dependent on the current events.
Geography, Psychology etc should ideally be put under the category of static subjects even though few things are current affairs related.
What is the use of this distinction?
With years of teaching same things again and again (as the content is static), teachers of static subjects are better than those who teach dynamic subjects. Even in dynamic subjects, there are some things which are static which are taught well by some teachers.
Problem arises when the content is dynamic. Most of the teachers are lazy to update their notes, relate the current affairs with the subject, read the government reports (as in the case of public administration). They just teach the static part of the subject and leave the dynamic part to the student himself. In the beginning, students may find that coaching is actually helping them but as the course progresses they realize that they have wasted their money. They feel that they could have easily learnt whatever they are taught by studying the textbooks themselves.
As the students realized this deficiency in them, now a days the teachers are trying hard to rectify it. But things more or less remain the same as of now. Because of few years of experience I have, with conviction I can say that students themselves can do far better job than the teachers. They just have to prepare notes of those things.
General Studies is the most dynamic of all the subjects. Most of the questions are based on the current events. Needless to say, coaching is least effective in it's case. Self-study is the best in this case.
Public Administration is equally dynamic. One can actually call the 2 papers of Public Administration as GS Paper 1 and GS paper 2. There are numerous coaching centers in Delhi which teach the subject, most of them are fraud.
So my concluding suggestion is don't join any coaching center for the dynamic subjects. That stands irrespective of the various personal abilities I mentioned above in 2nd para. I will deal with the static subjects in the next post.