Is coaching necessary for IIT JEE?

Is coaching necessary for IIT JEE? Should I take coaching classes for JEE Main and JEE Advanced? When to join IIT Coaching? How to prepare for IIT JEE without coaching? Self-study or coaching? Should I join coaching in Class 12 for IIT JEE preparation?

Am I reading your mind or what?, If you are an IIT aspirant you sure have googled for these questions and ended up here! Well, yes it is natural and obvious that an aspirant like you is looking for answers to such questions on a daily basis. You obviously are worried for your preparation for IITs. Not only IITs, aspirants of other engineering entrance exam of the nation face these questions. Like BITSAT, VITEEE, GATE and other state level entrance exams. Thus, we take this page to address the elephant in the room! Let’s start, shall we? Read below.

The Begining

There was no hype about the entrance examination like we see today. Here is an interesting instance that shook me, being from today’s era, and I am sure it will amaze you too!

Sunil Singhal was on a train to Kanpur. He had just cleared Class 12 and was on the train with several others like him, all on their way to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) for their interview. This was the summer of 1966, long before the fever surrounding IIT admissions took hold.

“One of the students on the train asked me what my rank was. I had no idea so I was asked to check my letter. The letter stated that I had the first rank and that is how I found out that I had topped the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) that year,” he recalls.

(As reported by

Like today, the hype for who topped what entrance exam was not so earlier. Isn’t it amazing how the topper of IIT entrance exam back in 1966 didn’t even know his position? Can you imagine this for today?

That was the time when coaching institutes were not even a concept. But now, the scenario is exactly the reverse- admission in IIT is just a concept without coaching institutes!

So shall your dream of IIT depend on the coaching institutes?

Well, it is not for me to decide whether or not coaching is good for you and your dreams, but the experts do say that the thriving coaching institutes for IIT Preparations are adulterating the quality of engineers in IITs. WHAT? Yes, they believe in this ideology firmly.

Who are these experts you may ask? Well, let us go back to 2015. You may or might not know about Committee of Eminent Persons (CEP) Constituted by the IIT council. Under the Chairmanship of Prof Ashok Misra, this committee submitted its report to the Government of India on 5th November 2015. According to them, coaching centres are “not good” for the future. They reported, “the purpose of education is the refinement of the mind not passing an entrance examination.” Hmm… nicely put!

Know This: CEP floated the idea of National Testing System (NTS), which we now call the National Testing Agency (NTA). Although CEP in its report had just introduced the concept, it has also suggested few major changes too.

Well, what I want to say here is experts have an opinion, your parents have an opinion, your friends and teachers have opinions too. But what is important here – What is your opinion about you? How well you know your true self and your ability to thrive for the best.

Strategise your IIT JEE Preparations

Where are most of the IIT Toppers from: Self-study or Coaching?

Now, you might like inspiration. We all need it. The CEP we talked about above has submitted a report in which it has claimed the following:

ZonePercentage of students who attended IIT JEE Coaching classesPercentage of students who did self-studies
Guwahati Zone38.6%61.4%
Kanpur Zone45.2%54.8%
Roorkee Zone44.9%55.1%
Bombay Zone47.4%52.6%
Delhi Zone52.9%47.1%
Madras Zone60.6%39.4%

Then – It is clear that in 2014-15, the number of candidates who took coaching classes for preparation is less than that of the candidates who relied on themselves. Except for in the Madras zone. IIT statistics 2015 reveal that about 50% of those who secured admission to the 18 institutes that year did so without attending any coaching centre.

Now – But the scenario now is just the opposite. As per the recent trends of 2017 onwards, it is very clear that coaching institutes have been given much importance by the candidates. Maybe nowadays candidates don’t want to leave any stone unturned, thus they avoid taking any chances too.

Coaching institutes in Kota, India’s coaching hub, claimed that at least 40 of their students have found a place in the list of top 100 in the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced 2018. Nearly 1.50 lakh students from across the country enrol in the 40-odd coaching institutes in Kota every year to prepare for the highly competitive entrance examinations for different professional courses and not only engineering.

IIT Toppers – Then and Now

Let us know where the toppers come from? Self Study or Coaching?

Then – Earlier, which is before 2015-16, out of the top 100 candidates majority of the toppers were self-build. Few instances available are:

  • Ankit Jalan, who secured the all-India rank (AIR) 45 in IIT JEE 2011 had taken no coaching.
  •  Anshul Kumar Rai,  64th position in IIT-JEE 2011 dedicated his success to his school. He dropped his coaching classes after a month of joining. He said self-study worked better for him.

To know how to prepare for IIT JEE without coaching click here.

Now – Well now, after 2015-16, students who take the majority of the positions in top 100 are from coaching centres. Here are a few data that prove this point

  • In 2018, Coaching institutes in Kota, India’s coaching hub, claimed that at least 40 of their students have found a place in the list of top 100.
  • In JEE Advanced 2018, AIR 9 and 10 are from Allen Kota. As per their data – they have 59 students in top 200 in JEE Advanced 2018.

You Decide – Coaching Or No Coaching?

Thus, from all the above facts and data available it is very clear – You have to know your own self and then decide if you need or do not need a coaching to realise your engineering dreams and your true potential. At the ends, it is you have to row your own boat.

Self-study or coaching for IIT JEE?

Here, let me help you a bit.

  • If you are attempting IIT JEE Main or Advanced in 2019, then you have already joined a coaching or some of you are relying on self or some may join a crash course. Well, you have a plan by now. Whatever it is put aside all the worries and dedicate the time to prepare the way you have planned. Do not change the course now. You have less than a year left.
  • Now, candidates who are looking for future IIT JEE like in 2020 and so on, decide now. Do you need a coaching or you can do it all by your self?

Lastly, there is no harm in taking a coaching and also in not taking coaching. It all lies within. Thus, if you are taking a coaching do take care of time management. Although candidates relying on themselves will have the advantage to plenty of time for school and self-studies. But you need to manage your time too.

For information on IIT JEE, here are few articles you might like:

Fact: The first IIT, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, started in 1951. In the initial few years (1951-1954) students were given admission on the basis of their academic results followed by an Interview in several Centers across the country.

From 1955-1959 admission was via an all India examination held only for IIT Kharagpur. other IITs had not started by then. However, the common IIT-JEE was conducted for the first time in 1960, when it had four subjects including an English language paper. The IIT-JEE was initially called the Common Entrance Exam (CEE).

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