Competitive exam preparation till K-12: Present and the Future

Competitive exam preparation after secondary education has been on the rise in India since the late eighties. Parents saw education changing millions of lives and students became aware of good and sometimes global opportunities that higher education brought.  These aspirations led to an increased competition and wherever there is competition, some extra effort is needed to remain ahead of the rest. Parents’ determination to not see their ward lagging behind boosted the growth of competitive exam preparation in India for 11th and 12th class students which gradually shifted to as early as 8th class.

Lately with the advent of ICT (Information and communication technology), availability of online resources especially in the form of video content has become easily accessible from anywhere at a low cost with the help of some basic infrastructure. It is  expected to reduce dependence on  physical classroom coaching industry as ICT provides  students  the flexibility to access content sitting in their homes rather than travelling and settling  in a completely new city away from their homes. They can access the content at their own convenience and at their own Pace. But still the players in this segment are finding it difficult to replace the physical classroom coaching; in fact the rate of growth of students joining physical classroom coaching is not decreasing as expected. So what is it that is still presumed to be different in a coaching classroom and how can players in coaching continue to grow with some innovation?

Why does a student join a coaching class?

  1. Weak Schooling system:

Parents and students widely believe that the school education doesn’t actually impart problem solving and analytical skills. These are considered important skills to crack any competitive exam, and the perceived failure of school education in imparting real skills makes students join a coaching class. Irrespective of their performance in regular school exams, they believe that proper guidance can bring out their hidden talent and that the coaching classes are much better than schools in providing this guidance.

Moreover, the school exams are quite different from the competitive exams and this makes a student to look for alternative preparation like physical classroom coaching or online content.

  1. Regular, Structured and Disciplined Study Plan: This is a major reason for which parents prefer sending students to coaching classes. While the online world rides on flexibility, parents think that their wards need less of flexibility and more of discipline. As they themselves are generally not able to provide a disciplined environment to their wards,  they prefer to leave it to external guidance in form of a coaching class.
  2. Development of Competitive Spirit in Classroom: While teaching a group of students in a coaching class, teachers directly or indirectly develop a competitive spirit within students. Students do not only solve the problem that they are asked to but also try to be the first one to solve it and then speak their answer loudly as soon as they finish it. This inculcates the spirit of solving the questions in as less time as possible and that too correctly as incorrect answers tend to cause a lot of embarrassment. Beyond conceptual clarity, speed and accuracy are very important traits required in a real competitive exam.

Online players will find it hard to impart these skills and thus the physical classroom coaching will continue to have an edge until online coaching provides multiple real time interactions between students and teachers through infrastructure like satellite classes.

  1. Regular test practice: Coaching classes keep testing students regularly and thus keep them on track with study plan as well. As evident from current developments, more and more exams are going to be online in near future. Policymakers are inclined towards online exams as they ensure transparency, provide quicker evaluation and nullify the chances of paper leakage. Therefore, with time, students tend to move to online testing from current offline testing method. Apart from practice, online testing gives a lot of analysis of a student’s exam taking behavior. Improvement on exam taking behavior helps students in all competitive exams as it is independent of the exam syllabus. Since this analysis is available immediately after a test, it also provides teachers more time to change their teaching plans based on needs and level of class. Most of the time, online tests come at a lower cost as well. Hence, this is one area in which coaching institutes can supplement their offerings. Very soon, students and their parents will expect relevant online testing service from coaching institutes and it may become the deciding factor in their choice of coaching institute. Coaching institutes should seriously think about partnering with online test providing platforms or building their own online testing platforms.

So, unless some online service provider is able to cover all the above discussed parameters and also offers extra services such as online testing, provision of round the clock doubt clearance etc., physical coaching institutes will remain the first choice of students and parents. These institutes just need to catch up with the developments through a little innovation and strategic tie-ups and they seem to be best placed to do so.

Read more about

Democratization of education in India

Parents: helping children in their preparation for competitive exams


CollegeDoors helped students in improving their exam strategy

Thanks to CollegeDoors, the insights that I came to learn through CollegeDoors analysis on the exam taking strategy has really helped me in JEE Mains. I believe this is something which is going to help me in every competitive exam. I also thanks for personal attention and advice given wherever needed.” … Pragyan, Aligarh

There is always scope of improvement in every area of each student practicing for competitive exams. Various factors determine the success of an aspirant in any competitive exam, i.e., Subject knowledge, Conceptual clarity and Exam strategy etc.  Exam strategy in itself has various parameters, Speed, Accuracy, Time management, among others. Individual needs continuous and real-time feedback to improve or amend one’s strategy to maximize the score and thus rank.

We, at CollegeDoors, believe that along with providing relevant and quality content (which is a must), it is also important to give real time feedback to aspirants. Students practicing on CollegeDoors get feedback on various parameters so that they can focus on action for improvement. At CollegeDoors, entire in- depth performance report of a student is presented in a single view with use of advanced visualization techniques to make it easy for the student to understand the report. Rather than spending time in figuring out what they did in test and where they lack, with CollegeDoors’ analysis they save time and focus on improvements.

To strengthen our belief that students get benefited by continuously analyzing their performance and improving exam strategy, we analyzed the performance of students who practiced for JEE Main / BITSAT / NEET / AIIMS on our platform. For this analysis students who have taken more than 4 full syllabus tests in each category have been considered. Trend line is plotted to see the movement in the score. Median scores on CollegeDoors is compared with the scores in real exam to test the relevancy of test papers algorithm. More than 90% of the students have improved their performance over a period of time with help from analysis by CollegeDoors. Please refer to the graphs for trend during practice and also final score in JEE Main. The final scores of all students are less than their median scores on CollegeDoors, which can be explained from the fact that the paper was difficult this year and thus the low cutoff.

Student Performance Graph
                                                                            Fig.1: Student Performance Graph
Student Performance Graph
                                                                             Fig.2: Student Performance Graph

It is evident from performance graphs that there has been improvement in each type of student across different preparation levels. The analysis report also helps students in optimizing their study plan so that they can gain maximum from their efforts in the limited time available with them for preparation. This year’s student performance has served our objective very well, i.e., “To help each and every type of students in improving their performance by improving exam taking and preparation strategy.”

Read more about
How an optimal Exam Strategy can help Students in JEE preparations ?

Tips to crack NEET Exam

Two reasons why relevant practice tests are important for competitive exams




Parents: helping children in their preparation for competitive exams

[If you are a teacher, you might find it helpful How teachers can help students in improving their exam strategy ] 

Most of the time, topper/successful candidates can be seen, thanking their teacher, parents, friends and siblings for their performance. This is because there are very few instances where, person has become very successful without help of parents, teachers, mentors or friends.

On the other hand, every year around 2.5 million students prepare for engineering/medical entrance exams, and most of them remain away from their home. Living away from home, preparing for some of the toughest competitive exams continuously for a period of 1 or 2, in some case 3, years, makes students vulnerable to each and every kind of distraction available.

So the need of a mentor especially in parents and their unavailability in the current system combined makes it more difficult for both students preparing and their parents.

A major worry for the parents remains that how their ward is performing and how to guide him based on his performance. It needs regular information of their ward’s performance and also the methodology your ward is applying to get to that performance, to guide him better. Also it becomes very important that before commenting on your ward’s performance or judging his performance know his study plan, understand his weakness/strengths, in a better way.

Parents who can guide their ward on technical aspects (study plan, exam strategy etc.) of the exam, should use resources where they can monitor his/her preparation and exam taking behavior. Also some students doesn’t share everything with teachers, in such cases parents can discuss some aspects of study plan, exam strategy with student.

CollegeDoors provides the feature of viewing report of any student, independently at any time and this feature comes at an effort of sgining up free on CollegeDoors, and asking students to give access of their report to you. A student practicing on CollegeDoors can share his report with as many people as he wants, for them to understand the report and then provide suggestions to the student.

Let us hear if you have any query, write us at

The Dilemma of Academic Program Selection and JOSSA Counselling Process

“It is very easy when the choice is between right and wrong but it becomes more difficult when it is between right and more right.”

JoSAA 2017 Registration and Choice Filling will commence from June 15, 2017 in online mode and we are sure the dilemma of giving preference to an academic program (a combination of branch and institute) is already there among most of the candidates.

There is no standard rule, which can guarantee you the best decision considering present, past and future conditions. But there are some practices, by following them; you can at least be sure for the time being that it is the best decision in at present situation.

In selection of your branch as well (although if you are not much clear about the future and don’t have any specific inclination) there are some factors which you can priorities based on your interests, family background, future aspirations, among others.

  1. Family Financial Condition
  2. Family background
  3. Family Dependency on you once you start your job
  4. Specific interest (High level)
  5. Institute location
  6. Plan of higher studies (Masters/Doctorate), need a decent level of financial freedom and lot depends on your academic discipline during your stay at institute
  7. Course curriculum (Go through the respective course curricula and see if you could relate your interests to it)

Note down all such factors (can include more factors depending on your priorities) and then compare your preferences, believe us it would become much clear and you would be able to narrow down the choices to hopefully one course.

The standard counseling process and some important points to keep in mind are:

  1. Candidates who have qualified JEE Main and Advanced can register themselves on JoSAA website.
  2. Please note that there will be two mock rounds of seat allocation based on the choices filled by candidates till that time, it will give you an idea but it is not confirmed till people lock their choices.
  3. For the   purpose    of    allocating  seats        for   NITs,        IIEST and   Other-GFTIs, candidates      are    also   assigned a state code   of eligibility. Please make sure that your state code matches the mentioned criteria in the document.
  4. Academic programs in NITs, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra and Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur are divided into Home State quota and Other  States   So please feel your choices keeping these quotas in mind.
  5. Lock your choices after 2nd mock round of allotment, if not locked, last saved choices would automatically be locked.
  6. A candidate should confirm the allotted seat in any course in 1st round by remitting seat acceptance fee and physically visit the designated center for document verification before the specified time/date.
  7. At the time of accepting the seat, candidate can opt for float, slide or freeze. Read here to know more about the various choices.
  8. Candidates opting float option may be required for dual reporting in case of they get seats in IIT’s and NIT’s in subsequent rounds or vice versa. Failure to do so may cause in rejection of their seat even if they have reported at one of the center.
  9. A candidate can withdraw the seat at any time by reporting at a reporting center, any time before last round of the seat allotment, the acceptance fee would be reimbursed after deducting processing fee.

At the end, keep note of the following points:

  • As there are seven rounds of seat allocation, fill all the choices which you would like to prefer even if you are not getting those
  • If you don’t have any specific interest in a particular course, go for established old institutes, getting into good non-core jobs is easier there
  • Carefully read all the rules related to counseling process, don’t let a small negligence ruin your all hard work you have done
  • Take your time and fill the choices very carefully, consult to as many people as you can even if it confuses you more and then take the decision based on the process suggested above
  • Candidates are advised to refer to the document for detailed description about rules and visit JoSAA website for regular updates.


How to View Question Level Details and Solution

Question level analysis report for complete paper at a single place helps you in reviewing your performance, checking solutions for questions, section and chapter of the question, total time spent on question, number of visits on question, among others.

  1. Go to test level report page (Login to your account and click on Analysis button against a test to view performance report of that test), Confused how to reach there, Understand complete platform!!
  1. Click on the semicircular graph icon, adjacent to total score, to access complete graphical report of respective test.

Analysis report for JEE/NEET/BITSAT/AIIMS practice test

  1. You see a Semicircular spectacular graph with lot of colors in it, you must be excited to play around these colors (What these colors signify), click on any of the ribbon and you see complete question details, scroll down to go through question details and solution, close the question detail page and click on any other ribbon to view respective question level details.

Question Level Details of JEE/BITSAT/NEET/AIIMS test

Let us know if you have any query, write us at

Importance of taking sufficient practice tests for JEE Main/BITSAT/NEET/AIIMS

Preparation for Competitive exams requires different approach than that in normal school exams and that is the reason, most of the students fail to replicate their school results, in competitive exams. One of the distinctive features of these exams is that multiple subjects are tested within a single paper with imposed time constraint on overall paper rather than on individual subjects/sections.

Analysis of two of the most difficult and recognized exams after higher secondary or equivalent, in which more than 2.5 million students appeared this year, combined in both exams, JEE Main & NEET, shows that these exams throws a new challenge every year, and a different kind of paper is presented to the students, each time.

In JEE Main 2017, Mathematics section was lengthy this time compared to previous year papers whereas in NEET – 2017, students found physics section tougher than past year papers. Even some questions from biology section are considered to be out of syllabus.

Unpredictability of AIIMS MBBS paper can be guessed from the fact that there is no clear mention of syllabus as well as online demo practice platform is not there for the students to practice and get an idea about real exam.

It is a general tendency for students to start solving the paper as soon as they get it, but those who were good in a particular subject and used to attempt this section in the beginning during practice tests and followed the same strategy in final exam had to lose some marks in other sections because of time constraint as they would have wasted huge time on subject of their interest or subject they thought would have easy questions. Every new question paper requires a small change in student’s exam strategy just like every new game of cricket or any other sport needs a new strategy so that optimum results can be achieved with best use of strengths. The change might be in the sequence of subjects, a student attempts in exam or prioritizing questions to be attempted, based on their difficulty levels and overall question paper.

While practicing, it is very important for student to practice on platforms where he gets different kind of question paper (Subject wise difficulty level, composition of question paper) every time he takes a new test, so that he gets prepared for the unpredictable paper in final exam.

CollegeDoors paper making rule based algorithm takes care of the bias in question paper due to individual examiner preferences, while taking care that a standard and relevant paper is deployed.  Online practice for JEE/NEET/BITSAT/AIIMS enables students to analyze their exam taking behavior.

At CollegeDoors, it is believed that the habit of customizing exam strategy for each student, based on question paper, can be developed with regular practice and analysis of exam taking behavior.  CollegeDoors’s patent pending, easy to understand analysis report infers key points as well as presents move by move whole exam journey which helps students in improving their performance in exams.

Appearing in AIIMS MBBS entrance exam? Practice now in same format

AIIMS MBBS entrance exam is one of the few entrance exams conducted for admissions into under graduate (UG) courses, which are fully online (computer based). There are various online practice platforms but lack of quality online practice tests for AIIMS MBBS entrance exam, in terms of questions papers, platform functioning and performance report keeps students guessing. Students face challenges in practicing for the exam because of unavailability of relevant and quality practice question papers in online mode.

To cater to the needs of aspirants we have launched specific package for AIIMS MBBS aspirants, where students can take practice tests exactly in the same format that of the real exam.

The Launch of AIIMS platform will help students, teachers and parents to find the answer for questions such as: “How to Prepare for AIIMS, Where to Practice online for AIIMS, Online practice platform form AIIMS”, among others.

Note that, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are institutes of national importance, providing higher education in medical sciences. AIIMS conducts its own computer based test for admission in its MBBS courses, which is different in pattern and duration from NEET.

Same question paper format as real exam in terms of question type (Including Assertion-Reason questions in PCB, General Knowledge and Logical Reasoning questions), overall balancing of paper and same look and functionalities will help students get ready for real exam.

Students can take trial test for AIIMS  for free of cost with complete analysis on offer. To take complete test for 3.5 hours, students need to Sign Up first and then they can subscribe for special AIIMS packages of 4 and 8 tests based on their requirement. Already registered students can directly subscribe by logging in and clicking on “Subscribe” under “My Action” drop down.

Don’t hesitate to drop us a mail at, for clarification, if any.  We would love to hear from you.

JEE Main 2017: Last Minute Tips

It’s been a roller coaster ride of 2 to 3 years for students preparing for JEE Main. You all have put in a lot of effort to achieve a good score to secure seat in a good college. Now it’s a matter of few days for the D-Day when all aspirants are going to attempt the most important exam of their life, as people call it, but believe us it is not true, life tests us on day to day basis. Only some final results play pivotal role in our lives. So here we are to share few tips with you to maximize the score in your JEE Main exam.

  • Most of the students have attempted a lot of practice tests during their journey and this is no different than those tests in terms of question levels and competition. It is natural to be nervous on these days and no one is different, but the practice of taking exams in nervous situations will sail a student through. Aspirants shouldn’t let the nervousness or pressure get heavy on them.
  • The heat is at its peak during this period and some of you may find it uncomfortable in an examination center with no cooling system. Try to get yourself accustomed to such environment and keep yourself hydrated.
  • Now don’t rush to books to see those formulas for the final time. Just sit back and relax. You have studied and practiced a lot. Have full faith on your preparation, you will definitely excel.
  • Don’t engage yourself in any other work from 9-12 pm. Just sit at a place, meditate and relax.
  • Good food helps in having great health and mind. It will help you to perform better in exam.
  • As soon as you get your question paper go through all the questions before you start attempting any question.
  • Don’t get stuck at any particular question, attempt easy questions first because each question fetch equal marks.

Last but not least Keep a positive and realistic attitude because that is what matters most.

CollegeDoors wishes each aspirant good luck for JEE Main.

Single Entrance Test for Engineering: Why it is good for everyone, way forward

As the Union government, has approved the proposal for a single entrance test for admission into engineering and architecture, if we closely look at the conditions which led government to take this decision, how will it impact the current testing scenario and what are the ways forward?

Even after politically being a single country from Jammu to Kanyakumari and from Kuchh to Arunachal, India is very much divided on economic and education system when compared to even the European Union. 2016 saw Supreme Court mandating single exam for medical admissions, National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET). Post which more moves were expected from the government to make the education system more uniform, standardized, reduce the influence of donations and free of corruption. National Testing Agency was announced in budget. Recent announcement of single test (JEE) for Engineering and Architecture is one more step in this direction. We strongly believe more reforms.

The move will help students as they will not be stressed about filling so many forms and coordinating dates. It will enable them to have single focus as they don’t have to worry about multiple syllabus and different patterns of different exams, as in the current scenario.

It will be good for Parents of aspirants, especially for working parents who keep on moving from one state to another as their job demands. They don’t have to worry about difference in board syllabus and exam pattern of different states. It will also save them hard earned money

For teachers, it would enable them to be consistent in teaching rather than customizing as per the entrance exams as each exam has its own difficulty level, pattern and syllabus.
Good part of this decision is unlike NEET II decision in 2016 this one does not impact aspirants of 2017. We hope there is no legal battle and all accept this good move.

One aspect which could go against students is that, due to some personal reasons if a student misses the exam or underperforms on a particular day, as it happens in a lot of cases or make small avoidable mistakes like messing up with the OMR sheet filling in pen and paper based exam, a student might have to wait for another year to give his best shot, but as mentioned in the proposal that would be taken care on a larger extent by having the exam multiple times a year like SAT in US.

When a single exam is conducted on such a larger scale, it comes with its own difficulties and shortcomings, leaking of paper, timely declaration of results, infrastructural problems and in a country as diverse as India, it will be a challenge for the government to bring all states on consensus with keeping linguistic diversity in mind.

With more internet penetration and better connectivity, CollegeDoors’ assessment is that very soon government will make NEET and JEE computer based (Online) to enable it to conduct multiple times in short span of time and avoid large cost and eliminate possibility of cheating / leaking of papers.

Democratization of education in India

The best times of Indian history were when our educational institutions like Nalanda, Takshshila were world famous. It was just after arrival of British that our indigenous institutions were downgraded, educational system was modified. Independent India inherited a backward economy and an educational system where only elite had the access to it and the systems were designed not to attract voluntary participation of people. After independence, there were some steps were taken to make access of education for each and every citizen. But lack of capital to have basic infrastructure supported by delayed decisions and inefficient execution, have kept a larger proportion of us away from even the fundamental education.

For a country like India where 50% of population is below the age of 25 years, education is one of the sectors where improvement scopes are massive; through proper skill based education to its young generation India can in fact benefit from one of the severe problem of population. As India is expected to overtake China by 2022 in population, India cannot afford to simply emulate western or Chinese development model because the conditions and capabilities are completely different. Unlike China people here believe in freedom of thought and living life on their own on the cost of lifestyle and unlike western countries, India don’t have a shameful history of colonizing other countries and living on the mercy of wealth created by their forefathers who have looted their respective colonies. Like constitution, India needs its own developmental model in every sector which can be a hybrid of developmental models of different developed as well as developing countries.

In any developing and aspiring country Education is considered as one of the most reliable investments where returns are high provided proper and relevant education is ensured. People in India have the capability of bypassing current or past trends and adapting themselves very fast with the changes. Location has always been the key to getting a good education in India, but it is not going to be same in the fast changing scenario where use of technology in education can massively bring down the operational costs and ensure access to same quality content for a person in remotest part of the country, which is accessed by a person sitting in a king size study room in an apartment on 21st  floor of a sea facing building in Mumbai. Within Education system, from primary schooling to higher level research, there is scope of improvement at every step.

Every year around 2.5 million Students takes entrance tests for admission in engineering and medical institutions for undergraduate studies after passing senior secondary examination. CollegeDoors have taken a little step meant for big improvements in the preparation environment for students and help them to measure and analyze their efforts regularly, so that they can decide best suited study plans for themselves or with help from their mentors / teachers / coaches. Its robust algorithms and standard practices provide a real life test taking platform to JEE, NEET and BITSAT aspirants. A basic internet connection is what is required to exploit CollegeDoors platform fully and with advent of technology and resource sharing among people, it would not be a big challenge for everyone to have access of that in coming years.