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Dear Students,

Hiyaaa all from Vidhyashankar!

Had some time today to scribe a few lines for you all.

A CA coaching class in Kochi, Kerala

Many students these days think that one should take coaching classes to get success in CA exams.But if you look at success rates, there is no significant change in the percentage of those passing despite very good coaching centres.

Let me analyze this phenomenon and share my unique views on this subject. Please do not consider this as a lengthy peroration on the subject or something set as stone for the matter decided by Vidhyashankar's gavel. No, far from it, you have to check the suitability of coaching centres yourself.


1. FEAR--Plain and simple. They fear many many things and the most they fear is CA examination in itself. The load, the toughness, etc. Most of these are perceptual barriers erected by their own febrile minds, though. Most of those who fail despite going to coaching classes fall under this category. Fear is as I said before in my posting (Squashing fear posting), something misty, something unreal, something created by the illusionary nature of our reptilian brain(unless it comes from a deep intuitive mind portending of some danger).So when the substratum of the decision hinges upon this for making a decision to go to a Coaching class, then finally it has to frustrate itself by the most obvious route of ennui or dissatisfaction. This forms the 40% chunk of those who attend the classes.


First mental script : "Hey! My friends go and so I have to go.I dont want to stay alone and read, whereas my friends run ahead of me in understanding concepts with the help of some teacher in a Coaching class."

Second mental script: "My friend XYZ warns me of the dangers of roughing it alone and says the subjects are tough and thus I need to protect myself and heed his/her sane advice and beter go alongwith him/her"

Both scripts are dictated by fear and thus this too has a great chance of not really helping the student. May be they do find it useful but at the cost of their energy, commutation, late hours, taunts from teachers, diffidence hearing other students' woes in the coaching class, ill-adviced moves in the coaching class,etc. SOMETIMES IT IS NOT WORTH TO GO TO COACHING CLASSES-thinking of these factors. This group forms 40% of those who go to coaching classes.


This group is markedly different from the first category. To avoid fear is totally different from to embrace courage.The first type cannot evade negativity(Try not to think of a PINK ELEPHANT kind of thing) whereas the second group is inherently positive. This group of students are sane and take just what is needed for them and not make a beeline for classes when they dont even need them in the first place! You dont find them sitting in MICS/ICSA classes and wasting their time. You dont see them idling their time after the classes are over "discussing" relevant items for CA(Read as inducing further fear and negativity about the course and subjects).You see them utilizing the prof or teacher to the hilt and getting motivated by other dilgent students.This group forms 20% of those who attend the classes and the sampling matches the results roughly.

I have personally attended coaching classes for a couple of subjects too at every level.

Those who go to coaching classes fall under these 3 categories essentially. There might be other seemingly plausible reasons like--"I DONT UNDERSTAND this subject" or "Costing isa bugbear to me"(Nothing is a bugbear except your rotten mind!)" If I sit at home, my mind is idle and an idle mind is a devil's workshop"(who asked you to be idle? You have a whole bundle of study materials to read!).Lethargy is a converted form of fear too. One is lethargic because one does not want to beat the current status quo or current comfort zone.All these can be clubbed under fear category mentioned first.

Proper analytical mode:

You must analyze the following factors, sort of a checklist(or even a software for the mind) before you take up the coaching classes:

1. Am I really worried about this subject? Will I not be able to do it using study material,compiler,RTPs,Reference books?--If the answer for this is a vehement YES...Then don't go--you simply are wasting your time, energy and money.

2. What is the opportunity cost for this decision?--Time, effort, commutation, frustration, professorial taunts, student and co-peer pressure, general depression factors associated with the load, load handling capacity of the brain(subjective and of times underestimated),etc.

A cost-benefit analysis must be made.

3. How is the professor? Is he or she really good.Dont hear stories from seniors alone in judging, try to evaluate yourself by attending any mock sessions or ICAI study sessions or some form....Or get the advice of a really trusted person.The yardstick here is not merely the knowledge of the professor but the human element. Is he/she a surly person who discourages the students constantly harping about the subject's toughness(or perceived toughness)? Is he highly sarcastic and snobbish?--Just get away from such vermin's(this is the best word I can find for people who eat the confidence embedded in the students'  brains!).This is the most important point and you must give extra weightage for this.

4. How far is the coaching centre? If you take all the time to even commute the distance, there wont be much value addition to it, howsoever good the classes might be. You spend unnecessary time in commutation and cannot concentrate in the classes.(Unless you are attending the classes in an air-conditioned car, even then there is wastage of time!)

5. How good is the professor as far as subject knowledge and coaching materials are concerned? If only the coaching materials are good, then get that alone-Simple as a cake! Why waste time with the fellow? If the materials are passable but the professor is good, then too it might not be worth because one tends to get over-confident and think--"Oh this is jolly well easy like smashing a pumpkin pie on my foe's face"....finally you get the pumpkin pie smudges on your face when you come out the exam hall. In other words, you get rude shocks seeing the "toughness" of the exam.

The professor must have excellent knowledge, must be a good teacher pellucid in his coaching methods and his or her coaching material must cover essentially what is important for the exam in a lucid fashion. The very fact that someone's coaching material is enough to pass the exam speaks bad about the person because he or she is not a good teacher.

A good teacher is something of an "irreplaceable service"(or product).You get the whole package if you attend his or her classes and not by getting parts of whole to substitute for the whole.

You are not going there for a regurgitation of study material or listening some lengthy  but useless lecture or taking notes, which do make your fingers strong(or do you end up with a carpel tunnel like syndrome?) but your brain weak!

Never go for the brilliant marketing efforts done by the Coaching Institutes:

1. They setup student decoys sometimes even paying money to boast about the coaching classes or a particular professor or his greatness

2. Some students are brainwashed or are under some euphoria thinking they have cleared the exam due to the professor or get sentimental/nostalgic about the person(given the trauma everyone undergoes for this course, this is imaginable).This has nothing to do with "Guru-shishya parampara" or such kind of elevated stuff(You are trying for a pass or rank in the Course, not mokshamarg taking the person to be some sadguru or Master of sorts!).I hear some students keep quoting this Guru-shishya parampara kibosh. Its time to get practical. One must respect one's elders and teachers but not get too muchy-mushy and create self-detriments.

3. They give postings, conduct extra curricular activities, run magazines, induct youtube videos of their classes, passup wonderful and enticing phamphlets,etc to spread their names. They go under guises of being honest institutions with student welfare in minds.

4. They propagate the "easy"--All subjects under one roof---hype.

One must not fall for all this garbage and must use one's commonsense a lot(very very uncommon these days).

If you find that the tuition is more of a detriment than help, then drop it. Don't consider the money, its sunk cost! You can work it out yourself, nothing to worry.

CA Pattabhiram of Prime Academy

On the other hand, it was a pleasure attending Pattabhi's classes for MAFA those days. I used to speak Oriya and Telugu with the hostel mates who used to come like 1 hour or 2 hours before the class(as if it were some Tirupathy Balaji Darshan thing) and managed to get the front row seats reserved for me to sit in his classes even if I came a bit late for the classes.(One of the many advantages of knowing lot of languages!).His confident no-nonsense style was really contagious in a positive way for me. I did all the problems from the prime Academy text, worked Khan and Jain(those days) a bit of Prasanna Chandra,Study material and compiler in and out and really crossed the 80 mark barrier for the exam. This professor is really amazing and recently he had written one book  named "CA to CEO", Which lists around 16 paths which CAs can take apart from the traditional moorings of accounting/accountancy and auditing.

Read my other posting: "Coaching not necessary for the following subjects"

Take a sane decision, NOW!

Your friend and confidante',


Category Students, Other Articles by - Vidhyashankar