Self study Vs. Coaching classes-A Whole new analysis

Ankur Garg (Company Secretary and Compliance Officer)   (114773 Points)

06 April 2010  

Self study Vs. Coaching classes-A Whole new dimension with analysis

Hello Members,

One of the huge questions in front of the students is to decide whether to go for self study or for coaching. Through this write up I have tried to analyse certain untouched aspects of self study and very hopeful that this article would be able to provide certain guiding principles/suggestions to the student community.

Personally I feel that Self study is a very good option for every student because without self study it is very difficult to clear any examination. The main reason behind this thinking is coaching also involves a remarkable amount of self study. Later on in this write up we’ll discuss this point. Another reason to go for self study is the confidence factor involved in it. Successful self study may give you an incredible amount of confidence to deal with any kind of subject or course.

Further we have to understand one more thing quite clearly that self study or coaching classes are not the sole deciding factor as far as success in professional examination is concerned. You may find various examples around you. There are many students who have cleared their exams quite easily just by doing self study and some of the students who have taken coaching are still struggling or vice versa. So the main decisive factor is your honest efforts and commitment towards your preparation and nothing else. Let us discuss certain pre-conditions for self study entirely based on my personal observation. 

Pyramid /Hierarchical Structure of Self Study


1. Proper guidance regarding how to start your study from your teacher or from some senior student is very much important rather I would say it is indispensible. Main reason behind this point is a lot of theory content or material in the study module and reference books is totally irrelevant from the exam point of view and only someone senior can guide you regarding this vital and energy saving point.

2. Have regular discussions with your friends or seniors regarding exam oriented topics which you simply failed to understand during self study. As per my personal opinion this point is very important and plays a decisive role during self study and gives you and the other person a very good chance to interact with each other in a prolific way.

3. Selection of correct reference books is another essential pre-condition for self study. It is also advisable to collect all the reference books well in advance. One more thing time to time reference from your study module is also very important.

Along with selection of reference books in advance it is also advisable to collect exam oriented notes from the very beginning and stick to them. Kindly check the link below to download some useful exam oriented notes:


4. Kindly consider this point as a serious advice. During self study most of the time you study alone without interaction to anyone else. So self study may be a failure if you continue your prepare without interaction with anybody else. Remember a healthy and a light chit-chat can give your brain a much awaited relaxation and energy.

5. There are certain topics like direct tax at Final level for which special preparation or specific coaching is required and self study may not be sufficient from the point of view of conceptual clarity. So discuss these topics with your friends or with any experienced faculty/student to bring clarity of concept.


6. Another pre-condition for self study is availability of time. Going for self study may be a bit risky when there is lack of time like you are preparing for other professional course simultaneously or busy in your job etc. In other words ample amount of time to study and superior time management plays an important role in self study.

7. Time management and study routine also plays an important role during self study. If you are not able to follow a set routine of study than in that case self study may be a complete disaster as in self study there is always a danger of lack of discipline. Main reason behind this probable lack of discipline is that there is no fear of coaching classes or tuition work and you are the sole ruler of your own wish. So in self study 100% commitment and study routine is very essential.   


8. Let me tell you a very important thing rather a fact that coaching also involves self study where as self study does not involve coaching. This point is really easy to understand. Reason behind this observation is that in coaching classes only concepts are discussed once or twice. But you have to understand those concepts on your own by self study only. A teacher can only teach you the method and discuss one or two examples but ultimate effort is required from your side to understand that method by practice of more questions connected with that particular method. So in this way we can say that coaching also involves self study and has much wider scope than we normally understand in common usage and without understanding the true meaning and components of self study it would be very difficult for anyone to clear any examination. Hope you all are agree with me w.r.t. this point/observation. Kindly visit the link below for certain exam tips and suggestions:  


9. Next pre-condition for self study is the thorough knowledge of your course content so you must do a small R&D about the course contents by going through the syllabi to figure out what is relevant and what is irrelevant.


10. Last but certainly not the least pre-condition of self study is analysis of your strength and weakness as you are the sole owner of your strength and weakness. Only you can utilize your strength and weakness in the best possible manner. You may analyse your strength in the following manner --- if you are more confident in solving practical problems as compare to your approach towards theory preparation and presentation then you must devote extra time to improve your theory preparation and presentation skills and vice versa.




  Coaching is not a bad idea at all especially for certain demanding subjects like Direct Tax etc. Reason behind this point of view is not only the technicalities involved in the subject but also the need and confidence desired for the future professional working and practice.

 One of the outstanding benefits of coaching is interaction or networking with an enormous group of people which is very essential in today’s competitive environment where networking is kind of indispensible. Further the proper guidance provided by the professional teachers/tutors along with exam oriented handouts is one of the major motives for students to go for coaching.

  Alarm: But here we must understand one thing very clearly that the above facilities involve a huge amount of financial burden as far as your pocket is concerned which may not be possible for every parent or student to bear. Another shortcoming/risk involved with coaching class is your interaction with faculty. If you failed to cope up with teaching style of faculty than there may be some serious problem.         


  As mentioned above self study is one of the essential components of coaching classes and no coaching can be successful without the input or flavor of self study. One of the major benefits of self study is that it is cost and time effective and makes you compatible for the preparation of any kind of professional course. Self study also saves your energy which is required for coaching classes.

 It also removes your dependency on coaching classes and you can start your study immediately after registration. Self study is the real key which is directly connected to your confidence level

  Alarm: We must remember one thing while going for Self study that Self study is a bit time consuming process and a lot of R&D is involved in it to succeed. In other words Self study demanded extra time to complete the course for which you have to prepare yourself mentally. A lot of discipline, planning and guts required to go for Self study. However personally I feel that all the above mentioned alarms are easily maintainable if you are well aware of your strength and weakness and deal with the situation accordingly.

Disclaimer:  The content and every thought used in this article is based on my personal observation and understanding. This Article is completely my work and not copied from anywhere.

Hope this Article would be off some help during your professional journey. Awaiting your kind responses on the above mentioned points. Please share your views along with your valuable comments/suggestions/guidance.


Wish you all the Best


Best Regards

Ankur Garg