It attracts the best minds, nurtures innovative thinking and spurs successful careers. It has a long list of illustrious alumni, there have been books written about it and now there is even a Bollywood movie about life inside its hallowed portals. No wonder, lakhs of students burn the midnight oil for that elite tag of being an IITian.
If you are one of those chasing the IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) dream, this site could bring you a little closer to realising it. At www.askiitians.com you can prepare for the IIT-JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) online without actually attending a coaching institute.
The site offers mock tests, previous year’s video solutions of question papers and online study material to prepare for IIT-JEE and AIEEE (All India Engineering Entrance Exam). Nowadays, there are any number of institutes offering IIT-JEE coaching in India, but what sets askiitians apart is that it offers everything online, which makes preparing for the JEE easier for students even in the remotest of locations. For students who are unable to attend a coaching class or shift bag and baggage to Kota, online coaching can be a great boon.
All you need is a computer and a broadband connection to start preparing. Askiitians uses a whiteboard platform technology wherein the computer screen becomes a chalkboard where the tutor solves the problems. You can listen and interact with the teacher with the help of a headset and speakers.
Askiitians has two flagship courses — both taught through the remote instructional programme (RIP) mode. The one-year RIP I has 450 hours of classes and the two-year RIP II has 650 hours of classes. If you don’t want to take the plunge for full-year classes, there are smaller course modules as well. There are class packages for maths, physics and chemistry that range from 50 to 150 hours. Well, all this comes at a steep price. The packages range from Rs 59,000 for the one-year course to Rs 99,000 for the two-year one.
But the good news is that the site does offer some free modules. You can download the complete IIT-JEE study material, ask a question a day to the tutors, talk about your problems and concerns in the discussion forum, take mock tests and see solutions to AIEEE, DCE and IIT-JEE papers — all at no cost. Besides these features, the entire portal is a storehouse of information related to engineering exams. It informs you about important books for IIT-JEE, exam details, engineering colleges, Olympiads, the application process in IITs and even the fee structure in these institutes.
Overall, the site has a youthful appeal. The use of bright colours and sharp images add to a look every aspiring techie should like. The language and site navigation are easy to understand. So, register with askiitians and start learning with tutors who, according to the site, are all ex-IITians. On the home page an icon will take you to the tutor’s profile — it is a good idea to know about your tutors before you start being coached, especially if you plan to take up the paid packages.
In times of recession online coaching is fast catching up. It saves time, cuts travelling and in some cases, living costs. It allows you to study at flexible time, an advantage when students have to balance school and college studies with coaching. But as learning in these forums will be at your own pace you will have to be disciplined in your approach as the initiative to study will be entirely yours. Before you join an online site its authenticity and expertise of its tutors is an important consideration. In that regard askiitians has been able to make its mark in the first year of its launch. According to a Financial Express report, 284 online students who had subscribed to IIT-JEE preparation services at askiitians.com made it through IIT-JEE 2009. A good figure for you to at least give this site an opening shot.