When the IIT-JEE results were declared recently, Kanpur had one surprise success. Seventeen-year-old Abhishek Kumar Bhartiya, son of a shoemaker, literally burned the midnight oil to score the 154th rank in the all-India entrance exam. Abhishek, whose father could not even afford an electricity connection, was encouraged by his science teacher and a local tutorial that let him attend coaching classes for free. Our featured website this week www. targetiit.com is doing such endeavours online to help many other underprivileged students like Abhishek prepare for the IIT-JEE and other engineering exams.
This site is a social initiative by IIT students and alumni and gives free access to study materials, books, videos and online tests among many other handy services. The best feature about the site is that as an IIT-JEE aspirant you can get tips and techniques to crack the exam from those who have experienced it first-hand.
The site is neatly designed sans much colour and images complimenting its academic flavour. On top of the homepage a colourful circle of icons gives you a complete view of what the site has to offer. The Study Desk icon gives you access to e-books, notes and helps you track your progress. Forum is where you can discuss questions and clarify your doubts with experts and students. Clicking on the magazine icon will take you to Reflections, a monthly magazine with updates on exam dates and interviews with successful candidates, Mentors and Peer Group will help you get in touch with alumni and other aspirants. In test series and analytics, you can take tests online, get feedback on your performance and in Mobile Services get three questions daily as Questions of the Day via SMS and concepts of the week once in the weekend.
You could start by registering on the site, which to me seemed simple and easy but in fact took a hell lot of time as the page kept refreshing with an error log message. Once logged in, you get your own profile page of the likes of social networking sites complete with friends list showing their online status as well. The page will also show the number of tests you have taken, percentile, accuracy level and all your messages. This will help you keep track of your performance.
Talking of tests, there are 1,452 tests to be taken on Targetiit, wherein you also have the option of creating your own tests. This is a useful feature as it helps aspirants gauge their performance as well as discuss their mistakes on the forum with other students and experts.
On the discussion forum, you can search by topics and you would get numerous threads related to queries and answers with diagrams in physics, chemistry and maths. There are forums on many important issues such as common mistakes made by students, exam results, graphs, links to SAT books, in short everything and anything related to IIT-JEE preparation can be found here. The forum is quite active.
The other handy features on Targetiit are the articles on various topics listed in the article section. Also check out Reflections, the magazine which has several write-ups to guide students in IIT preparation. The best feature of Targetiit, however, remains the tests and the fact that you can chat with students who are currently in the IITs as they can guide you with their recent experience of having taken the exam.
What is eerie about this site is that though everything looks in place on the surface, explore it and several glitches keep popping up. There are major connectivity issues, login in takes ages and several attempts, many of the sections seem still under construction.
Considering the number of online IIT coaching sites, Targetiit needs to get its act together with some attractive options that would make the site stand out from the rest. What works in its favour is the fact that unlike most other IIT coaching institutes that seem out there to mint money from the students, Targetiit seems to offer everything free. So, go on give it a shot, you have nothing to lose.