The Benefits of CAT Online Prep vs. MBA Coaching

cat online prep vs mba coaching

You need to prepare for the CAT. But what’s the best way to prepare? Do you prep for the CAT online? Or do you sign up for some hands-on MBA coaching?

Things to Consider About MBA Coaching

We’ll start by looking at MBA coaching. “Coaching” style CAT prep tends to be done in-person, in a classroom setting. MBA Coaching companies like TIME, IMS, Bullseye, and others have schools in cities across India.

MBA Coaching doesn’t just cover the CAT. These schools are your one-stop resource for all things MBA. Coaching includes help with applying to B-schools, writing entrance essays, practicing for admissions interviews, preparing for future graduate coursework, and more.

In terms of price, MBA coaching programs tend to range from 21,000-35,000 Rs for a complete course. In exchange for these fees you get a lot of class time; this means making a serious time commitment. You can expect to attend in-person MBA classes for at least 4 months, and possibly for over a year.

The Features of CAT Online Prep

Typically, online prep for the CAT exam looks very different from traditional MBA coaching. While MBA coaching has a predictable format (scheduled courses, set curriculum), online CAT exam prep takes many forms. Online CAT prep includes videos; search YouTube for CAT exam prep, and you’ll see a lot of these. Online CAT materials also include mock CAT tests, collections of real past CAT papers with answer keys, and blogs that have all sorts of resources. (On this very blog for instance, we’re rolling out practice exams, skills-building exercises, advice, and more!)

The cost of online CAT preparation is nearly always cheaper than MBA coaching. Many online resources for CAT prep are free. Other CAT prep materials may cost several hundred Rs and rarely cost more than 10,000 Rs.

In terms of time commitment, CAT preparation online can be just as time-consuming as MBA coaching classes. But it can also be a lot less time consuming. With online studies, you have a lot more freedom to decide how many hours you’ll study. In addition, you can do CAT online prep on your own schedule. Being able to choose your own study times can make your time commitment more manageable.

Still, certain kinds of online prep can be scheduled. This is because…

Some Online CAT Prep Services Include MBA Coaching

Above, I mentioned “traditional” MBA coaching. But more and more, MBA coaching schools offer non-traditional online services as well as classroom instruction. 2iim, for example, offers a choice of online and face-to-face courses. And 2iim is not alone. Nowadays, you can find online CAT prep materials (some for free and some paid) on the websites of pretty much every classroom-based MBA coaching service.

Then there are emerging companies like Handa Ka Funda. Handa Ka Funda’s MBA coaching is offered only online. They also offer self study materials on their website, and self-study videos on their YouTube channel. (Magoosh offers similar CAT self-study materials; you’ll be seeing a lot of those resources on our blog in the coming days and weeks.)

The Takeaway

MBA coaching is very comprehensive, offering many services besides just CAT prep. But the classroom model for CAT prep can also take up a lot of your time and money. And you may or may not need this kind of in-depth MBA help.

Many students successfully prepare for the CAT through self-study on the web. Because of this, I always recommend trying CAT prep online first. If you need more than online prep can provide, then you can look into purchasing some MBA coaching. But you just may find that online CAT prep meets your needs flexibly and affordably.

By the way, sign up for our 1 Week Free Trial to try out Magoosh GMAT Prep!

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