One thing is increasingly getting common among the youth, that most today carry a smartphone loaded with a number of apps.
Manish Pandey is one such individual. He is preparing himself for government sector jobs. But since he is also working with a pharmaceutical company in the private sector, much of his day is spend travelling across Delhi. The best way to utilise his time for studies, he says, is to keep up with his preparation using educational apps.
“There are apps for every subject: general knowledge, English, mathematics and others. The right app helps me revise whatever I study at the coaching institute,” he says.
Manish is not the only student who uses apps for studying. Go to any coaching institute (especially those who train students for SSC, IBPS PO/clerk exams, for posts in paramilitary services and police) and you will find a lot of working individuals using learning apps either provided by the respective coaching institutes or developed by related organisations. In fact, there are a lot of apps in the online marketplace and many of them even provide free access to study material.
For example, Career Power, which provides coaching for banking examinations, assist aspirants both through its website and sector-dedicated apps. For SSC, it has developed SSC Adda; for banking, it has developed Bankers Adda. Career Power says that SSC Adda has seen over 50,000 downloads and the app provides all the information needed for SSC CGL, SSC 10+2 and FCI exams. Bankers Adda, which has seen over 1 lakh downloads, assists aspirants for IBPS PO/clerk exams.
The Career Power app is free, updated on a daily basis, and contains quizzes, assignments, current affairs, etc. The app also has free mock tests for all government jobs, including banking and SSC, and paid-packages for extended practice mock tests.
However, currently, such apps are not a replacement of classroom coaching. Apps can make a case for replacing classroom coaching only when they include, among others, video features, wherein students are able to view recorded lectures of the previous classes.
In fact, as of now, almost 75% of Career Power students use either of the apps as a supplement to classroom training. “Daily quizzes, assignments, current affairs refresher courses, etc, are helpful in keeping us up to date and these apps can also provide us an edge over students who don’t use them,” said a student.
Anil Nagar, MD, Career Power, says that of the institute’s website’s over 20 million visitors, about 60% access its website using smartphones. “Keeping this in mind, we have developed these apps. We provide the user information on current affairs, exam preparations, mock tests and all other needed stuff. Although all the study material on these apps is not free, there are affordable packages.”
Now apps are also being developed for the highly-competitive civil services exam preparations. SuperProfs is one such app, developed by SuperProfs.com.
“One of the key requirements to ace the civil services exams is time management. While mobile apps are not a substitute, they definitely complement classroom coaching, group studies and traditional studying. Access to general studies and news updates is far easier today than it used to be a year or two ago. However, mobile apps cannot provide effective interview training or group discussion training. Sometime in the future, as digital infrastructure improves and as students get used to virtual learning platforms, even these might not remain challenges,” said Nagendra Pratap, head of Academics for UPSC, SuperProfs.
“We have curated course-content and high-quality video lectures that can be accessed anywhere, any time. These can help students in tier-2 and tier-3 towns. Students also have access to study material and personal doubt-clearing sessions,” added Piyush Agrawal, founder & CEO, SuperProfs.com.
However, despite all their advances, mobile apps cannot yet replace classroom coaching. But, going forward, these apps will become more interactive, and more free access on such apps will ensure that an increasing number of students step on to digital learning platforms.