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It is a teaching, training or development process via which an individual is supported while achieving a specific personal or professional result or goal. The individual receiving coaching may be referred to as the client or coachee. Occasionally, the term coaching may be applied to an informal relationship between two individuals where one has greater experience and expertise than the other and offers advice and guidance as the other goes through a learning process. This form of coaching is similar to mentoring.
Historically the evolution of coaching has been influenced by many other fields of study including those of personal development, adult education, psychology (sports, clinical, developmental, organizational, social and industrial) and other organizational or leadership theories and practices.
There are many definitions of coaching, mentoring and various styles of management and training. Managing is making sure people do what they know how to do. Training is teaching people to do what they don’t know how to do. Mentoring is showing people how the people who are really good at doing something do it. Counselling is helping people come to terms with issues they are facing. Coaching is none of these – it is helping to identify the skills and capabilities that are within the person, and enabling them to use them to the best of their ability.
One of the challenges in the field of coaching is upholding levels of professionalism, standards and ethics. To this end, many of the coaching bodies and organizations have codes of ethics and member standards and criteria according to which they hold their members accountable in order to protect coaching clients’ interests.
In India entrance examinations are chiefly confined to medicine , engineering, management and the civil services. These range from the BITS Pilani admission test and IIT-JEE where only one in a hundreds can hope to get admission to state level entrances which are many and varied. The stiff competition has led to a situation where many students neglect their school studies and focus solely on entrance coaching’ which is time-consuming and expensive. This has led many states to scrap the entrances and base admissions on the school leaving marks which, unfortunately are none too reliable. Experts point out that in a country where many different boards are present common entrances are essential, but application skills rather than cramming should be stressed on. Frequent changes in the pattern of examination are essential since sticking to a ‘standard text’ or ‘standard pattern’ alone will favour the coaching industry.
ENTRANCE EXAMS IN INDIA
Entrance Examinations in India trace their roots to the University of Calcutta, which when established in 1857, introduced the practice to decide eligibility for admission. In that exam, one student was passed in every four candidates. From Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Srilanka only 219 student was qualified. Only 162 was passed from the Bangladesh, Pakistan, Assam, Tripura, Meghayalaya, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Maddhaya Pradesh.In the absence of a standardized school graduation examination, the University’s entrance examinations were used as a substitute, known later as Matriculation examinations. Post-independence India has different systems of education whose syllabi and examination process are governed by both central and state-based statutory boards. Grades 10 and 12 which mark the culmination of secondary and higher secondary education, have standardized final examinations, referred to as the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examination after grade 10 (class X) and the Higher Secondary Examination (HSC) after grade 12 .
Apart from the secondary and higher secondary examinations, various universities have their own admission and qualification criteria. These may be organized and conducted by the universities themselves, by an examination board related to an affiliated group of universities. There has been some attempt at standardization at the central level with common examinations like the CAT and AIEEE now commonly recognized by universities.
Typically, entrance examinations for universities tend to be:
- competitive – i.e. examinations are ranked and choices of university and course are given in the ascending order of rank. Standard practices like waiting lists are accounted in. This differs from SSLC and HSC in that there is no grading threshold for passing the examination.
- objective – i.e. based on multiple choice questions. The rationale is as much to save work on evaluating millions of candidates using automated means as to balance out the effect of subjective scores on conventional (long-answer) papers that a student faces in his HSC.
Some of these exams (particularly the UPSC’s Engineering Services Examination (the toughest in India), BITS Pilani admission test, IIT-JEE, CAT and AIPMT) are considered among the toughest in the world, with lakhs of students competing for a few thousand seats.
It is not uncommon for a university to use multiple examinations for admission. Engineering schools in India usually admit 15% of their students through the national-level AIEEE and the remaining 85% based on their scores in the entrance exam conducted by the state in which the college is located. Government-run medical schools use a similar pattern, basing admissions on the candidate’s rank at the All India Pre-Medical Test. The prestigious Indian Institutes of Management conduct a Common Admission Test, but continue to consider the more common GMAT scores for foreign and non-resident applicants. The renowned Indian Institutes of Technology conduct the notoriously competitive IIT-JEE and the prestigious BITS Pilani conducts an online admission test BITSAT which attracts candidates from as far away as Middle East.
Recently, separate exams have been introduced for courses such as law and hotel management. Some colleges such as AIIMS and AFMC and many private medical colleges conduct their own entrance tests. However the college admission procedure in India remains somewhat controversial due to the presence of reservation of seats for “backward” castes.
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