Pros and Cons of Online Learning: Preparation for GATE

In its nascent stage, online education was as unappealing to the audiences as the aeroplanes were at the beginning of 20th century. Fast forward to 2018, air travel is the most preferred mode of commute, and the online education market is expected to grow to a global net worth of $325 billion by 2025. As technology continues to fit the world into one single screen, consumers are becoming more mindful of how they can more efficiently utilise their time and resources. In this respect, the online mode of education has emerged as a perfect alternative to the traditional method of learning, especially for individuals who are preparing for competitive exams like the GATE exam. With more than 9 lakh candidates registered for GATE 2018, the competition increases every year, and with it, the need to perform well. Online education, therefore offers an alternative to students who wish to take a fresh approach in their preparation. However, every coin has two sides, and so does online learning. Before embarking on a study plan for preparation, here are some pros and cons associated with online learning for students:

Pros of Online Learning:

Flexible Schedule:

Online education can prove lucrative for GATE exam aspirants because it allows them to study at unconventional hours. Whether college students or working professionals, aspirants can set time aside for online classes based on what works best for them. As opposed to traditional classroom methods where considerable time is spent on the commute to attend coaching, online learning enables students to put more efforts in their preparation instead. While e-learning may occasionally require students to be online at a specific time for interaction with the tutors, the instances are always communicated beforehand. Students enrolled in online programmes can log onto the course material at their convenience, thus making it possible for them to keep up with their work and other responsibilities.

Variety of courses:

The various kinds of courses that online learning offers are more diverse than ever before, and keep growing every year. So, a candidate preparing for GATE can also take up individual courses on crucial subjects. Since General Aptitude and Engineering Mathematics are common subjects across all branches, a lot of course material pertaining to these subjects can be found online.  Students can also find ample material on the five most popular branches, i.e., Electronics and Communication Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Computer Science Engineering. Students can thus tweak their study plan by signing up for courses that they need to learn the most.


Since there are no fixed timelines in an online programme, students can set their own pace according to their level of preparation. They can work as quickly or slowly as they want without having to worry about catching up with the rest of the class. GATEis an exam that tests students across various subjects. While the exam is usually scheduled in February, aspirants can begin taking online mock tests from as early as August. Online learning allows students to set the pace of learning of individual subject topics based on their complexity and their own familiarity with the course.

Cons of online learning:

Single learning style:

Since each student approaches a subject differently, today’s online programmes are not geared to tackle this eccentricity in the learning styles of different individuals. While there are numerous online resources in the form of video lectures and tutorials, if a student benefits more from face-to-face contact with instructors and classmates, he/she would not want to enrol in online programmes.

Requires self-discipline:

Online programmes require students to take charge of their own education. As opposed to traditional classroom methods which offer test series and timed assignments, completing online assignments and uploading them on time would require an immense amount of self-discipline. Without the presence of an atmosphere that promotes student interaction and peer-to-peer learning, it also becomes difficult for students to assess how well prepared they are to take the GATE examination. This not only limits the possibility of networking, but also takes away the motivation to compete with others. Therefore, students who have difficulty in studying independently, staying organized, and meeting deadlines might struggle to gain benefits from an online programme.

Limited student/teacher interaction:

One of the struggles that online learning students face is that they have very limited interaction with instructors. This hindrance is even more defined while preparing for a competitive exam like GATE since its preparation demands constant interaction with the teachers. It not only tests students on their fundamental understanding of the basic principles, but it also tests their proficiency in numerical problems. While students in traditional classrooms can rectify their problems immediately with the instructor at hand, e-learners, on the other hand, have to wait for hours to get a  reply to their queries.

Online learning can prove highly beneficial to students who are motivated, self-disciplined, and have excellent time-management skills. However, learners who are dependent on an appropriate learning environment may find it difficult to stay motivated to continue on an online programme. Like every other innovation, online learning has many different facets attached to it. Whether one wants to adopt online learning is based on a student’s assessment of his/her own self,  and also depends on individual strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, it is best for students to carefully analyse pros and cons according to their needs before embarking on a learning plan for preparation.

Previous post Podcasts are the in-thing in digital marketing that enables marketers to learn as well as sell
Next post 8 Different Ways to Make Money Online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *