The Common Aptitude Test for English (CATE) for admission to BA English (H) in Delhi University is only four years old and applies to a handful of colleges,but already there are several coaching institutes that are cashing in on the aspirations of candidates.
On offer are two deals study material to help crack the entrance test and personalised classes,including home tutoring.
Coaching centres begin CATE preparation classes soon after Class XII exams end. They claim the number of students opting for such classes has been on the rise since 2009,when CATE was implemented.
Coaching for this years CATE started on March 25. We started in 2009 and the demand has increased steadily. We started with around 150 students,this year,we have more than 500 students, said Jibani Singh of Pratham Education,a coaching centre.
The centre charges Rs 10,500 per student for one session,which includes three classes every week for one and a half to two months.
We also supply study material based on previous years question papers and conduct mock tests. Our students are from Delhi and neighbouring cities like Chandigarh,Jaipur,etc, Singh said.
Edumentor,another coaching centre,charges Rs 2,500 to supply study material,said a counsellor at the centre.
Sangeeta Budhiraja,a home tutor from Rana Pratap Bagh,who has been teaching English to school and college students for over 20 years offers personal coaching for CATE. She also provides assistance via online chat and telephone to students across India. While personal coaching is priced at Rs 8,000 to 10,000 for a 10-day session,online and telephonic assistance is free.
My details are online and students call me up from all over India for assistance. If they are unable to come down for classes,I ask them to scan their writings and send them to me,so I can tell them what gap exists between their standards and what the university expects. I started with 12 students in 2009,but this year,25 students have registered for classes here, Budhiraja said.
Co-ordinator for CATE Dr Tapan Basu said coaching centres are unlikely to help in cracking the exam. At the department,our aim has been to develop an exam that does not encourage rote learning. We change the format and content of the question paper every year,and I dont think such coaching will be of much use to students, Dr Basu said.