MBAtious People - Ravi Handa
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Ravi Handa has taught Quantitative Aptitude at various coaching institutes for seven years. An alumnus of IIT Kharagpur where he studied a dual-degree in computer science, he currently runs an online CAT coaching course and the website Handa Ka Funda
Hello Sir, Can you tell us something about your Background...
I grew up in a small town called Bharatpur in Rajasthan and then went to Kota to study for IIT-JEE. Then IIT Kharagpur where I pretended to study comp. sci. After college, in 2006, I joined IMS in Kolkata and since then have remained in the coaching field as I like teaching and specifically Math.
Your advice to MBA aspirants...
Don’t be swayed by what others are doing. Clarify your basics and do not spend too much time running after new methods, shortcuts and techniques. The biggest mistake that I have seen students make is to directly jump to difficult books and forum questions. Don't do that. If you have joined a coaching institute, they would have given you a fat set of books. Pick them up and solve them before moving ahead. In case you haven't joined any coaching institute, there are plenty of websites which provide questions of basic level of difficulty. Most of the stuff which is discussed on the threads on various preparation groups and pages, Question-a-Day websites, etc or for that matter any other online forum where CAT takers connect with each other is on the difficult side.
Not only that, a lot of questions which are asked in the mock CATs by coaching institutes are also much more difficult than what actually gets asked in the actual CAT exam. Some might argue in favour of solving tough questions citing the same logic that governs the idea that "you can be a better city driver by learning to drive on difficult hilly roads". But that doesn't really apply here because you do not need to do all questions in the CAT paper. Furthermore, all the tough CAT questions require advanced thinking as opposed to advanced knowledge. You don't really need to know complex formulae, theorems, techniques, etc.
Do remember that the CAT has never been about shortlisting those who know the most formulas or can apply the Fermat's theorem efficiently, but those with higher aptitude and better pressure performance. If you think that the Question-a-Day questions that you are following are too tough (if you can't solve even a fourth of those), unsubscribe yourself. If you can't, try to become blind to them like many of us are blind to advertising. If you choose your preparation material wisely, you will be left with a little more time for your actual CAT prep - something that you can use for improving your CAT score. You should spend it on building your basics and solving simple problems in the exam.
Regarding growing influence of social media in education and collective learning...
If used wisely, social media is a brilliant tool to supplement your learning but sadly a lot of students are not able to do that. They are not able to separate the good and the bad and end up demotivating themselves unnecessarily. Use the preparation threads wisely. I recommend that you use them to clarify your doubts and not to post tough questions and challenge others. If you're looking for solutions, most questions sources contain solutions as well.
About your Online CAT preparation service 'Handa ka Funda' and its attractions...
I run an Online CAT coaching course on WizIq and Handa Ka Funda essentially acts as a listing place for it. I also use it to connect to my students because some websites do not allow me to directly link to WizIQ. The course is primarily based on video tutorials. We believe that the current model of test preparation of coaching classes is just not working anymore. It has so many problems and limitations which can be solved by a simplistic use of the technologies which are available at our disposal. I think that the exorbiant fees charged by some coaching institutes are justified but unnecessary. Justified because they have to spend heavily on the infra structure and all these costs are unnecessary because of the technology that is available. And that is reason the costs of an online program can be less and are often a lot lesser.
Having a video tutorials / live online class based methodology takes care of the fact that everyone can learn at their own pace. You can watch a video 3 times or even 30 times but you cannot repeat the class. Not only that, a video is available to you 24×7, again something which is not possible in the offline model. In case of traditional coaching classes, a student has to adjust as per the scheduling of the coaching institute whereas in a video tutorial / live class based model the student decides when he wants to study. There are study plans which can guide the student.
I also have a course on General awareness.
Your idea about 'Being MBAtious'
There is lot more to do than trying to figure out the remainder of 1281000 from dividing by 153 on a quant thread. Make sure that you spend sometime reading about what is going on in the world around us. Let us set goals which are, for the lack of a better word, achievable. I am quite sure that you have acquired a certain set of skills while working at your day-job or whiling your time away at college. Put those skills to use. If you know how to code, there are so many idea-guys looking for tech help. Pick up an idea-guy that you like or heck pick up 5 of these idea-guys and work with them for money and some sort of revenue share. Do remember, get sold on the guy and not so much on the idea because without execution (which you are supposed to do) the idea is worth nothing.
The idea-guy on the other hand will bring his set of skills to the table. If you know how to design, brilliant – in India you are probably one in a million. At your company, you might be asked to make a banana look 30% happier but there are a bunch of Indian startups who need your help and I mean really really need your help. If you know how to write, blogs / ebooks / freelancing can generate a decent amount of revenue these days. If you have any other skill, that other people might be interested in: there are bunch of Indian websites like WizIQ and GyaanExchange where you can make a course on them and train others on that skill. If you have some skills which might have a global appeal, you have Udemy. The good part is – whatever you do – it would be something that you choose to do.