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Dear Madam,
I am a Class 10 student (ICSE) and I have to appear for the Boards in March, 2013. My average percentage has always been between 70 and 80. I understand the concepts very well and I always clear my doubts with my teachers. But I am weak in Hindi, so I go for Hindi tuition. But my parents want me to join a coaching class. Are coaching classes really useful? I have a few friends who are ahead in class because the coaching centres teach certain subjects prior to when it is taught in school. Is it necessary to go there? Is it better than self study?
Betty Roy

Dear Betty,
I am not the best person to advise you about whether you should go for coaching classes or not. It depends on your confidence in your own abilities to be able to follow a regimented routine and showing discipline when it comes to your studies. More than anything else, the coaching classes enforce rigour and structure to your study routine, apart from making you understand concepts thoroughly. If you are confident about being able to do this on your own, then go right ahead. My guess is that your elders are keen on your going for the coaching classes because they are anxious about your future and don’t want to miss out on any step towards ensuring your success. Your belief in your own ability to be able to do this on your own is commendable. All the best.

Dear Madam,
I am a Computer Science engineering student. I am faced with a real problem — I am unable to focus while studying, and that makes me nervous before taking an exam.  I have already lost two years and I should have finished my course this year. But instead, I’m struggling to complete the second year. Please guide me so that I can concentrate on my work and become confident. And once I graduate, where can I find work?
Student

Dear Student,
When you convince yourself that you won’t get a job even if you complete your course, you are killing your motivation to work hard. Getting a job in a good company is not the only road to success. Secondly, getting a job in a good company is not only dependent on your marks. It is also dependent on your level of confidence, your ability to communicate, your ability to think creatively and solve problems, your ability to be a team player and a team leader, your willingness to work hard, etc. Your marks may just open a door of opportunity, but will have no role to play in your making a success of that opportunity. That will depend on your attitude and skill, more than on anything else. Success is not dependent on what course you do. It is dependent on you, your thoughts, your beliefs, and your attitude. All the best.

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