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Crack the CAT

Crack the CAT – The CPLC way
Tired of the good ole’ CAT classes with their jam-packed classrooms? Try out Chitale’s Personalised Training Centre, which is fast becoming a rage amongst CAT aspirants, says Akansha Thakore

It’s that time of the year again, when classrooms get emptier and libraries fuller. With professional exams coming closer, harried students scurry around to attend their coaching classes. With an increasing no. of students taking the CAT every year, the choice of the appropriate CAT coaching class often becomes a hot topic of discussion.

“So which coaching classes are you planning to join?” IMS, Career Launcher or CPLC. “Uh-huh, what did you say?” “Chitale’s Personalised Learning Centre, a.k.a, CPLC. That’s where I’m headed.” Though likely to be mistaken for a TV commercial, this is a conversation overheard at a college canteen.

An increasing number of students are being drawn towards a coaching class that prefers being called a ‘Personalised Learning Centre’, and justifiably so. It’s a breather from the crammed, packed, impersonal classrooms that most CAT coaching classes provide. With just 20 students in a batch, it feels more like personal tutoring, with all the goodies thrown in for good measure.

Founded by Prof. S.G Chitale (co author of the Chitale-Joshi Maths textbook that we all have relied on in SYJC) and his son Parag Chitale (JBIMS grad, ex-NM BMS co ordinator, associated with S.P Jain Institute of Management and Research) in 2002 with 35 students (spread over 3 batches!), CPLC now boasts of 300 students across 15 batches. You’d find a motley crowd consisting of B.Com, BMS and Engg. students from colleges like N.M, Jai Hind, H.R, D.J Sanghvi and the likes. Prof. Parag Chitale is joined by 5 other faculty members in providing “Value Education with personal attention”, as he puts it.

So what brings students here despite being bombarded by the biggies competing in the same field? “The kind of attention every student enjoys here is unmatched”, says Ankur from NM College, who’s currently studying at CPLC. “Parag sir knows every single student personally. You can approach him any time, and he willingly takes on the role of a mentor, and a very able one at that”, adds Pooja, another CPLC student. In the founders’ words, “We make sure that if someone’s face is telling us that he is lost, we can spot it immediately and bring him back from his lost world”. They seem to be doing a good job of it.

It turns out that CPLC hardly advertises. A majority of the students are there owing to a rendezvous with the founder, or personal references by friends and relatives, driven by the goodwill and popularity Prof. Parag Chitale enjoys in the many leading colleges of Mumbai. Guest lectures and innovative management workshops conducted by him are a regular feature at these colleges. His objective approach, excellent organizing and people handling skills have won him admirers all across. No wonder then, he’s a role model for most of his students.

Ask Parag Sir how he would expand without compromising on the ‘personal touch’ aspect, and he says, “Personal attention is the very foundation on which CPLC is built. The batch size will never go beyond 20, even if it means having many more batches. Though other faculty members may take over the teaching hours, my involvement in mentoring and giving feedback to students will only keep increasing.”
The personal touch is not the only thing that differentiates CPLC from the others in the race. “I decided to join CPLC for the simple reason that here we’re taught concepts from scratch. Other classes assume students are already done with their basics and rush through this crucial part. There’s no such assumption here, thus creating a very strong base right from the beginning”, says Alpesh, who will be appearing for CAT 2006. “It’s good to have someone keep a regular check on our progress. I’ve been told by my friends that the teaching methods are pretty effective. Besides, through regular tests and feedback sessions, each student’s progress is monitored”, says Hardik, who has also decided to enroll at CPLC for the CAT 2006 batch commencing in December.

Apart from the general feedback sessions, students are also taken through a host of interesting activities and events. Recently, about 120 students from CPLC attended a 2 day outdoor training camp at Sajjan resort. Lessons drawn from rappelling, treks, and a night treasure hunt in a jungle, were correlated to CAT. This was yet another attempt to make learning more holistic and enjoyable.

Providing a good grounding in basics, Vedic Maths workshops, personalized feedback sessions and scores of practice tests, including the All India Mock CAT (AIMCAT) series organized by TIME, CPLC has students swearing by it. It’s refreshing to find a CAT coaching class that goes beyond what it’s expected to do, and makes the process enjoyable for the students.

And yet there are others who’d prefer the anonymity of large classrooms and would rather get lost in a crowd than be singled out for individual assessment. We all want to get to the hallowed portals of you-know-where. It’s just about the path that we choose – to each his own. Go figure!

U can contact Prof Parag Chitale on: 9820135313 or email parachit@vsnl.com

Personal attention is the very foundation on which CPLC is built. The batch size will never go beyond 20, even if it means having many more batches

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