Published: 18th March 2020
Worried about JEE/NEET prep amid Corona scare? Here are apps that are offering crash courses for free
Several EdTech platforms in the country are offering free access to their online apps and to their crash courses for the preparation of JEE Main and NEET
As educational institutions across the world are all gradually shifting towards conducting online classes due to the Coronavirus outbreak, aspirants for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE Main) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in India are stuck between a rock and a hard place. The National Testing Agency (NTA), that conducts both these examinations, has not yet made modifications to the exam dates and it doesn't seem likely that they will. With most states in India shutting down the congregation of students in classes — students who were counting on rapid coaching classes for NEET and JEE are in a lurch.
However, the aspirants need not worry as some of the major EdTech platforms in the country are offering free access to their online apps and to their crash courses for the preparation of JEE Main and NEET. Test preparation and EdTech major Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) through its subsidiary, Meritnation, has announced that it will provide special free live classes for students. The classes will be held for students from Class 1 to Class 12 and those appearing for competitive exams like JEE/ NEET etc. In addition, Meritnation will also be conducting live classes for students appearing for JEE/NEET, free of cost. "The NTA announces to conduct JEE (Main) April-2020 Examination for admission to Undergraduate Programs in NITs, IIITs and other Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs), etc on April 5 and April 7-9 and April 11, 2020. Those candidates who have already appeared in JEE (Main) January-2020 examination can appear in JEE (Main) April 2020 examination for improvement, if they so wish. The candidates who could not appear in the January JEE (Main) 2020 examination, may also appear in JEE(Main) April-2020 examination," the recent notification stated.
With JEE 2020 scheduled between April 5 and 11 and NEET 2020 slated to be held on the May 3, this last-leg of preparation is crucial for students preparing for these competitive exams. This will ensure that students can study from the safety of their own homes and there is a continuity in their study schedule. Additionally, students will have free access to study resources at www.meritnation.com
Pavan Chauhan, Founder and CEO of Meritnation believes that studying at home can prove to be useful for students as it will allow them a completely distraction-free, self-paced environment to work on their weak areas. "Studying in one’s own home does require a certain basic level of discipline, but if a student can bring that, there are tremendous gains. In a situation of academic disruption, we will work with schools to offer our Live Class platform to help them conduct their classes for students at home. All educators can reach out to Meritnation for any assistance that they may need to help students. Meritnation will be there to ensure that the students get all the help to study from the safety of their homes,” he said.
"Our sessions will be interactive, allowing students to clear doubts, ask questions and be able to address their queries and anxieties. We hope that students and educators will take advantage of our initiative and we hope to use our technology to help them," he added.
National Academic Director, Medical, AESL added that the COVID-19 outbreak and the resultant uncertainty has impacted schools and educational institutes across India and so Aakash is providing online classes to mitigate the impact that the closure of educational institutes might have on students' learning process.
Akhand Swaroop Pandit, CEO and Founder, Catalyst Group, an online learning platform for competitive exams, says, "In the wake of COVID-19, given that the universities and the schools are shut down, we are giving free access to students for various online classes on competitive exams." He also added that "overall we have witnessed a 30-40 per cent increase in admissions in the last two to three days. Daily watch minutes have almost doubled in the past few days as students are at home and attending regular classes."
EdTech company Extramarks has also said that it will give all students full and free access to its app until April 30, 2020. "This initiative (Go-To-School) will give all students full and free access to the entire app until April 30, 2020, and to JEE and NEET crash courses, starting March 20 and 23 respectively," Extramarks said in a release. "As life comes to a standstill, thanks to technology, learning can continue. We are, hence, giving free access to all our learning apps to students till April 30, and of our technology platform to schools so that they can conduct online classes, under the Go-To-School initiative," said Ritvik Kulshrestha, CEO, Extramarks Education.
NEET is also organised by the NTA from the year 2019. Previously the test was being conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). NEET 2020 examination will be conducted in pen and paper mode and there are no changes in the date yet. The examination will be conducted on May 3, 2020.