How Unacademy is helping students to ‘crack’ competitive exams by democratising education
City skylines dotted with billboards featuring smiling mug shots of aspirants who got placed in premier educational institutes or passed a competitive exam with top marks, is a clear indication of the pressure students in India face to excel academically.
But how tough can it really be?
In a country of 1.3 billion people, the level of competition to crack an exam to get into a top education institute is real and fierce. To add to the pressure, students are expected to gain admission in the very best institutes and colleges to prove their mettle.
Consider this. In 2019, 11.47 lakh students sat for the JEE Main exams. Of these, only 2.45 lakh students qualified for JEE Advance. Finally, only 13,000+ will gain admission to a college. Similarly, over 2.44 lakh aspirants took the CAT exam for management institutes. The year also saw over 15 lakh students applying for the national medical entrance exam NEET. All this is a clear indication of the levels of competition in the country.
A matrix of competitions
Those who’ve made it will tell you that cracking competitive exams takes more than just studying. For many, the journey starts at least two or three years before taking the exam. Students say early preparation gives them time to learn new concepts and decode complex ones. Burning the midnight oil is not just a metaphor but a reality for the aspirants.
Yet, it is often not enough. Students need to supplement their regular academic curriculum. They also need access to top educators, structured courses, practice tests and mock tests.
But, for many, getting access to alternate support is a competition in itself. Students have to write separate exams to qualify for the training institutes that will give them access to top educators and resources who eventually help them in their bid to crack the competitive exam. A student’s intelligence and ability is also measured with their ability to get into these training institutes.
This pressure not only takes the fun out of learning, but it can also be very disparaging for the students. Additionally, this kind of learning is more about memorising information rather than actually internalising the learning and the applicability of the information.
A downhill for students
All this makes students extremely vulnerable to pressure. Students complaining of depression, anxiety and other such psychological problems are becoming increasingly common. Many say that when aspirants are unable to get into a good coaching institute, they tend to develop the mindset that they are not good enough to crack the competitive exam.
On the other hand, there are multiple challenges even when they do qualify. First, there is the challenge of exorbitant fees, preferential batches to get access to the top educators, and learning methodologies that do not take into account the needs of the students. All of this ultimately overshadows their ability to learn.
The answer in democratisation
Unacademy, one of India’s largest learning platforms, believes the answer to these challenges lies in the democratisation of education. The democratisation of education mainly refers to making it easy for everyone, irrespective of their academic ability, to get access to their choice of courses, educators and subjects. There isn’t differential pricing or rank-based batches. The idea is not to put further pressure than there already is but instead become enablers in a student’s learning says the edtech startup. More importantly, the structure, the study material, the mock tests, practise tests are all designed taking the needs of the learners into consideration to help them play on their strengths and work on their weaknesses.
Why Unacademy is taking charge of leading the change
Amidst the chaos of a less-than-perfect education system, undue pressure on students and a journey that is gruelling, Unacademy believes that it is essential for technology to break traditional norms and make a real impact on India’s education sector. And to further drive home this belief, the startup has launched a campaign titled ‘Let’s Crack It.’
“Unacademy’s constant endeavour is to understand the pulse of learners and provide them with the best of resources. This is at the heart of our campaign. With such a solid insight, was born the thought - Let’s Crack It! What we want to bring out through this campaign is the fact that the journey is tough, but together we can ace it. In the current education system where students are subjected to extreme pressure and disillusionment, Unacademy is the beacon of hope that will help students achieve their dreams. While the campaign celebrates the determination of students, it also motivates them to go further ahead. If by the end of the campaign, we get the masses talking about how they have a chance to crack their exams with Unacademy, we would have achieved our goal of levelling the playing field and given every student an opportunity.” says Karan Shroff, Vice President Marketing at Unacademy.
An ode to the hard work and perseverance of students, the anthem puts the spotlight on the struggles of the aspirants and applauds the students who go through the daily rigour and burn the midnight oil. Sung by Naezy, and produced by Dub Sharma, the energising anthem uses phrases and words that strike a chord with the aspirants.
The startup believes that this anthem is just the beginning as they continue to partner with students and show how they now have the chance to crack the competitive exams with Unacademy.
Watch the video.