Online vs offline coaching: which is best for UPSC & IAS exam

In this article let’s take a look at online coaching vs offline coaching institute, which one to choose for UPSC exam. 

This is the most comprehensive guide you can find online regarding which coaching medium you should choose for UPSC preparation as you will learn benefits and drawbacks of both online and offline coaching for UPSC exam in detail so I would like you to bookmark this article to read this article in future as well. 

So without further ado let’s dive right in. 

Online coaching vs offline coaching for UPSC exam 

If you don’t have the time, patience or energy to read the entire article then here is a quick answer to the question. 

In my opinion and after considering all the advantages and disadvantages you should probably choose online coaching service over offline coaching because  

online coaching is not only cheaper and offers good quality lectures and faculty but also comfortable and convenient for the student and you can also attend online coaching using your smartphone anytime anywhere and also so watch the recorded lectures if you missed any lecture, it is not possible to attend missed classes in offline coaching and you can also create your own time table if you want in online coaching. 

Offline coaching has its own merits and demerits and you should choose offline coaching if you cannot create a timetable yourself or 

 cannot motivate yourself to study for a longer period of time consistently and you can afford to pay huge sums of money for the coaching or you get distracted studying at home or using your phone or laptop. 

Now let’s take a look at benefits and drawbacks of online coaching and offline coaching in detail to understand both better. 

Why you should choose online coaching for UPSC exam? Benefits of online coaching 

Studying at home  

One of the main advantages and benefits of online coaching for UPSC exam is that you can study at home if you get online coaching from popular coaching institutes like byju’s and unacademy. 

Because of that, there are many benefits including, 

  • Because you are staying at home you don’t have to pay the rental fees as many students stay in hostels to prepare for UPSC in offline coaching which will save you a lot of rental costs and money during UPSC preparation which is a massive factor, make sure to read my article on how much does it cost for upsc preparation here 
  • You can also have better food to eat  prepared by your family members like mother or father or relatives which is going to be better than the food you will be eating in hostel or any room rent and you’ll be in a good condition to prepare for the exam 
  • You’ll also have mental support of your parents when you will face difficult and tough conditions during the exam preparation because you will be staying close to them at home 
  • You don’t have to travel long distance in order to reach the coaching institute and all the travel expenses along with money and time will be saved which you can spend preparing for exam using online coaching 

Another main advantage of online coaching is, 

Price of coaching institute 

Online coaching is much more cheaper than offline coaching in terms of price even though there will be not much difference between the faculty and teachers who will be teaching the subject in both online and offline coaching institutes. 

The main reason is because the online coaching institutes do not have to spend money in running coaching institutes and there will be no expenses of rental fees or paying the fees of electricity and water, etc and other bills and 

 students can visit and attend the class right from their home so online coaching institutes offer coaching price for significantly lower price compared to offline coaching institutes. 

 for example study glows is one such online coaching institute for UPSC exam which offers UPSC coaching for around 20000 rupees and 

 the price varies depending on the plan you choose and if we compare this with some of the best offline coaching institutes offline like vajiram and Ravi and Rau IAS they have fees of around average of 150000 rupees per annum which is a lot higher. 

In this category online coaching is best because it is not only cheap but maintains equal or even more higher quality of teaching and faculty compared to offline coaching institutes. 

Own schedule & comfort 

Another main advantage of online coaching institutes for UPSC exam is that It can give you a lot of comfort and convenience for students to create their own schedule and time table regarding when they should start preparation and 

 when they should start reading the subjects and they can also have freedom to create and follow their own schedule if the timetable and schedule of the coaching institute is too hectic and 

 difficult to follow because many online coaching institutes offer recorded lectures so the students can listen to them anytime and also download the lectures to their device. 

And the feature of attending lectures and classes anytime and anywhere the student wants is a great benefit of online coaching compared to offline coaching because it gives a lot of comfort and convenience for students preparing for the exam. 

These are some of the great benefits and advantages of online coaching for UPSC exam now let’s take a look at the disadvantages and drawbacks of online coaching or better said, the advantages of offline coaching institutes. 

Why you should choose offline coaching for UPSC exam? benefits of offline coaching 

Doubts clarification 

One of the main disadvantages of online coaching service is it can be quite tricky and difficult to clarify your doubts and issues with the subject compared to offline coaching. 

Even if the lecture you are attending in online coaching is Live, you still have to type your doubt out of bunch of students who are also doing the same attending the class & 

 to hope to get your doubt get picked by the lecturer and get your issue solved which is a lot time consuming and 

 difficult compared to you just raising your hand and getting your doubt solved in physical coaching class by asking the question to the professor and lecturer in offline coaching institute. 

I am not in any means saying that clarify your doubt is no way possible in online coaching institutes but it is just that it is going to be little difficult and 

 tough to get your doubts clarified & thankfully many online coaching institutes offer live interactions with students and doubt sessions but still compared to offline coaching it is quite difficult to do with online. 

external motivation & environment in a coaching institute

Another advantage of offline coaching compared to online coaching is that you can have external motivation to prepare for UPSC exam. 

Although I have mentioned that studying at home is a big advantage because you will be having no cost of rental fees and you will have support of your family members, 

 you can start studying from anywhere and anytime but it is also a disadvantage because you will have no external Motivation like environment of studying compared with offline coaching because in offline coaching 

 other students around you will be studying you will also get motivation to start studying and your external environment will play a huge role regarding how you react and in a coaching institute, it will typically look like a classroom where 

 you will be studying in front of the teacher who is explaining the concept using chalk on blackboard and because of this environment your subconscious mind will get active and you will start behaving in a certain manner and you will start preparing and studying along with other students. 

And you can also interact with your friends and get your doubts solved instantly and also do some good studying and participate in discussions and debates with your friends and if you are someone who is an extrovert and loves to participate in discussions then this can be a big advantage for you compared to online coaching which is more private and individualistic. 

I would like to quickly mention here that although replicating the coaching environment in your home is quite difficult but you can create a study environment in your room and home by selecting a particular place, spot and

only studying the subject at that place, you are not supposed to do any other activity apart from studying in that spot so that over a period of time you will train your subconscious mind that whenever you sit at that particular place you will have to open your book and start studying and this can be a good solution to this problem if you choose online coaching over offline. 

No need for external resources 

Another big advantage of all offline coaching institute is that you do not need any external resources like any computer or any mobile phone and internet connection or electricity, charging in your device in order to study but if you have chosen online coaching, 

 most probably you will have to purchase a laptop to watch online classes more comfortably and conveniently because of larger screen size compared to a smartphone and also do different tasks. 

This can be disadvantage for online coaching because it will increase your expenses of UPSC preparation as you need to purchase a new laptop if you don’t have one already but 

 even if you choose offline coaching institute I would highly recommend you to get a laptop for yourself other than having a smartphone because there are many benefits of having laptop or computer which you can check it out here. 

Attend classes for longer hours without break without distractions 

Another advantage of offline coaching is that you can listen to the classes for longer period of time without break and distractions compared to online coaching institutes. 

There are two main reasons for this, 

  • Offline coaching is physical and you will have to visit a coaching institute to study so there will be no presence of device like phone or laptop and no screen presence present compared to online coaching where you’ll have to visit a website or install any app on your device to watch the lectures and attend the class and you cannot watch online coaching for longer period because watching computer or phone screen for longer period can give you a lot of eye strain and headache because of blue light emitting out of the screen so you need to take break in regular intervals of time 
  • In offline coaching institutes most probably you will have either have to switch off your smartphone or mute it down so all the notifications of the smartphone cannot distract you while studying and attending the lectures in the coaching institute but because you will be using your smartphone or laptop in online coaching, you can get distracted and interrupted by social media notifications or if someone calls you on your smartphone in the middle of listening to the classes online 

But of course you can have some solutions to this like you can either mute your smartphone and disable notifications of social media apps at the same time  

you can also use blue light filters to reduce the blue light emitting from your screen while listening to the lectures so that you can have lesser eye strain and headache. 

These are all the major advantages of offline coaching institute compared to online. 

With that said let’s conclude the blog. 


These are all the things you need to know about whether online coaching or offline coaching which one is best for UPSC exam. 

Do comment down what are your thoughts about online coaching and offline coaching service for UPSC exam in the comment section below. 

Also please do share the article with your fellow friends and other UPSC aspirants to let them know what are the benefits of online coaching and subscribe to my blog to receive notifications regarding whenever I publish a new article related to UPSC and other government exams and also related to career and jobs so that you can get notified and read the article.