A total of 3,844 graduates have registered for the 2017 preliminary examination, which will be held on August 6. According to the Royal Civil Service Commission, this year’s figure is 181 graduates less than the number that appeared the prelims last year.

With the civil service examination approaching, graduates are attending preparatory courses offered by various private institutions that are licensed by the labour ministry.

There are 12 private institutions conducting coaching classes for preliminary examination in different parts of Thimphu.

BCSE Success, one of the coaching institutes has completed classes for 80 graduates. The preparatory class for the  third batch of 60 graduates started on July 10.

The courses cover key skills needed for all four modules  – English, Dzongkha, problem solving and data interpretation. Past Bhutan civil service examination toppers who are in the civil service and working as lecturers are providing the courses.

An instructor at BCSC Success Ugyen Dorji said that the coaching classes are aimed to enhance aptitude capacities of the fresh graduates and it’s made accessible to graduates of every economic background. They charge Nu 2,500 for a week-long coaching class.

Another institute I-Best institute also offers a similar class. “Students face problem in data interpretation and problem solving as they were not in touch with basic mathematics when they were in colleges,” its chief operator, Sonam Rinchen said.

The instructors said they face challenges in collecting past question papers, keeping up with the changes in question pattern and shortage of guide books in the market. All PE couching students take English, problem solving and data interpretation classes. However, only 70 percent of those taking these classes enroll for the Dzongkha module.

The couching institutes also conduct mock tests to check their aptitude and familiarise students with optical mark reading (OMR) sheets.

Organiser of free PE Classes, Ngawang Tobden, said they provide quality service with social mandate and a community service.

Most of the classes are scheduled for a month, with fees ranging from Nu 2,500 to Nu 4,500 per person for 48 hours of class. For 24 hours, the classes charge between Nu 1,500 to Nu 3,000. For 12 hours they charge Nu 1,000 to Nu 2,000.

PE classes are conducted from 10 to 12:30am, 2 to 4:30pm and from 5 to 8pm.

One of the students of BCSC Success coaching class, Tshewang Ngedup said, the coaching classes are good because they provide a platform to exchange ideas among graduates from different colleges.

Another graduate Yesh Raj said that such classes make him more cautious and boosts his confidence for the prelims.

Tshewang Lhamo