What was your study Plan?
I had a study plan when I started preparing for the first time last April. I used to fix a certain number of days for each subject. Anatomy, Physio, Biochemistry – 10 days each. (but some extended up to 15)
Pharm and pathology – 15 days each,
Micro – 10 days,
Fm – 4 days
SPM – 15 to 18 days,
Ophthal – 5 days was the plan but I never studied properly. Was bad at ophthal and could never improve at all.
ENT – 5 days,
Medicine – Almost 20 days but even that wasn’t sufficient to cover anything well.
Surgery – 15 days (EXTENDED TO 18),
OBG – Around 10 to 15 days.
Peds – 10 days,
Ortho – 6 days .
This was just an approximate estimate which I did. Many subjects extended past the extra – extension period. Short subjects – because I couldn’t complete the bigger subjects on time, I had to cramp up short subjects. I studied short subjects incompletely, spending around 3 days for each. This time my focus was mainly on PGI. So I did the mock tests seriously, revised biochem, Pathology, pharmacology , medicine and surgery in depth and other subjects to some extent.
How many hours did u study ?
During my first attempt it started as 8 to 10 hours per day and extended to an average of 14 to 15 hours per day in the last few months before last November.. Having no idea about PG entrances, and with zero preparation before completing internship, I had to step out of my comfort zone and give up a lot of my pastimes for the sake of PG entrance.This time again, my preparation was a bit disordered, but it was around 13 to 14 hours per day for 2 months.
Your tips for success ?
Two things I did which I feel were the reason for my success:
Firstly, I used to force myself to follow my timetable and complete it, in spite of all the frustration and irritation. It was extremely difficult, but I rarely gave in to any of these distractions. Distractions take up a huge chunk of your time, without you realizing it. It’s important to be very careful and avoid wasting your time.
Secondly, I gave a lot of tests. Any set of questions or any test I found anywhere, I used to solve. And I used to read the answers and explanations immediately.. I spent a major part of my daily study-time, solving questions. This was an integral part of my preparation.
During your preparation, did you ever doubt your ability to succeed in it?
Of course, I had this doubt each and every day of my preparation. I used to think that I had no chances of clearing any exam. This kind of insecurity and self-doubt continued even after giving the exams.
How much time do you think one requires for serious preparation for this examination ?
With absolutely no preparation before completing MBBS, I think one need 9 to 12 months of dedicated preparation to clear an exam. ‘Dedicated’ is the keyword.
When did you seriously start preparing for this exam?
After completing internship.I joined Tmcaa Thrissur and ADrPLEXUS CBT Series, and did serious preparation for 7 to 8 months . Then I took a break for 3 months. For this May’17 session, I joined ADrPlexus Digital Strieds Crash Course n prepared sincerely for around 2 months.
Did you face the problem of volatile memory? If so, how did you deal with it?
Everything I studied seemed to disappear from my memory in a few days. I had the peculiar habit of scribbling down whatever I read in a notebook. It wasn’t like making notes. It was just scribbling. Even I couldn’t decipher it. But I believed that this would help me remember them later. I used to take a break from continuous reading and put short tests once in a while and solve qns from qn banks. These used to break my monotony and keep my memory refreshed.
What was your daily timetable during the preparation? Were you able to stick to the timetable strictly?
There was no specific timetable. I fixed my sleep time to 6+1 hours. Remaining time was used for studying , solving tests, talking to my friends and family. My timetable was subject based (i.e, so many days for a particular subject) and very flexible. And I was never able to stick to it. I kept making new ones and breaking them over and over again.
What is your advice to the future aspirants?
# Value your time. Keep track of time and how much of it you’re using for preparation.
# Do a lot of tests. Get into the habit of solving as many questions as you can. This has more benefits than you can ever think of.
# Don’t let your failures get to you. Your performance in the upcoming exam doesn’t depend on your score un the previous exam. Each exam is a new challenge. Face it with a calm mindset.
# The last minute preparation is not at all as important, as we think it is. The concepts you’ve built over the years of preparation decide your score. Not the hasty preparation you do on the last few days and hours of the exam. Difficult to believe, but true.
# Always keep yourself happy. A peaceful mind is quintessential for a good performance.
# Most of all, be consistent, methodical and dedicated in your preparation. Don’t give in to distractions. Step out of your comfort zone and put the best effort you can. Success will definitely follow.
Which books did you read for the theory part?
I didn’t use any theory book or texts during my preparation phase due to scarcity of time. My only preparation was from my subject guides which I’ve mentioned below.
What was your strategy for the exam day?
My only strategy was to have a sound sleep , start with a fresh mind and attempt all questions in the given order. I was calculating the remaining time once in a while to check if I was on track, and took immense care to mark the right options for the right question numbers. Going to the exam centre with my frnd helped to keep myself relaxed and not burden myself before the exam.
What was ur style of answering question. Whether you started from question no 1 and ended with last question or started from middle of the question paper.
It was 1 to the end for all exams. Never changed the order.
Did u underwent the phase of depression. How did u overcome it?
Of course. The phase of depression was inevitable. I believed in prayers. I used to visit my favorite temple whenever i felt down. I read success stories of PG toppers over and over again to the point of memorizing them. I had a strong support system. I need to mention some names here. My mom, dad, sisters, paati, my uncle , aunt and my close friends Adhi n Sowmi stood with me. My sister Keerthi sacrificed so much to help me during the 2nd round of my preparation. My study partner and bestie Krishna helped me tremendously to tackle all the negativity I felt.
Tips for your Juniors
What was your strategy for MAY 2017?
I had not prepared anything specific for PGI or any institute exams in November. I just had enough time to read the subject guides once and revise very little before me first exam. I attempted NEET in which my rank was 439. But I wanted to join a central institute and pursue not just any course, but my course of interest. . After getting good ranks in November in PGI and JIPMER , but none fetching me my favorite course, I decided to prepare again. This time my focus was on institute exams. I revised subjects important for PGI , like biochem , micro, Immunology, Pathology, Surgery, medicine and OBG. I read recent papers in Manoj Chaudry. And one major thing I did this time was to attempt mock exams. PGI mocks by AdrPlexus were helpful and I learnt to manage time, to avoid making wild guesses and the solutions were fairly accurate.
HOW many choices did u attempt ? ROUGH NUMBER. Please detail your strategies
I marked around 560 options.There was no specific strategy as such.
I took care not to make any frame shift and to avoid marking unsure answers and making wild guesses. The one strategy I followed was to manage time and check the time remaining after every 50 qns and speed up or slow down accordingly.
What are the do’s and don’ts in exam
Do’s : Keep yourself motivated till you finish all the exams.
Be calm even when you see unknown questions continuously.
Always be mindful of the negative marking in any exam and mark options accordingly.
Think before marking each option.
Don’ts : Don’t keep on reading till you enter the exam hall. It’ll confuse you.
Don’t ever answer any question or mark any option in a haste especially in PGI.
Don’t start making wild guesses just because 5 or 6 questions are continuously difficult. Once you start, it’s impossible to stop the guessing game.
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