What was your study Plan?
I had an effective three months to prepare for the examination. I had planned a review of the subjects for one and a half months supplemented by subject-wise tests. The remaining one and a half months was dedicated to solving previous years’ question papers of AIIMS, along with the mock tests of ADrPlexus for AIIMS and PGI. The final week was dedicated to review of memory-based concepts like scoring scales, penal code sections and so on.
How many hours did u study ?
I used to study for an effective 10 to 12 hours everyday for three months. This was interspersed with scheduled off days.
Your tips for success ?
There is no substitute for an understanding of concepts and common sense. Purely memory-based study might help in the short term but fades quickly and will lead to a deterioration of confidence. Study must be backed up by strong practice sessions where you gain insight into the exam pattern and time management.
During your preparation, did you ever doubt your ability to succeed in it?
Yes. There were always times when I felt I wouldn’t be able to crack the exam. It’s necessary to realize that such thoughts are only a hindrance and push forward.
How much time do you think one requires for serious preparation for this examination ?
A dedicated PGI focused preparation for 3 to 4 months depending on individual capacity should suffice for most people.
When did you seriously start preparing for this exam?
I started seriously preparing for the exam in the last week of January.
Did you face the problem of volatile memory? If so, how did you deal with it?
There is always memory-based information or certain new concepts that are volatile. For new concepts, I would go back and refer standard textbooks, read about it in depth to gain a better hold of the matter. For the memory-based information, I made a list during my review of subjects to go through them on the day before the examination.
What was your daily timetable during the preparation? Were you able to stick to the timetable strictly?
My day would include a nine hour morning session for a review of subjects. This was followed by a three hour night session where I would solve questions (either subject wise, mock or previous years’ papers). Once my review of subjects was completed, I would solve mock tests or previous years’ papers taking two days to solve one paper with the review of answers.
There were always some days where I would not be able to stick to the schedule. But, I had allowed myself a certain number of buffer days every month in case this happened to compensate.
What is your advice to the future aspirants?
The process is a long and hard one, but cracking it is definitely not impossible. There are no shortcuts. Persistence and hardwork is the only way.
Which books did you read for the theory part?
I went through the Kaplan USMLE modules for the subjects apart from the standard review books.
What was your strategy for the exam day?
A good night’s sleep and a good breakfast. I walked into the exam consciously forgetting everything I had studied to avoid exam anxiety and last minute jitters.
What was ur style of answering question. Whether you started from question no 1 and ended with 200/ 250 or started from middle of the question paper.
I started from question 1. I had timed myself to finish the paper in two and a half hours. I went through the paper three times. Once I answered a question, I would not review it again. The first round, I answered all the straightforward questions, marking all the ones I had doubts in and the ones I left blank (as they needed some thinking to answer). The second and third round of the paper review was in the last half an hour. The second round I answered all the questions I had left blank. The third round, I came back and answered those questions I had doubts in.
Did u underwent the phase of depression. How did u overcome it?
Yes. Some days were definitely bad. I would just take those days off to relax before getting back into the grind. I knew that even if I studied, it would not be effective, and therefore useless.
Tips for your Juniors
Tips for your Juniors?
Study at your own pace. Do not worry about how much time others are putting in to study. Make sure you are studying enough to do well (if you need only six hours a day, do that. I f you need to spend 15 hours a day, do that).
Do not overburden yourself with facts, you will not remember them. Focus more on understanding the concepts and having a good grasp on the basics.
Always practice questions because they not only help you with time management and knowing the exam pattern, but they also tell you what areas you need to work on based on your weaknesses.
What was your strategy for MAY PGI 2018?
My strategy was to go through the exam pattern and read in depth about the frequent topics from standard textbooks. The ADrPlexus list of important topics was a definite guide to frequently tested topics.
HOW many choices did u attempt ? ROUGH NUMBER. Please detail your strategies
I attempted roughly 520 to 540 options. My strategy was mainly to ensure the most minimum number of negatives as they bear heavily on the score. Random guessing is harmful to your performance, and only educated guesses can be made if you want to take a chance.
What are the do’s and don’ts in PGI exam
1. Always ensure you mark the answers against the right question number. Frame shifts can cause you to build up a lot of negatives.
2. A steady pace during the exam ensuring you complete a block of 50 questions approximately every 30 min.
3. Reading every word of the question and roughly marking the options in the question paper before transferring it into the OMR sheet to ensure you do not make mistakes in the ‘all except’ and other such questions.
1. Spend more than a couple of minutes thinking about one difficult question. Leaving that and answering the next four questions in the same time is much more useful.
2. Random guess any answer. Always make sure that if you are taking chances on an option, it should be an educated guess.
3. Give into the desire that every question must have more than one option correct. It is ok to mark only one option when you do not know about the other options. It is better to have one positive than negate that by wrongful guessing.
YOUR recommended books for PG PREPARATION
Standard textbooks for concepts
Manoj Chaudhary for previous years’ questions
What is UniQue about ADrPlexus
Integrated WorkBook Based Lectures
ADrPlexus was the first Institute in India to launch Workbook Based Lectures
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