Medical profession is indeed a noble profession and doctors are considered as an equivalent to God. They are the true heroes as they save lives. Pretending to be a doctor, prescribing medicine on a chit of paper and wearing a plastic stethoscope is something we have all done while we were kids. For some it was just a childhood game, but for some it was a dream. Becoming a doctor is a dream of many children and the only way forward in order to achieve this dream is by clearing the NEET examinations. NEET (National Entrance cum Eligibility Test) is a medical entrance examination conducted by the National Testing Agency(NTA). It enables medical aspirants to take up admission in reputed medical colleges. Every year the NEET examination has around 15-16 lakh competitors but not many get through.
The examination not only demands diligent and meticulous hard work but also demands the correct skills, techniques and study strategy to crack it. Cracking cutthroat competition may seem a far-fetched dream for many aspirants, but with a proper preparation and strategy it may not be as difficult as it seemed earlier.
Let's list a few guarantees preparation strategies that will help you crack the examination
- Learn about the examination in detail : Knowing every detail about the examination would help to plan your study strategy accordingly, it will also help you to have the confidence you'd to positively start the preparation. You must take into consideration the following points:
- Eligibility criteria & age: This may seem to basic and default information that one knows, but having information about it is important. Many students tend to entirely focus on NEET exam but the eligibility criteria helps you to understand the importance of scoring well on the board examinations as well.
- Dates & important updates : Knowing important dates , updates such as dates for form filling, revision in the form, admit card, examination date and other updates enables you to do things well within time and in an organized manner.
- Syllabus & paper pattern : Knowing what to learn gives a broad perspective on how to learn. Syllabus is the first thing one must look for while preparing for an examination as it forms the body of the entire examination and enables you to shed the fear about its vastness. On the hand paper pattern would enable you to understand the process of attempting the examination.
- Marks weightage : Understanding the marks weightage helps you to mark the areas of focus effectively. This leads a step forward in the correct preparation process.
- Cutoff : This would help you understand the intricacies of the exam. It will help you set the right target and motivate you to work towards it.
- Having a good study material is important : Having a good study material is very important. An ideal study material has concepts explained easily yet has in dept information on the concepts. You can gain insight regarding the best study material from your teacher or seniors who have cracked the examination. It is important to have a dedicated study material.
- 12th Text books : These are the basic structure to build up the knowledge about a concept.(during board exam preparation)
- NCERT books : These provide in dept knowledge regarding a concept. NCERT books are arguably considered as the most important study material for NEET examination.
- Reference books : Reference books help you have better insight and practice regarding the concept and the possible questions asked on it.
- Have a dedicated yet realistic time-table : A time-table helps you organize your tasks and efficiently complete them. However the time table needs to be realistic in terms of the time and task ratio. Do not over stuff tasks that may end you making tired and disable you to have adequate breaks.
- Divide your time : Divide your time between college/coaching, homework/self study and rest.
- Prioritize : Prioritize important topics and finish them well within time.
- Dedicate ample amount of time for self study : Self study is the key in cracking any examination. Providing a larger time slot is advisable.
- Set deadlines : Setting a daily deadline would help you complete all the planned tasks without having a backlog. Also setting a deadline like subject/syllabus completion will help have ample time for revision.
- Breaks : Only if we were robots, we would have been able to work endlessly. But being humans taking breaks is very important. Adequate breaks provides relaxation which in turn helps you have a better focus
- Adhere to the time table : All the effort shall be in vain if the time table isn't followed. Possibly it may lead the preparation strategy to collapse.
- Note making is of utmost importance : Note making is the process of understanding a concept better and writing it down for better retention and revisions.
- Note making while a concept is taught : Note important points and examples told by the teacher. This helps to make the learning and self study process better.
- Note making while self studying : It is believed that writing down a concept is the best way to memorize it. While studying, use the important points and examples to make an easier version. This must include only important points and terms.
- Make the note look interesting : Use color, leave adequate spaces. Do not make the notes look chaotic as this is something you will be referring to everyday.
- Keep it simple yet informative : Do not fill the note with long sentences and paragraphs. For that we already have textbooks. Write only the important points, keywords, examples, points to remember, flowchart, mind map etc.
- Strategy/techniques :
- Self study : Self study is very important when it comes to an effective NEET exam preparation.
- Read : Reading would ensure better understanding towards the subject and help you grasp concepts better. Besides reading is one of the best memory retention activities.
- Inculcate studying using codes/acronyms : This forms an integral part of note making. When a concept is tough to remember or an answer has too many pointers, you easily use its initials to create a code. This would help you remember every part of the concept. And the code being creative, chances of forgetting it is extremely low.
- Have a diagram based learning : Be it Physics, Chemistry or Biology every subject is based on natural phenomenons. Each of it can be put down into a diagrammatic representation form. Learning through diagrams will help you remember the concept in an efficient way.
- Set a target : It is important to set targets for topics completion. The time span must be dependent on the complexity of the topic/chapter. This will help you provide the necessary time and attention towards it and refrain you from wasting time.
- Refer limited books : It is said, "Too many cooks spoil the broth". Too many books can cause confusion and chaos. This may lead to withdrawal of one's interest.
- Use digital learning material : Visual medium of learning is fun as well as effective. It would help to understand the concept in a much effective manner.
- Have a paper solving strategy and practice it well : The main point of the examination is that a wrong answer would lead to negative marking. This would in turn lead you to lose the marks you have scored. The best way to tackle this is by first going through all the questions and marking the ones you are confident about. The rest can be tackled with practice.
- Repeatedly revise incorrectly attempted questions or the questions you couldn't solve : Practice in a part of improvement, don't be disheartened if you couldn't solve certain questions, instead practice them and attempt again.
- Practice : It is important to regularly practice diagrams, formulas etc. Majority of the question depends on them.
- Clear doubts as soon as possible : Delay in clearing your doubts will only result in either forgetting them or a drop in the curiosity to find answers. It is important to clear your doubts as soon as possible because if not done so it will create a void in the learning. This may result in occupying more than the required time.
- Let homework not be time occupying : Teachers, be it from college or coaching are bound to give you homework. For some the homework can be boring, time consuming and a reason for not being able to make time for self study. Instead if the homework is treated as a self study, it will no longer be time consuming.
- Revision sessions : Revision is an important aspect of retaining topics previously learnt. Revising on a monthly basis helps you pull off concepts in a much easier way. This also ensures multiple revision.
- Solving previous years question papers : Solving previous years question papers help you to assess your progress and preparation. Based on the performance you can also make necessary improvements. It provides you with ample amount of practice and confidence to attempt the main examination.
Lastly, the attitude you possess in the entire journey of NEET preparation will decide its outcome. The vast syllabus and the enormous competition may lead aspirants to get the 'can't do' attitude. NEET exam being the first stepping stone towards achieving the dream to enter this noble profession, one must have the preparedness to overcome all these hurdles. And with the above mentioned strategy and preparation tips overcoming the hurdle may not seem difficult.
All the best!