India is a country where the word ‘doctor’ is treated as a synonym to the Almighty. Consequently, it is nothing unusual that medicine is one of the most lucrative and popular careers among Indian youth.
In total, India boasts of a total number of 412 medical colleges with a comprehensive capacity to train 52,765 Indian students in the undergraduate level. Although some colleges like AIIMS, JIPMER and so on conduct independent entrance examinations, the syllabus is primarily the same with no significant variations. 2016 saw an event of great importance in the realm of medical entrances with the Honourable Supreme Court ruling in favour of a common medical entrance test, thus doing away with the separate state medical entrance examinations and drastically replacing AIPMT with NEET (UG). This however, intensifies the competition to an overwhelming level, consequently making the NEET (UG) a difficult test to crack.
Although, the needs of the students vary at an individual level, the most appropriate time to begin the preparations is Standard 11. The syllabus for the test covers all the important areas of sciences taught during classes 11 and 12, making the two years a career defining phase in the lives of students.
- All India Institute of Medical Sciences Entrance: The AIIMS entrance examination for MBBS is a paper-based test of three and half hours duration. This test comprises 200 objective type questions (multiple choice and assertion-reason type); 60 questions each from Physics, Chemistry and Biology are asked. The remaining 20 questions are asked from General Knowledge and current affairs. This test undertakes the concept of negative marking. After the declaration of the result a final list for counseling is prepared based on merit.
- National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Undergraduate): The NEET (UG) comprises 180 questions in total; 45 multiple choice objective type questions each from Physics, Chemistry, Botany and Zoology. Each question carries 4 marks, and the three hours is the entire duration of the examination. Just like other competitive examinations, negative marking system plays a major role.
- Jawaharlal Institute of Post-graduate Medical Education and Research: The JIPMER entrance has 200 multiple choice questions, to be answered within the duration of two and half hours. These questions concern Physics (60 questions), Chemistry (60 questions), Biology (60 questions) and English (20 questions). The fact that this examination does not believe in the concept of negative marking makes this entrance test unique.
How to prepare? Some tips:
- It might be quite tempting to set magnificent goals. However, while preparing for a test like Medical Entrance, setting short term goals become handier. Set small goals like finishing fluid mechanics from Physics and unsaturated organic compounds from Chemistry in one week. Stick to such goals and assess your progress at the end of the week.
- Do not commit the mistake of buying every book the market is capable of providing. Follow one book at a time for the theory. Of course, multiple books for numerical can be followed at any time, but multiple readings simultaneously for the theory may prove to be dangerous as it tends to confuse the student. Go through NCERT books in a comprehensive manner, and only then proceed to further reading.
- Although I myself learnt it the hard way, NEVER do extensive reading unless you are thoroughly clear of the concepts that are in question. For eg: never go for Irodov before you have finished NCERT. Apart from that, never hesitate to clarify your doubts from your friends or teachers, because a little gap may later on develop into a gigantic gorge. Thus make sure, you overcome your weaknesses before moving ahead.
- Practice a disciplined approach to studying. Schedule your time in a coherent manner to make the most out of your time. Include every subject in such a way that suits your needs to the fullest. Never forget to include frequent relaxation times, including extra-curricular activities that interest you. Only a disciplined approach will save you of unnecessary burden or stress.
- Try to do some deep readings whenever possible. This can be an article on the recent developments in Medical Science or a paper by a famous doctor. You might not understand lots of the words used there, but it will slowly but surely widen your knowledge base. Apart from that, keep yourself aware of the happenings around you, as that precisely might help you in answering questions from General Knowledge.
Having said all this, I would like to add that hard work is the only key to success. It has no short cut. To find Medical Coaching Institutes near you, click here.