As medical graduates across India gear up for the career defining post-graduate NEET entrance exam to be held in December this year; questions arise on how to prepare at this last minute. Moreover, many students are falling under last minute exam stress, toiling ceaselessly in an effort to secure a good rank in the exam.
Medical Dialogues team interviewed Dr Mukesh Bhatia, a renowned medical educationist and owner of the Dr Bhatia Institute of Medical Sciences (DBMCI) asking him to share some important tips and tricks on how to crack the exam as well as how to maintain composure at this last minute. Please read the full interview below:
Q. The government has announced the common platform for PG NEET in India, how is NEET beneficial for Medical students in today’s time?
Well, the Government has done a great Job by introducing NEET PG exam, as we all are aware that the Government has removed the PG State level exam and there will be a common entrance exam for all the Medical Doctors in the country, so since there is a single exam, there will be a uniform level of testing for all the candidates. Moreover, as state PG exam has been abolished, so all the malpractices that were happening at various stages of the medical exam will be abolished. The Idea of NEET PG exam will be helpful in creating a true, uniform and honest exam.
Q. NEET PG is to be held in December, how can a student optimally prepare for NEET PG in this short panel of time?
Well, at the time of recording this interview, we have hardly 30 days to prepare for NEET PG exam, so proper planning is essential for the exam. Now the question comes, how a student should prepare? For this a student should ask themselves about their weak subjects or weak topics, firstly a student needs to fill up these gaps and once they have the gaps, the second step is revision. The most common mistake, students often make, is that they revise one topic 10 times and other topics once. While preparing for the exam don’t forget that one can get any question of any topic from all the subjects.
Q. How is the strategy for preparing NEET PG different from AIIMS and PGI?
This is the most often asked question by all the students, if you asked me, i will say that the difference is very little. Now I will ask you what is the difference between test cricket match, one-day cricket match and twenty-twenty cricket match. First of all there is cricket in all the three forms. Difference lies between the velocity of the place where the game is playing, as test Cricket match is slow game, one-day cricket match is fast and twenty-twenty cricket match is faster. Similarly in AIIMS exam among 200 questions around 25% are photographed questions, in NEET PG exam around 10% are photographed questions but in PGI there is no photographed questions.
The second most commonly asked question is, which book should be referred to? There is no difference, whatever books you are reading is good. Keep an eye for photographs. In previous times we were reading simple question answer books but in today’s time we need to read the photographed books also and if you will focus on these photographs and their description 99% you will get the questions from the photographs. Hutchinson’s Clinical Methods is a good book to refer for the photographs.
Q. How has the marking scheme Changed?
This is the most important thing which is going to benefit the students maximum, two years back if a student would attempt a question right he will four marks, if don’t attempt he will get zero and if he answer wrong he will get negative one mark. The study pattern has been changed, in previous times the routine help books were enough but in today’s time a student should know the concept of the question, that’s why the Government has come up with the parametric system. In parametric system all the questions you attempt does not carry the same mark, the series of the questions become harder as one moves ahead in the exam so as the marking scheme. According to the base of Difficulty index, the value of the marks increases.
Q. What are the prominent specializations opted by high scorers?
There are around 1.5 lakh students they write PG entrance exam and in general about 25000 seats are for post graduates courses, most of the students want to get admissions in some prominent courses like radiology, orthopedics, gynecology, medicine, pediatrics, dermatology, are the some prominent courses which are in high demand but the number of seats for these courses are 3-4 thousands only. The race of getting seats in these particular courses are very high, while the number of seats are only 3-4 thousand and the number of choosers are 25000. So the students who want to get admissions in these courses have to be work harder.
Q. Dr Bhatia institute of Medical Coaching Institute (DBMCI) is one of the prominent coaching institute for the PG medical exam coaching in the country. How is coaching different from college preparations and what are the benefits if somebody joins DBMCI?
I would say that all the teachers who are teaching in Medical colleges are Guru’s and I respect them a lot. But there is one difference between our institute’s teachers and Medical college’s teachers-a particular teachers teaches a particular subject, their focus more on theory questions while PG entrance exam has a different pattern, the questions comes in exam are MCQ’s, not theory based questions. DBMCI teaches according to the pattern of exam, and that is the main difference in DBMCI teaching and college teaching.
Q. What is your message to the students who are appearing for the NEET PG entrance exam 2017?
My message to all the students is, start earlier, fill up your gaps, more and more revision, discuss your doubts. More and more revision will help you, 2 to 3 hours daily revision is must and also discussion is much important as revision, the more you discuss the better you will able to understand your mistakes. Do not let depression and stress over come you. Always remember exam is nothing its just recall of your memory. Keep revising till acute memory becomes chronic memory.Best of luck students.