Tuesday, March 6, 2018

How to study for NEET by Pratibha Jha

Hey everyone! 

My awesome junior, Pratibha Jha, agreed to write a post on how to study for NEET :)

Her experience and study tips are so genuine - I feel like they can be applied to any exam - be it USMLE, PLAB or just a final year theory exam.

Here is what she has to say -

1.  Be focused on your aim and not on your distractions, weaknesses and problems. You have them, everyone has them. We are fighting so many issues in our mind but with so many thoughts and anxieties running through your mind - you have to take that one thought, "I have to do it" and focus on it repeatedly. The rest of the anxieties will blur out

2. Every subject is important. Make sure you read all the subjects. It shouldn't be like you know too much of one subject and nothing of the other.

3. What to read? Multiple choice question (MCQ) books? Class notes? 
If you have attended classes and have  notes, read them. Then solve questions and update it in your notes - the areas that are left out, whatever more important points you come across.

If not, MCQ books are good as well, they cover more topics. So less chance of missing out a question. I like to read MCQ book and add left out important points in my notes. You will know once you start reading, what suits you.

3. Time the subjects. Set a time for a particular subject. It can vary individually but try to finish a subject in that time limit. This keeps you tied up with a schedule. Otherwise, it takes forever considering every subject is huge in itself. But also make sure that you understand what you read and you're not hurrying up too much as well. It's okay if you're a little late of the schedule.

4. Always solve MCQs! 
It's a must. Make it everyday habit, not just weekly test!
Because ultimately, you have to learn to apply concepts on MCQs and it will only come with practice. I recommend the marrow app and pre pg app.
Whatever topic you read, back them up with MCQs of that chapter. It helps memorize better. Make it a mental rule - you have completed a topic only if you have solved its MCQs. Develop technique of eliminating rather than jumping directly on answers. Think about why the rest of the three options are not the answer.

5. Revise and revise!
Make sure you remember what you read, for that revise.
Before starting with a new subject, give 2 hours of the day to revise the subject that you have already done.

What to revise? Notes, tables, important MCQ and lines that you have marked. This is very important during first read - we all know what we will forget!

6. If you can't revise: Try to keep time distance between first read and subsequent revision to 1-2 week so that it doesn't appear from your memo. First read after you take up the subject like 1 month later, but just make sure to revise.

7. Remembering memory based info: Compile them, go through them frequently (eg I made a pdf via cam scanner of everything that's volatile for me (eg  paeds milestones, scoring of pancreatitis, trauma scores - TRISS/MESS/Glasgow..or list of osteochondritis, enzymes in biochemistry, or chromosomal locations, table of CD mutation/translocations in lymphomas) before sleeping and anytime you're having a break. Go through them frequently, it forms visual memory.

9. Images! Don't forget them. Keep looking for the images as and when you come across them. May be click it and make an album in your phone, keep seeing them when you have tea / fb break.

10. Surround yourself with the right people who will motivate you, will give you positive boost. Discuss difficult topics with them and please don't compare, underestimate or overestimate. Just be focused on how you are doing and continuously analyse yourself and work on your flaws. Stay away from anything that disturbs you mentally. Keep bringing yourself back to the track which leads you to your goals.

11. Time gone is gone. You can only compensate for it by focusing on the time you have right now in hand. It's never too late - never! You just have to start and be strong-headed!

12. Take regular tests and keep assessing your performance: Especially, in the last 3 months. Check where you lose more marks and focus on those subjects. Revise them more. Many of us fear that we will score less and lose our confidence but remember, it's all in the head. Do not lose confidence but let it make you stronger. If you don't score well, find out why you are not scoring well, find out where is the lag and work on it! All the best!

To summarize: Read - solve MCQ - revise - repeat!

Written by Pratibha Jha

PS: Pratibha scored an All India Rank of 21 this year (SHE IS SO COOL!)

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