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Don’t start preparing for PG in third year –says PrepLadder alumni Dr. Samarth (NEET PG rank 142)

Jan 18, 2017


PrepLadder congratulates Dr. Samarth Gowda on securing Rank 48 in PGI and Rank 142 in NEET PG. We wish him all the best for his career and future ahead. In this exclusive interview with PrepLadder, he shares the plan that worked for him to help you get an amazing Rank in NEET PG.

Hello, please tell us something about yourself.

Hello. My name is Samarth S Gowda. I graduated from M.S. Ramaiah Medical college, Bangalore. I secured rank 48 at PGI Chandigarh and rank 142 in NEET-PG.

What do you think is the correct approach to study for NEET PG? Only MCQ's or Theory+MCQs?

There is no set strategy I feel. Best is to personalize your study plans. But basic rules are pretty much the same. There is no substitute for hard work, and that is the key to crack these exams. Only MCQs would have helped you in the previous all India exams with loads of repeats. Not anymore with the NEET-PG. They are asking new questions and one liners from every possible nook and corner. So best is to study it along with a good theory knowledge. At the same time, always know when to limit yourself. For example, studying all the important tables from Harrison's and Robbins makes sense, rather than make plans to study the entire book.

When should the preparation ideally be started?

It's a myth that you need to start PG prep right from third year. Makes absolutely no sense I feel. Third year and final year should be reserved to make your basics strong. Study the best standard textbooks and get your concepts correct. No point running behind MCQs that early in your career. I'd recommend starting actual preparation during internship. Finish as many subject guide books as you can during internship, give NEET a good go. If you don't succeed, join a good coaching institute after internship, and back it up with some good online exams like the ones PrepLadder has to offer and crack these exams easily.

Please list the books you studied for each subject.

These are the books I studied during my preparation period. Anatomy, Physiology, Forensic - Arvind Arora series Biochemistry - Rebecca James (must have) Pathology - Devesh Mishra (must have) Pharmacology - Gobind Garg Microbiology - Apurba shastry ENT - Sakshi Arora or Manisha Budhiraja Ophthalmology - Arvind Arora PSM - Vivek Jain Medicine - Mudit Khanna Surgery - Amit Ashish or Pritesh Singh Pediatrics - Arvind Arora or Taruna Mehra OBG - Puneeth Bojani Orthopedics - Apurv Mehra Skin, Anesthesia, Radiology, Psychiatry - SARP series by Arvind Arora Along with this, Manoj Chaudhary for PGI papers, and Amit Ashish for AIIMS papers are very good. DNB Kalam series books are very good as well for NEET pattern questions. You can also buy any NEET pattern question bank, just so you get used to the question pattern. Although, I personally didn't use any book for NEET questions.

Have you attempted PGMEE previously? If yes, what did you do different this year that lead to your success?

I had studied hard during my internship and had secured rank 4676 last year. But wasn't getting the subject of my choice. So I decided to take a year off, and it was the best decision I've ever taken. This year I followed a completely different approach. I used to study and understand the concepts better. Used to refer to standard books if I had the slightest doubt regarding anything. I studied all in all, a total of 500-600 tables from the main standard text books, taking screenshots of them whenever I had free time. I didn't go much behind signs and syndromes, as it's the conceptual reading and understanding that's going to propel you ahead in this rat race.

How big is the role of practice and revision while preparing for NEET PG and how much time should be dedicated for it?

If someone asks me, what the single most important factor was to crack entrance exams, I'd easily say it's REVISION. Hands down, single most important thing you need to do. Spend a good amount of 10-12 hours per day studying subject wise. And try and finish everything once before September first week. Then start your first actual revision, and finish it a week or so before AIIMS and PGI. Start a quick second revision and give these central institute exams and good go. Then get back and revise a final third time after this and before NEET in December. So a total of 3, is a must and should. Trust me when I say this, if anyone does this diligently and sincerely, they can crack these exams with ease.

Did PrepLadder play a part in your success? If yes, how?

Yes, indeed. I particularly loved the daily question rounds they used to send by mail. Just by doing those 5 questions everyday, you can boost up your performance by a lot. It helps relieve your exam related anxiety as well. Of particular mention are their mock exams. Simply superb. I've written all the mocks, right from the May DNB mock, up to their NEET PG mock. It's written by close to 50,000 people and best part, it's free. What more can we ask for? The software is ditto like the actual exam and the scoring system used is also the same. So it's a real-time simulator of sorts, and I'd strongly recommend it to all my juniors. PrepLadder’s premium test series has good question quality with apt explanations. All in all, it's a great initiative that the PrepLadder team has taken up, and I'm ever so grateful to them for all the effort they've put into this.

Did you use a time table/study plan to keep your preparation on track?

Not a day to day time table, but I did set deadlines. Like is said before, you need this in order to finish the 3 revisions. All I did was study everyday for a good amount of 10-12 hours. I used to use a stop watch to keep track of the time I wasted and the time I studied. Got this trick from my seniors, and boy was it helpful. You guys can give it a try. It makes you more aware of the actual hours you're studying in a day, and helps you to make adjustments based on that :)

Were you a topper or a mediocre student during MBBS?

I was my college topper, yes. But having said that MBBS marks have absolutely nothing to do with cracking entrance exams. Anyone can do it, provided they give it their all.

List the most difficult and easiest subjects for you.

Most difficult for me were the first year trio of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. Anesthesia was also a tough one for me. Comparatively Easier subjects for me were, pathology, pharmacology, forensic and PSM.

One mistake that you believe everyone must avoid while preparing for NEET PG.

Studying unnecessary stuff and going too much behind facts and numbers. Won't help you in the long haul, and you end up wasting precious time as well. Always try and grasp the concept first :)

Some last tips for our readers preparing for NEET PG?

Always set high goals, and work towards it. Even if you falter, you'll at least end up at a pretty good place in the end. Never doubt your self and your abilities. I believe, anyone can crack these entrance examinations. All you need is confidence, determination and hard work. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I'd love to quote a few lines by Walter D Wintle. "Life's battles don't always go, To the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later, the man who wins, Is the man who thinks he can" So yes, Believe, and you will conquer. Thank you, and all the best to all my juniors. :)
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