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Repetition lies at the heart of mastery - says Dr. Mohsin Raj Mantoo (AIIMS Rank 16/ PGI Rank 11)

May 16, 2017

PrepLadder congratulates Dr. Mohsin Raj Mantoo on securing Rank 16 in AIIMS and PGI Rank 11. We wish him all the best for his career and future ahead. In this exclusive interview with PrepLadder, he shares tips on revision and approach that worked for him to clear AIIMS PG Exam. Hello, please tell us something about yourself. I am Dr. Mohsin Raj Mantoo. I have done my MBBS from GMC Srinagar(J&K).I secured Rank 16 in AIIMS PG May 2017 and Rank 11 in PGI May 2017. What do you think is the correct approach to study for AIIMS PG? Only MCQ's or Theory+MCQ's? AIIMS is a highly clinical- oriented exam. Most questions are based on clinical cases, procedures, investigations etc. It is as if every question is a patient in itself, where the examiner wants to test our basic understanding. Therefore, one has to be well versed with theory. Doing MCQs is also an important way to refine the theoretical knowledge. So MCQ + THEORY is ideal approach, especially the previous year MCQs. When should the preparation ideally be started? I did not prepare for a PG exam during my MBBS. My goal was to acquire knowledge from the standard books and more importantly clinical postings. I started my preparation for PG exam at the start of internship. But yes, I realized I should have started the preparation earlier. I think one should start in pre-final (3rd year) at least to cover the pre-final and final year subjects in the respective years. Please list the books you studied for each subject. I have read the most standard books in my graduation like Ganong, Robbins, Park, Harrison, Sabiston etc. for PG preparation. I also solved AIIMS last 5 year papers(2011-2016). The individual guide books that I studies are:
  • Pathology( Devesh Mishra)
  • Pharma (Gobind Garg)
  • Forensic (Sumit Seth)
  • Anatomy (Across)
  • PSM (Vivek Jain)
  • OB & GYNAE (DAMS notes)
  • Biochemistry and Micro from USMLE Books (Kaplan, Levinson)
  • Skin, Anesthesia, Psychiatry(Arvind Arora)
  • Radiology (Sumer Sethi)
Have you attempted any PG exam previously? If yes, what were your ranks then and what did you do different this time that lead to your success? I attempted PG exams in Nov 2016 and my rank for AIIMS then was 135, NEET PG rank – 429. This time my target was not to get any questions wrong whether they were easy, medium or high level difficulty questions as getting any wrong answers pulls down your rank significantly. Importantly, I made up my mind that I must crack this exam. I was focused and energetic. How big is the role of practice and revision while preparing for AIIMS PG and how much time should be dedicated for it? "Repetition lies at the heart of mastery". We must revise a topic at least 3 times to get the clear picture in mind. Most of the questions that I got wrong were from topics I read but didn’t get time to revise. Did PrepLadder play a part in your success? If yes, how? I attempted the mock tests for AIIMS and NIMHANS on PrepLadder’s website. They gave me that exact software and provided me time – management skills to check my speed and accuracy. It was really helpful. Did you use a time table/study plan to keep your preparation on track? I did not use a time table, but I often allotted some time to a subject and tried to finish that subject in that time limit. Were you a topper or a mediocre student during MBBS? Yes, I was the topper of my batch at GMC Srinagar. List the most difficult and easiest subjects for you. The most difficult subjects were orthopedics (I didn’t focus on it during my MBBS) and Psychiatry. The easiest were Dermatology, Radiology, Medicine, Surgery, and Obs & Gynae. One mistake that you believe everyone must avoid while preparing for AIIMS PG. One should never give up. It is a difficult exam, but we must stay focused. There will be bad days when you feel low, but that is natural. Start the next day with full hope and passion. Remember those who sweat more in practice bleed less in war. How many questions did you attempt in AIIMS PG? I attempted 193 questions. Some last tips for our readers preparing for PG? Believe me, I am as good or as bad a student as you are. I have similar limitations, I am an ordinary person but with extra-ordinary goals and discipline. DREAM BIG, START SMALL, ACT NOW. More topper tips coming soon, keep following this space.
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