PrepLadder congratulates Dr. Noopur Srivastava on achieving this unbelievable feat. We wish her all the best for her career and future ahead.
Dr. Noopur took mock tests for a holistic UPSC CMS preparation.
In this exclusive interview with PrepLadder, she shares the plan that worked for her and helped her in clearing the exam.
Hello, please tell us something about yourself.
Hi, I am Dr. Noopur Srivastava. I did my graduation from JNMC, Wardha. By God's grace, my family's support and most importantly my hard work fetched me Rank 16 in UPSC CMS 2016.
What do you think is the correct approach to study for UPSC CMS? Only Medical content or Medical content + General ability?
Truly speaking, I did not prepare for UPSC CMS separately but it was along with my postgraduate preparation. For CMS per say one should be clear what to read and what not in order to secure a good rank. I focused on my medical subjects mainly Medicine, Surgery, Obgy, Pediatrics and SPM as these subjects form the major chunk of the questions asked and also few questions from basic sciences. General ability forms around 15-17% of the entire paper and can be skipped in order to get selection but for securing a good rank like me, then one should definitely stay aware about the current affairs and updates related to scientific researches and environment. Please do not attempt the general ability questions if you are not aware about it to avoid the negative marking.
When should the preparation ideally be started?
If you are a NEET/AIPGMEE aspirant, preparation should begin alongside and if not, then you can prepare for CMS in 3-4 months prior to exam with schedule.
Also read: Set targets and actualize them to pave way for success, says Dr. Jayati Tripathi (UPSC CMS Rank 26)
Please list the books you studied for each subject.
First of all, I solved previous 5 years UPSC CMS question from the Elsevier's guide latest edition and for subject wise preparation I referred guide book of Amit Ashish for surgery, Vivek Jain for SPM. For the remaining subjects, I went through the previous 5 years questions of national level postgraduate entrance exam and online test series. Just be precise and practice lots of MCQs from authentic test series.
Have you attempted UPSC CMS previously? If yes, what did you do different this year that lead to your success?
No. This was my first attempt. I am glad that I cracked it in the very first chance. UPSC CMS paper consists of two parts i.e. online written part and the personality test. Pay more focus on the written part. Make your theory stronger that can ideally be done by reading right notes and practicing more MCQs.
How big is the role of practice and revision while preparing for UPSC CMS and how much time should be dedicated for it?
Revise! Revise! Revise! Nothing can be achieved without smart hard work. I regularly revised my notes and practiced MCQs by dividing my day into parts accordingly. I gave more time to MCQs. At least thrice you should revise your concise notes before sitting in any entrance exam. 6-8 hours of self study a day is sufficient for CMS preparation.
Did you use a time table/study plan to keep your preparation on track?
Yes I made time table and tried to finish my subjects/topics according to it. Even if you are able to follow 60-70% of your schedule, you are on the right track.
Were you a topper or a mediocre student during MBBS?
I don’t want to boast about myself but yes, I was a topper indeed. During my graduation I have been very active participating in various Intercollegiate Quiz competition which helped me in exploring my subjects deeply. Academically, I won gold medals in Medicine, Surgery, Pharmacology, Microbiology and also stood as second topper overall in college.
List the most difficult and easiest subjects for you.
I enjoy reading my subjects that’s why I am here to make a difference; there is no subject that is difficult or easy. It is we who decide the level of preparation in every subject. If we put less effort on a subject considering it boring it seems difficult eventually. Likewise if we pay more focus on an interesting subject, that becomes easy so it is very important to do justice with every major subject for cracking CMS. I agree few medical subjects are volatile eg. biochem, pharma, opthalm, SPM but are not difficult if we revise it regularly.
Do you think Online test series is required for UPSC CMS exam preparation?
Yeah, online test series are boon for a medical aspirant as most of the entrance exams are online. It helps in the following ways:
Distinct features of PrepLadder’s UPSC CMS Pro Pack
- Makes us familiar with the exam pattern of answering on screen.
- Prepares us in better way by giving lots of MCQs to practice.
- Saves time
- Teaches time management
- Helps identifying our mistakes and the subject we need to work upon more.
One mistake that you believe everyone must avoid while preparing for UPSC CMS.
- 15 Full Length Mock Tests with 5 Previous year solved papers
- Same software platform as the real UPSC CMS exam for real exam day experience
- Access to PrepLadder’s app downloadable from App store for Offline Revision
- For more info, feel free to drop a mail at email@example.com
Cracking UPSC CMS is not a tough job but you should be precise in your reading. Do not attempt a general ability question if you are unsure about it. Even the guesses don’t work most of the time, at least not in my case. Make your basics clear to avoid silly mistakes.
Some last tips for our readers preparing for UPSC CMS?
There is no shortcut to success. Work hard and grab it. Trust yourself. Keep revising your notes. Practice and practice till you get perfect in your own way and stop only when you reach the finish line. GOOD LUCK!!
Also read: No one can make it without test practice, says Dr. Shalini V Singh (UPSC CMS Rank 77)