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Understanding the concepts is more important than memorizing - says Dr. Noel James (PGI Rank 13)

May 16, 2017

PrepLadder congratulates Dr. Noel James on getting his dream seat in one the most prestigious institutes in India. We wish him the best in life and career ahead.

Here, he shares some tips to help you achieve this too. 

Hello, please tell us something about yourself. I am Dr. Noel James. I completed my MBBS degree from Madurai Medical College in October 2016. My PGI rank in (May 2017 exam) general category is 13. What do you think is the correct approach to study for PG entrance exams? Only MCQ's or Theory + MCQ's? Theory + MCQ's with more emphasis on understanding than memorizing. I always read theory more. When should the preparation ideally be started? It is always better to get started as early as you can. But I started preparation only after internship. Please list the books you studied for each subject. During these last 6 months I read only review books Anatomy,
  • FM - Arvind Arora
  • Biochem- Rebecca James
  • Physiology - Soumen Manna
  • Microbiology - Apurba Shastry
  • Pharmacology - Sparsh Gupta
  • Ophthal, Ortho - Arvind Arora
  • SPM - Vivek Jain
  • Medicine - Mudit Khanna
  • Skin , Radiology -Arvind Arora
  • Paeds- Sushanta Bhanja
  • Obs & Gynae- Sakshi Arora
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? Yes, I attempted PG exam in Nov 2016 previously where my rank was follows:
  • AIIMS -2103
  • JIPMER -910
  • NEET - 3927
  • May 2017 AIIMS Rank- 309
I just try to concentrate seriously when I study and try to understand everything though the progress may be slow. Don't worry about the random off days where you feel that you don't want to study. Quality is more important than quantity in remembering things. How big is the role of practice and revision while preparing for PG entrance and how much time should be dedicated for it? I didn’t get enough time for revision, to be frank, but at least 2 months revision is good. Did PrepLadder play a part in your success? If yes, how? I attended the free AIIMS mock test and the prediction of the exam was fairly accurate. It gave me the competitive analysis which helped me on working towards my weak areas. Did you use a time table/study plan to keep your preparation on track? When I started studying, yes I did use a study plan. But towards the end, I couldn’t follow the study plan. Were you a topper or a mediocre student during MBBS? I was a mediocre student during MBBS and scored 65% List the most difficult and easiest subjects for you. The easiest subjects are- Physiology, Medicine, Paediatrics, Microbiology, and Pharmacology. I found Anatomy, Biochemistry, and SPM to be difficult. One mistake that you believe everyone must avoid while preparing for PG entrance exams. Too much stressing out oneself to cover more topics while not clearly forming a concept can make one feel frustrated during the exams. I believe that it is a common mistake that most of us make. How many questions did you attempt in PGI exam? Share some details about your exam taking strategy. I attended 240 questions with 470 choice approx. 10 questions that I didn't know anything about I skipped. I took a chance in some questions where I was 2/3rd sure of the answer. Some last tips for our readers preparing for PG? Don't stress out, have some time with friends. Always assess your own progress, don't compare your progress with someone else. Sleep well for the sake of memory. Be of the right attitude that even if you don't get a seat immediately, the knowledge you gain will be useful to diagnose and treat a patient. Use the internet to clear doubts to save time. All the Best!! More topper tips coming soon, keep following this space.
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