Learning concepts, a NEET way to handle competitive examinations

With the upcoming National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for post graduate (PG) studies being conducted for the very first time, many aspiring students say they are finding it difficult to anticipate what to expect from the test. DTNext speaks to an expert in the field to throw some light on the competitive examination.
Learning concepts, a NEET way to handle competitive examinations
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According to Dr Sumer Sethi, Director, Delhi Academy of Medical Sciences, “NEET PG will comprise of 300 questions. The multi-set examination will be conducted all over India as a computer-based test (CBT) for doctors wishing to pursue a postgraduation course. This exam will be conducted by the National Board of Examination (NBE). The examination will be structured according to Medical Council of India (MCI) guidelines on medical curriculum. It will consist of questions from all 19 subjects that medical graduates have to study in MBBS.” 
Students will be faced with a tough task as the NEET PG is expected to be harder than the entrance examination that were conducted earlier. “Since NEET is being conducted by the Central government, the level of the examination will be higher than the usual state board based examinations. The chances of a question being repeated from previous years’ question papers is also limited. Students should focus more on learning concepts, rather than rote learning. Community medicine and visual based questions are key areas where aspirants can score marks,” says Dr Sethi. 
It is imperative that students cover all the topics to achieve a better rank, he says. “As the exam gives equal weightage to all subjects, it would not be wise for doctors to leave any subject untouched. However, subjects that I would like to highlight are Pathology, Pharmacology, PSM, Obs-Gyne, Medicine and Surgery. They form the core of competitive exams for doctors,” adds Dr Sethi. 
Deciphering the structure of the NEET examination, Dr Sethi says, “NEET PG is computer based multiset exam. There are a few implications of the computer-based test (CBT): More number of sets means more questions and more questions mean more topics will be covered. Comprehensive study will help students to score well, rather than selective reading. There will be visual based questions as it is a CBT.” Students say they are determined to do their best. 
According to Aishwarya Gajendran, “The NEET is a blessing in disguise. It opens up more opportunities for students looking to do a post graduate course in Medicine. The number of seats available through merit has dramatically increased.” She took time off from work at Malar Fortis to concentrate on NEET.  “I try to spend a minimum of 15 hours a day, studying for the examination. The preparation at times takes a toll on me. However, I try not give into the negativity and stay focused on my goals.” 
Many aspirants are not leaving anything to chance and are investing countless hours, preparing for NEET PG. Aishwarya claims that the key to success to any competitive examination is revision. “The number of times you revise will reflect in the rank you will eventually get.”
With the confusion surrounding NEET, many students look to the internet for insight “There are a lot of forums and Facebook pages dedicated to discuss NEET. I subscribe to the Facebook page NEET Online to keep updated on mock drills and tips to crack NEET,” adds Aishwarya. The notion that this is the first time the examination is being conducted, following the failed implementation of NEET in 2013, keeps doctors guessing on what to expect. 
According to Qhizar Shaik, “Currently there are many book available in the market penned by various authors to tackle NEET. I find it hard to choose study material that is time efficient and reasonably priced. Personally I prefer books that put the concepts across in a simple and easy to understand manner.”  “Since we are the first batch to take up the NEET examination it is going to be tough to anticipate what we will encounter. It will probably be a lot easier to subsequent students to prepare for the examination based on how the examination turns out this year,” adds Qhizar.

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