“Success is the beautiful fruit borne from the seed of hard work which is sown,
Its the outcome of uncountable sleepless nights and food less dawn”


The world is running hastily, almost with speed of light. Everyone has to fight hard to prove himself and get respect as well as reputation from the society. No one can walk on the path of success without dedication and lots of struggle. Nepotism may provide a well built platform but to extend its roots also require seamless efforts, otherwise one can even lose what was provided to him out of nothing. In today’s era everyone has a dream to become somebody one day. There are numerous jobs and platform that one can think of achieving. Various popular fields are Engineering, Medicine, Acting, Sports, Civil services, Dancing, Singing and the list goes on. Moreover, day by day the queue is increasing in number as various new opportunities are being explored. A vast number of these fields are locked and can only be opened by the key of clearing an entrance exam. Yes, the term which every Indian teenager focuses on if he wants to do something great in his lifetime. The term also brings with it immense pressure, determination, a clear-cut aim in mind, horrible competition and at last but not least the Luck. It would be astonishing to hear Luck in this aspect. But it holds important position as the race in India is not among hundreds, not even among thousands, it is between Lakhs and sometime about a million of enthusiasts. So one mistake due to bad luck pushes a person way behind others. So let’s discuss one of the biggest entrance exam of our nation , The National Eligibility cum Entrance test or the commonly called NEET. Its a doorstep to enter into the Medical line.

NATIONAL ELIGIBILITY CUM ENTRANCE TEST ( NEET):

NEET ( Formerly known as PMT/AIPMT) is the ambition of every individual who had once thought in childhood to wear that White Apron someday. It’s just an exam for a non medico but a lifeline for a medical aspirant. Holding its name in one of the most prestigious and challenging exams of the country, NEET becomes even more difficult because of its overwhelming number of candidates. In 2019 about 14 lakhs students appeared for the exam, in 2018 about 13 lakhs while in 2017 the number was about 11.5 lakhs . So it is clearly visible that how steeply the graph of number of students is rising each year . It will increase every year in this fashion and so in 2025 or even earlier more than two million aspirants will be writing the exam at a time. The facts itself are nerve wrecking but to add on this are the number of MBBS seats in Medical colleges. According to the most recent data, there are about 75 thousand seats , of which about half are in private medical colleges. The seats have increased in the recent years , because some years back, there were not even half a lakh seats. Thus the competition is a cut-throat one with about just 2 to 3 percent of success rate. Those who perform extremely well get the place while the remaining huge bunch of unfortunate mass have to wait another year for their next attempt and undergo serious revision to improve their rank in the next attempt. But another advantage of this entrance test is that it also paves the way for other courses like BDS, BAMS, BHMS, PHYSIOTHERAPY, NURSING etc.

SYLLABUS:

The exam demands command in three subjects:
Physics
Chemistry
Biology

These three are the mainstream subjects of the aspirant after the 10th board when he decides to take Biology as his career option. Chapter from both 11th and 12th standard are a part of syllabus where almost the former class serves the basic concepts while the latter as the applied part. Thorough knowledge of both year’s topics is essential. So taking any year lightly can hinder your selection. The complete syllabus is provided each year by the Exam conducting agency and if there are any changes , they are informed beforehand to the candidates.

EXAM PATTERN:

The exam was previously conducted by the CBSE but now its responsibility is handed over to the National Testing Agency ( NTA) which also conducts other exam like JEE. It is held in about 10 languages which also includes regional languages other than English and Hindi. Their have been various changes in the pattern and the number of questions in the paper. Bust as of now the pattern is that:

Total questions: 180
Each question: 4 marks.
Total marks: 720
Time allotted: 3 hours.
Negative marking: -1 for each incorrect answer
Number of questions from physics: 45
Number of questions from chemistry: 45
Number of questions from biology: 90
Answer sheet pattern: OMR.
Question pattern: Objective type/ Multiple choice questions

Thus it should be noted that Biology holds about 50% weightage in the exam as it is the primary subject. While the rest two holds 25% weightage each. It is quite different from AIIMS pattern which has 60 questions each from all the three subjects and additional 20 questions from General knowledge. Thus the total number of questions are 200 of one mark each so total marks are 200. But as per the new orders, the AIIMS and JIPMER exams are being merged into a single NEET exam which will help to enter in all the medical colleges of India. This change has been in progress since last decade as previously almost every higher university held its own entrance exam thus making it a cumbersome as well as money spending process.

PREFERRED BOOKS:

The Bible or Geeta for any medical aspirant are none other the NCERT books. The NCERT books of all the three subjects for both year almost accomplishes the purpose. Almost about 80-90 percentage of paper comes directly from NCERT and the left 10-20 percent can be achieved by some other materials.
Biology: Dinesh MCQ
Physics: USS, HC VERMA.
Chemistry: Tandon(physical), MS Chauhan(Organic)

These are some of the books used by various people. But genuinely speaking that NEET is not a kind of exam that requires studying plenty of books of each subject. One just has to stick to the basics and not be deviated or confused by reading books from various authors. Here important point to be clarified is that all the disputes regarding any controversial answer is solved by NCERT itself. No other book will be assumed correct if it mentions some other answer than that referred in the basic book. Although what is important is practising questions and revising the same topics from the most important book rather than regular switching the texts and confusing your brain.

PREPARATION:

‘Regular revision and firm determination takes you to the goal,
You must try your best to attain it with a clear vision and a pure soul’

First and foremost thing you must be assured of is that whether the hard work you are putting is really for your dream? Have you ever thrown yourself completely to get it done?
These points are very important as just peer pressure from parents or doing it for the sake of doing will not help. Be it day or night, the target must revolve in your mind. This is the bitter truth that more than half of the appearing candidates are not even serious about their selection. Some seek it as their first opportunity, some as an unprepared trial, while some even do it for their friends or family. You have to give your cent percent to achieve it. Success depends on how intensely you work to make it possible.

Preparation should be ideally initiated as soon as entering the 11th grade. But a major number begins it after their 12th board. Neither of them can be regarded absolutely absurd. But yes beginning it earlier can save your one precious year while initiating it later can permit you to enjoy your one ond only school life to its best. The decision is entirely personal. But of course the approach differs in both .

Preparing from start of 11th
This approach offers enormous time to learn the concepts and master them. One can study in detail every chapter with the aid of other study materials as well. A vast number of questions can be solved during this time. Thus it is the smooth and swift duration in which multiple revisions can also be easily underwent. An only drawback of this approach is the board exam which have to cleared just before the main entrance exam. For 2 continuous years one studies the objective pattern of NEET but the boards are a subjective exam so it becomes difficult for him to cope up with them. Many students lose their track while undergoing boards so it must be kept in mind that he just have to obtain 60 percent in the 12th to become eligible for NEET so much stress should not be taken for them and the emphasis should only be given to the ultimate destiny.

Preparing after 12th( Drop year):
If someone wants to live best of his school life with no burden of immediate entrance and also ready to sacrifice an year should opt for this strategy. As those preparing from 11th have to leave their basic school life apart and many of them take dummy admission just for the sake of obtaining a pass certificate in both the years. So one can focus one thing at a time, firstly school life and boards & later on the NEET.
Only drawback of this approach is that mainly an year is lost and moreover then he has to cover the syllabus of two years in a few months so has no time for concept formation and much doubts clearance. One just has to follow the pattern, focus on the important topics and appear in the test without so many revisions. Though not a proven fact but it has been observed that mostly the toppers are from the batch preparing from the very beginning of 11th while the droppers make the larger mass of those satisfying the cut-off. But its not any thumb rule. A dropper might think that he can just clear the exam to get a seat but if he decides and study with entire heart and soul, he can beat everyone else.

Coaching:
Many might think that they can clear the exam with their school which is not at all a bad thinking. This is possible if one studies well with a right guidance and study material. Even self study has brought positive results for many. Basically, this exam is not a technique to segregate and select brilliant minds but more than that to select hard working people. As of present scenario, there is a tremendous trend going on of the large scale coaching classes for higher exams like medical and engineering. Some of the best institutes are Allen, Akash, Resonance, Career point etc. These brands provide an entire atmosphere for preparation with excellent teaching staff, regular tests, individual child analysis, and eventually provide a platform to realise where one stands before the actual exam. Thus its not miraculous to see their students outshining others and securing the top ranks. These classes collect the entire syllabus from various useful sources and compile them into their own books known as packages or modules. Moreover they themselves provide numeral question booklets, quick revision notes etc. Thus leaving no margin to doubt that whether one has to study something else. Their modules are more than enough to crack the exam. Their monthly test which turns weekly toward the end also gives an aspirant a real time experience of the exam. It is held on the same pattern and looks exactly like the main paper. Due to all these brilliant services they have gained enormous popularity among the aspirants and everyone wishes to study from these.

LAST MONTH TIPS:

This section is for an individual who has persistently read all the relevant content about any topic and has been studying the syllabus hand in hand with the teacher. About a month before the main exam, is the time when everyone should wake up, alarm themselves and perform to the best of their abilities. Almost 8 hours or more of studies should be a part of routine. Its entirely a variable number as some need comparatively more time than others to revise anything. No new concepts or topics should be learned in this duration. It’s the time for thorough revision of all the chapters that you have already studied well. Ideally you should revise the entire syllabus maximum times you can but at least two readings are a must. Biology should be focused on diagrams and every line should be tried to memorize. Chemistry and physics to be studied a more strategically with all formulas, important concepts & the key points that were problematic throughout the year should be emphasised. No moment must be wasted and all the previous year papers should be attempted by yourself. It is the state where various negative thoughts peep in and try to deviate as well as depress you but you should hold on your nerves. You should be confident but never over confident. You should have a deep thought in your mind that you will be successful. A concept should be clear in your mind that there are thousands of seats and you need just one of them. So it will deduct the burden over your head.

Another very important aspect which should never be ignored is your health. Although you should take care of it every time but the last moments need special care. Proper sleep, perfect diet, no under eating or overeating, stress-free environment are the basic requisites before the main challenge.

EXAM DAY:

Usually the exam is held in first week of May and normally the time being 10AM to 1PM. It is the month when sun showers its entire energy over us. So finally its the day to prove your hard work of entire year or two. Sleep for the maximum hours in the night. About 7 to 8 hours sleep is a must. Never try to ignore sleep for your last moment revision. It is recommended that one should stay away from books on one or two days before the exam. You should be calm, tension free and positive in thoughts. Eat light food to avoid drowsiness and stomach upsets but do eat. Take blessings from your Guardians and the Almighty as it will help you to conquer that luck factor. While in the exam hall, don’t panic. Don’t waste time in any unnecessary work. Just keep reminding yourself that this is the last chance, its a do or die situation because a little bit pressure is proved to increase the result. Fill your personal details including Roll number and other credentials very carefully. Any error in that part will ruin your hard work. Then OMR answer sheet filling should be precise with correct answer to be marked for the question. Always try to avoid any sort of silly mistakes. Time management is an extremely essential value to be inculcated beforehand to avoid losing any mark due to time’s deficiency. This can be mastered by solving lot many question papers and giving tests. There is no rule for solving the paper as it all depends on your preference. Some start with physics as they can’t solve it under pressurized environment towards the end while other opt for Biology to get a good start with their commanding subject. So enter the hall with a clear cut scheme in your brain.

RESULTS & CUTOFF:

About one month past the exam usually ends the dilemma and curiosity of the appeared candidates. It discloses where exactly one stands in the nation and what his future is going to be. It is also the final judge of how dedicatedly one focussed on his studies. Some become the toppers with their tremendous hard work , some cross the line to get a seat into government college, some score a bit lesser and have to compromise with a private college’s seat while there are some who couldn’t touch the mark either due to insufficient effort or silly mistakes or any other unfortunate cause. And the sad reality is that the majority is of the last type. But one should never be disheartened, you should learn from your faults and come back stronger with a better result next time. Losing hopes of life and depressing are not at all the ways to encounter this. You should be brave and courageous enough to handle any situation in life. So fight harder next time and grab a seat in your dream college.

Dream college: A term many of us are aware and ever fond of. One has a college or two in his mind which he cherishes and wishes to go after cracking the exam. Lucky one’s do reach there while others have to wait for years to attain that position . Almost every medical aspirant dreams of entering into AIIMS DELHI but very few fulfil it by their deeds.
Broadly there are two categories of medical colleges: government and private. Every student gives priority to the government colleges primarily due to their reasonable fee structure which is remarkably lesser( about 15-20 times) than the private. The fee vary widely from state to state and is mostly in the range of thousand( In MP it is 64000) while that of private colleges is about a Million or even more( In MP it is about 11 Lakhs). Other benefits of government ones are the widespread number of patients so increasing the scope for learning. But eventually both are gaining equal popularity since various government schemes and policies make the education free for the deserving as well as deprived candidates.

Cut-off: When the number of candidates appearing in the exam is huge, then the term Cut-off turns to be a conspicuous entity. One cannot just state the exact values of cut-off before the exam. It changes every year and even for every state in the same year. The most important governing factor is the difficulty level of the paper. A more precise number to judge your performance is the All India Rank ( AIR). A vague analysis brings about that a decade ago one can expect a government seat in any college with 400-450 marks, before 5 years it raised to 450-500 and the current scenario has increased it to over 550 marks. Sometimes you may even be unlucky to not get a good college even on scoring about 600. But yes, a score above 600 will guarantee you more than 90% surety to enter a good government college. It also depends on the number of medical colleges and their seats in each state. States like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh & Delhi do offer a very deadly competition as they have a large number of aspirant each year.

The scheme for admission into any college is divided in two parts:
1. All India Quota: Any student can apply in any medical college in India. It holds 15% seats of the college so has a higher cut-off.
2. State Quota: Student can apply for only the colleges of their state. It comprises 85% seats of the college and have a lower cut-off

Trends: Let’s look into the last 3 year trends of cut-off for a State like Madhya Pradesh. ( General Category -State quota-Government college)

Year      State quota      All India quota
• 2019             530                 599
• 2018             495*               554
• 2017              545                 574
*Cut off dropped due to addition of new colleges.

The article though lengthy is genuinely very useful for the young buds who want to pursue this MEDICAL profession as their career. It needs lot of sacrifice in terms of enjoyment, recreation and even sleep to hold that scalpel in your hand. But just imagine the pride in your parents’ eyes when they will see you with the White coat and Stethoscope around your collar. Not only your dream will come true but you will raise to a higher status where every person of the society will appreciate and respect you. The words like “Hey Doctor” or commonly the “Doc sahab” will make you happier than ever before. But at the same time always remember that this entrance was just one single step to decode many more bigger challenges. So you must be prepared to learn and give hundreds of exams in your future after this one. Because not everyone gets this privilege to be placed next to God and if you are among the lucky ones, you must make sure that you do justice to your profession and serve mankind to your best.

By  SHASHANK MATHUR, Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh 

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