Preparation Tips By Nikhil C 3rd Rank AIIMS

My name is Nikhil C and I am happy to inform you I have secured 3rd rank in the AIIMS examination this session. Here is my humble effort to give back to RxPG.
I would like to pray to Lord Venkateshwara and Goddess Maastamma
I would be thankful to my Father, Sister, Teachers, Friends, Seniors and RxPGians for their constant support and motivation without which this could have not been possible.
I completed my MBBS and internship from Mysore Medical College in March 2012 and have been in full time PG preparation since then. I had not studied for PG preparation during MBBS or internship. I attended Kottayam alumni association CME classes in the year 2012. After which I have been studying without coaching classes. I have been taking free online tests from Medpgthrissur.
My performance in various entrance exams
AI 2012- Not qualified 42%
Karnataka CET 13- 2000 rank
AIIMS may 2012- NQ 40%
PGI may 2012- 1900 rank
AIIMS nov 2012- NQ 46%
NEET 2013- 11,000
JIPMER 2013- 4000rank
AIIMS may 2013- NQ 49%
PGI may 2013- 300 rank
NIMHANS 2013 DM60% MCh40%
DNB aug 2013- 600 rank
AIIMS nov 2013- 127 rank, 60%
PGI nov 2013- 600 rank
DNB nov 2013- 400 rank
AIPGMEE 2014- 1300 rank- opted for MD med in Raipur Medical College in 1st and 2nd rounds
Karnataka CET 2014- 200 rank
JIPMER 2014- 600
AIIMS may 2014- rank 3 (expected 64%- 72%)
I have posted my every exam rank so people who have failed can find hope in trying again and again to achieve their dream. Since I have invested 2 years in PG preparation my advice may not be the best but still I would just like to share my experience.
I would like to put forth my views on commonly asked question on PG entrance preparation.
1. When to start PG entrance preparation?
As early as possible. Since PG exams are increasingly relying on new questions, reading important topics asked in entrances from standard textbooks can be done from 1st year itself. If too late then start subject wise books in internship.
2. How to study after internship?
Give 10+ hours. Do subjectwise and paperwise both hand in hand. Plan in advance which subjects you want to concentrate more on depending on your strengths and weaknesses.
3. Are Coaching classes necessary?
Coaching classes are highly recommended since a huge amount of information is given in short amount of time. But always remember to do topics from subjectwise books before class and revise after class. If unable to prepare before and revise after classes, classes are waste of time.
4. Which Coaching classes are good?
I have never attended to compare any of other classes. I attended only Kottayam classes and found them useful. I did not use them effectively in my preparation. But used the notes given there to effectively revise topics esp. Pharmac and Medicine(High yield notes since I found them useful to answer new questions asked in AIIMS). I am highly thankful to my teachers there.
5. Role of Textbooks?
If you have seriously read textbooks then only revise from them. Don’t start them afresh and lose a year like me and some of my friends. They are ineffective for revision. Read them only after finishing subjectwise and paperwise books.
6. What to concentrate more on?
1st Never get direct repeats from volumes wrong.
2nd Never get direct repeats from subjectwise wrong.
3rd Study and revise repeat topics efficiently.
4th Get simple basic questions right.
5th Intelligently rule out options for difficult questions.
6th No one knows the answer for some questions, pray to god and answer them.
Do not try to read everything and end up knowing nothing. Get first things first. Even toppers in most exams seldom cross 80%. In every exam only 10 questions separate the toppers from other serious contenders
7. Most important things during preparation are-
REVISION and TIME, use them effectively
8. Most important thing during exam are-
CALM MIND
9. Is Exam specific approach required?
Definitely, AIIMS, PGI and AIPGMEE are all different exams. Though medical knowledge to approach them is same, topics asked repeatedly differ. Exam patterns also differ. I am not the most competent to advise on PGI or AIPGMEE . However for AIIMS I had revised last 7 years topics multiple times, 2000 onward question answer only. All subjectwise books once. Medicine, Pediatrics, Ophthal, Community Med, Anatomy, Pharmacology subjectwise 3 times. I had studied textbooks for only few topics which helped me to get about 4-5 additional questions. I had studied notes given in Kottayam CME for few subjects. Exam specific study is most useful when done as exams approaches. I cancelled my PGI tickets 15 days back and stopped studying for PGI so I could concentrate on AIIMS and NIMHANS exams.
10. How to revise? How many revisions?
Fix a specific amount of time for revision. Do not extend the time. Try to revise everything as fast as possible within that specific time. Mark out only few materials for revision. Revise only difficult topics and subjects which are asked repeatedly in exam. One can know weak areas to revise after giving all subjects tests (I was giving Medpgthrissur free online tests)
11. Whom to take guidance from?
A person who has cracked PG entrance with whom you can relate. It is better if you consider yourself the same level as the person when he had started preparation. Don’t take advice from people who got it all right throughout MBBS and PG entrance. They are more likely to depress you into thinking it is impossible to crack entrance. ( for the record I myself an average MBBS student 65% who screwed up an extra year in PG entrance preparation)
12. How many questions to attend?
I myself don’t know the answer to this question and have experimented in exams. In AIIMS nov13 I had attended around 160 questions and had got around 130 questions right making a 61%. In this exam I had attended 199 questions (comfortably gambled since I had a MD med seat in hand and had aimed to be within 10 ranks). I had confidently answered 100 sure shot questions. Was divided between 2 options in about 75 questions. Other 25 questions were just luck. Post test after comparing my answer on RxPG, had projected myself a min score of 64% and a max of 72%. In my opinion it is better to answer more than 190 questions. In AIIMS and AIIMS like exams where PG seats are very less compared to the competition it is always better to overlook the negative and answer. It is a make or break situation.
13. Do only MBBS toppers crack AIIMS exams?
No anyone can do it. There are countless examples. It doesn’t require the best or the brightest but ones who think they can do it.
14. Does luck play any role in entrance exams?
Yes it plays a major role because it is humanely impossible to know each and every topic in this medical field. Easy questions in a subject removes the advantage a candidate who has dedicated more time to that particular subject would have if difficult questions were to be asked in that topic. Example, in one AIIMS paper multiple sclerosis was asked in depth which would give a candidate with Harrison knowledge an edge. Similarly there is always a chance that the day could favour anyone. I personally advice to go through Med, Ped, PSM, Ophthal, Pharmac in depth for AIIMS.
15. Can I crack and top the entrance exam?
This is not my question to answer. It is yours to find out. If you don’t start now you never will know. Give your every moment to find out the answer to this question. Best of luck

Lessons I learnt
-Never waste time
-PG entrance exams need total commitment and are uncrackable until I give it my whole
-Get done with PG entrance exams as soon as possible
-Never give up hope
-It is not just enough to dream but work towards that dream when things don’t go your way Generate Samurai siege Diamond

[Originally shared on RxPG]

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