It was early 80’s when I had appeared for my Pre-Medical test and even though the concept of coaching classes or crash course had established a remarkable patron in every town, I was not entirely convinced of its advantages owing to plenty of reasons. One, the batch allotted to me was so overcrowded that I often wondered if there was enough oxygen in the room to support so many humans. Two, the teacher seemed to focus on more on the bright students which didn’t help my cause as I had maintained an average academic record for most of my school life.
A month after 11 std began, it dawned on me that in less than two years from then, I was to attempt one of the toughest entrance exams for which I was clearly not prepared! So I made myself a timetable. Here’s a glimpse:
- (5:00 A.M -7:00 A.M) – Wake up and Revise the concepts taught in previous lectures.
- (7:30 A.M – 1:30 P.M )- Go to school
- (2:00 P.M – 3:00 P.M) – Rest
- (3:00 P.M – 6:00 P.M) – Go for tuition’s
- (6:00 P.M – 7:30 P.M) – Relax and do something completely different to help ease the study stress.
- (7:30 P.M – 11:00 P.M) – Practice sample questions of the lessons taught
I was never a disciplined student, and so I had a tough time sticking to the routine I had prepared. Often I would sleep till late in the morning, waking up just in time to catch the school bus or be too attention deficit to focus on the lesson being taught in school or tuition. This continued to happen till 12th midterm in which I had only managed a meager 60%. By now most of my peers, parents and relatives were convinced that I would not manage to get through the Pre-medical test.
Desperation and panic gripped me. The thought of not clearing AIPMT exam was a nightmare, and this is when I decided to prepare for PMT to the best of my ability and leave the rest to luck. And that is where all the magic began!
I increased my self-study hours, but that did not enhance my performance as I would quickly lose interest or would easily get distracted. Many students face this problem and the solution is simple, “Distract the mind before it distracts you.”
I tried visualizing everything that I studied in the weirdest ways that made sense to me. This helped me understand better, focus my attention and remember better. While studying zoology, I would often name random objects in my room after the most ‘’difficult to remember ‘’ biological names.
This technique may be absurd, but it worked wonders for me, as every time I would need my comb I would recall the Phylum name I had given it, the species that belong to it, etc.
I had jotted down the important chemical reactions, Formulae and stuck them on the wall opposite to my study table. This helped me remember them without having to revise the same every day.
I understood that mind remembers what it sees more than what it understands, and so I started relating parts of the lectures in class, to real life incidences or applications that I had witnessed. This helped me save time as I would remember all lectures taught to me.
I realized the importance of self-study, visualization techniques, revision shortcuts and self-confidence as soon as the PMT results were out because I had cleared it with an All India Rank that nobody could believe!
It also helped me realize that there is no good student or a bad student. Some students have figured out what study techniques work for them, and there are others who have not.
Here are a few things every AIPMT aspirant should remember:
- Do not get discouraged by the tough competition you will face in PMT or NEET Exam.
- A constant effort in the right direction will yield desired results.
- Learn to utilize the advent of technology positively, go for tablet programs in place of coaching to save up on time and for better efficiency.
- Allow yourself enough learning techniques to experiment from, conclude what works for you and stick to it.
- Always opt to study from a single source of study material rather than confusing yourself over many reference books.
Crash courses are helpful in last minute revision specifically if done adaptively.
-As told by Dr. Madhu Sinha
(Mahatma Gandhi Medical College batch 89)