The NEET PG exam is conducted by the National Board of Examinations (NBE) which is an autonomous organization of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The counselling and seat allotment are conducted by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
MBBS graduates who wish to study postgraduate doctor of medicine (MD), master of surgery (MS), and diploma courses at government or private medical colleges in India take NEET PG, which is a qualifying and ranking examination.
NEET PG is a computer-based exam consisting of 300 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) with a single response. The duration of the examination is 3 and a half hours (210 minutes).
Every NEET PG 2024 aspirant the secret of cracking the exam in the first attempt. Here is a blog on 7 effective tips on how to crack the entrance examination.
Hopefully, this blog helps you overcome your exam anxiety by providing you with the right preparation approach to crack the paper.
How to Crack NEET PG?
1. Prepare an organized timetable
Prepare a timetable to organize your study schedule and determine the length and frequency of your study sessions. Ideally, most NEET PG aspirants study for about 8-12 hours a day.
Try not to force yourself to study for long hours and then burn out at the end of the first week. Start with reasonable hours and gradually escalate!
Additionally, you can set daily, weekly, and monthly goals for yourself and try to accomplish them within a fixed timeframe.
The most critical thing to remember is that you don’t need to follow someone else’s timetable to crack NEET PG. Your timetable should be based on your preferences. It’s YOUR timetable!
Advantages of following a timetable:
- Teaches time management
A timetable shows exactly what is to be done at a particular time. It, thus, directs our attention to one thing at a time.
- Helps in the formulation of good habits and ensures discipline
A good timetable aids in inculcating the habits of punctuality and ensures regularity. Such adherence to a pre-arranged plan is the secret to success in preventing laxity.
- Helps in achieving desired goals
Following a timetable steadily ensures consistency. Be it completing a chapter by a given time, or achieving a desirable score in your mock test, giving it a place in the daily routine makes sure that efforts are being made regularly to accomplish the set goal.
- Regulates body clock
The so-called body clock keeps body processes running according to a schedule. It is a 24-hour cycle that regulates the timing of processes like eating, sleeping, and temperature control. If you have a fixed bedtime along with a fixed wake-up hour, your body clock knows exactly when to produce which hormone according to your activities throughout the day.
2. Go through previous year’s question papers
Analyzing previous years’ question papers will provide you with an idea of the types of questions you should expect. It will also give you the ability to gauge your own level of preparation.
Not reviewing the previous year’s questions is a crime that you do not want to commit!
While previous NEET PG questions may not be repeated exactly, they may be repeated with similar or modified concepts.
Advantages of solving previous years’ question papers:
- To gain an understanding of the exam pattern.
- To get an idea of the types of questions and their difficulty level.
- To evaluate your preparation strategy.
- To identify and strengthen your weak areas.
- To develop speed and time management skills.
The National Board of Examinations (NBE) does not release the previous year’s question papers because exam authorities keep the details of the question paper confidential.
However, after extensive research, I did find NEET PG question papers with answers that may be of use to you.
3. Prioritize important topics
We all know how vast the MBBS syllabus is. Covering 19 subjects is definitely not a piece of cake!
It is said that 80% of the questions are derived from 20% of the syllabus. In a logical sense, it is not necessary to know everything. You just need to know what’s important. Cut down on extra information and focus on what is essential.
Here’s the average subject-wise weightage of NEET PG (not 100% accurate).
Every subject should be broken down into its most important topics. Don’t forget to make a list. When preparing, pay special attention to these topics as they are most likely to be asked.
If you look at the general pattern of the exam, there are two important things to note:
- Certain chapters carry more weightage than others
- Certain topics get more attention than others
Identifying those topics and allocating sufficient time to them based on the weightage of the subject would boost your preparation dramatically.
Start with pre-clinical and para-clinical subjects as they play a great role in fetching significant marks. Scoring high in extensive clinical subjects like Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology is comparatively difficult.
Following these, start with the short subjects (Dermatology, Psychiatry, ENT, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics, Radiology, Anesthesia, etc) since they have a limited syllabus and can be covered quickly.
4. Make concise notes
Making notes for NEET PG can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not sure where to start. First, identify the main subjects and the main chapters under those subjects.
Once you have a good understanding of the overall structure of the chapter, you can start breaking down the topics into smaller, more manageable pieces.
The important thing is to make sure that your notes are clear and concise, and that they cover all the key information.
Memory tools like mnemonics are a lifesaver. Get creative with them!
Use coaching modules, study guides, alternative textbooks, or online resources if you feel you’re having trouble understanding certain elements.
If you are making digital notes on an iPad, make sure you include relevant pictures and diagrams.
5. Practise quality MCQs
Without regular evaluation of your performance, no preparation is complete.
Aside from standard textbooks, MCQ books are an important resource to practice MCQs as well as know the high-yield topics.
Diligently answer the relevant MCQs after completing the theory section.
Different people prefer different books. However, don’t purchase too many books. Do limited books, and do it more number of times!
Choose quality over quantity. Instead of focusing on the number of questions that you’re answering, you should focus on their quality.
Answering quality questions will help you understand the concepts better.
It is ultimately about gaining confidence. If you can get good marks and gain confidence, all you need is that.
In addition, you can use question banks offered by most online coaching institutes. In case you’ve chosen one, try to solve mock tests after each chapter and grand tests after completing the full syllabus.
It’s just practice, don’t worry about the score!
6. Revise regularly
Revision is an important part of exam preparation, as it helps you to consolidate your learning and identify any areas where you may need to focus your attention.
While covering new topics, make sure to review old ones as well. Keep aside at least 1 hour for revising old topics.
Active recall has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to retain information. Implementing this can be done in a variety of ways, including:
- Practice questions
- Use flashcards
- Review your notes
- Teach a friend
By following another method called targeted revision, you do not have to read the entire material blindly. Only read what you have forgotten or don’t understand. You don’t need to read chapters that you already know.
7. Stay consistent
When it comes to studying for NEET PG, consistency is key. For all the information to remain fresh in your mind, you need to study regularly.
Motivate yourself and work hard for your dreams because this is a race, and there are always people out there who want to take your place.
Personally, I use the Pomodoro technique to stay on track. In addition to allowing me to focus, it also allows me to take regular breaks and prevents me from burning out.
Time is precious but take a break often. Please remember that you are not a machine. Don’t expect to stick to your plan 100% of the time.
You’ll have days when you cannot read and want a break. Go back to studying when you are back into your groove.
Cracking the exam isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible.
Work smart, not hard. It’s not all about how hard you work but it’s about how you manage your time, resources, and mind to work together for a better output.
All the best!