Congrats. You have decided to take the next step in your career. With the sprouting private medical colleges and the output of MBBS graduates increasing every year, the MBBS degree holders have a hard time in the job market. It is not uncommon for a classmate who chose engineering to get twice or thrice the salary than a MBBS doctor. One of the means of alleviating the situation is to get a post graduate degree. It is not easy though; there is a tough entrance exam ahead. As you plan to jump into PG prep mode it's worthwhile to look at some hard facts that might be helpful for most people.
Fact No: 1 – It is not about you but you RELATIVE to OTHERS.
Indian post graduate medical entrances are not designed to test your knowledge. I repeat 'Indian post graduate medical entrances are not designed to test your knowledge' but to eliminate thousands of aspirants and thereby select a very few. Keep this point in mind. This is the most important fact. This difference, though subtle has huge implications in the way you prepare for the exams. Once you get this into your brain a lot of things become easier. Testing a student's knowledge is different from eliminating potential aspirants.
Fact No: 2 – How do I get the top ranks in the entrance exams?
The answer – There is no magic. Chanting mystical incantations in the dark of the moon with a pentagram on the floor will not get you rank 1 in AIIMS or All India or PGI. Of course luck can play a role, but only to certain extent. The most important differentiator is the effort you put into your entrance exam preparation. Yeah, plain old hardwork.
Fact No: 3 – Repeat Questions.
For some strange reason, which most people couldn't understand, AIIMS examiners are prone to ask repeat questions. The percentage of repeat questions vary but it is safe to say it is generally in the range of 10-20% in major exams and upto 40% in some state exams. This has advantages and disadvantages from the individual student's perspective. Advantage is if he had bothered to check old question papers, he is bound to answer most of them correctly. Disadvantage is since most students are aware of the repeat questions, they too would get most of them correct. Most exam takers are happy when they see a repeat question in the real exam, more the repeat questions more the happiness. Unfortunately they miss what this exam is all about. It is about eliminating. It is not about you but you in relative to others.
Fact No: 4- Why it is important to answer all repeat questions correctly?
There is one peculiar problem which most students are unaware with regard to repeat questions. There is a standard statement in each question paper ' All question carry equal marks'. In truth this statement is only partially correct and rankwise patently false (all questions do not equally determine the rank). This can be understood by asking a simple question 'What happens if you answer some repeat question wrongly? The true answer is 'It is the worst thing you can do in the exam especially if you are a good student and expected to secure a rank'. Repeat questions are the easiest questions in the exam. In an exam designed to eliminate, answering an easy question wrongly has much more negative implications than answering a difficult question wrongly. Your rank doesn’t depend on how well you performed in the exam but on how well you performed RELATIVE to other test takers. To summarize 'answering a repeat question correctly doesn't improve your rank much but answering a repeat question wrongly drastically reduces your overall rank'.
Fact No: 5- Even bright students answer repeat questions wrongly.
Surprising as it may seem many students even the brightest get some of the repeat questions wrongly. The reasons could be anything from exam day stress to poor memory to confusion with a different concept/fact and overcritical thinking. To confirm this fact, you need go no further than the free daily exam series in www.emedicinelive.net which has most of the repeat question and still very few people score more than 80%.
Fact No:6 – Questions, Questions, Questions.
The more you attempt the better. Attempting atleast 200 questions daily and regularly is the easiest way to get top ranks. Attempting questions adds necessary knowledge, refreshes memory and corrects previously retained incorrect concepts and facts. www.emedicinlive.net is designed in such a way to help students learn easily. Make use of the resources provided in your aspiration to become the top rank holder.
Fact No: 7 – Patience
Unless you are a top student in the medical college, it is going to take some time before you become fit to score high ranks or even to secure a rank. No ranks or low ranks are expected in the initial stage of your preparation. These are normal and expected but many students get frustrated in this period. Medical science is vast and it takes time to become proficient in it. The most appropriate strategy is slow, steady, regular and consistent preparation.
Fact No: 8 – Focus and concentration.
A person however talented he may be, can't really do multiple things and deliver a quality outcome in everything. If you have decided to get a PG position, then it's your first priority and anything that takes your attention away from that goal is likely to affect your preparation. Some people may be lucky enough to not work and do full time preparation. But majority of the test takers work either as house surgeons or as duty medical officers. Regardless of what you do, focus and really concentrate on your prep. As you wake up in the morning, you should be thinking about what your preparation is going to be today. How much can I score in today's daily exams? How can I do better than yesterday?
Fact No: 9 – Believe in higher power.
No higher power is going to come and answer your paper in the exam. But there are all sort of unknown things like luck, intuition etc which no one knows for sure and may help you in the exam. Since the competition is very high, it's better to get everything on our side including the Almighty's blessings.
Fact No: 10 – eMedicineLive.NET can help you.
eMedicineLive is designed to help optimize your preparation and assess you every single day RELATIVE to other test takers around the country. Again it's not about how much you know in medicine rather how well you can answer the question COMPARED to OTHER TEST TAKERS. The key is not just you but you relative to others. We have provided free daily test series to assess yourselves relative to others. Try them and you will know how you will perform in the actual exam. As long as you follow clear principles and consistently work towards your goals, success should be at your doorstep. All the best.