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‘Take a break when you are tired of studying or practise Pomodoro technique,’ says NEET ranker

Apeejay Mahavir Marg students, who cracked NEET this year, suggest preparation tips and how to attempt the final question paper

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After two long years of hard work, Aditya Kaushal cracked National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET-UG) this year. The Jalandhar boy, who completed his schooling at Apeejay School Mahavir Marg recently, hopes to pursue a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS).

He says, “I am thinking about Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) instead of MBBS although some are suggesting otherwise. I think BDS would be better for me since I can continue my father’s practice. In MBBS, on the other hand, you have to put in many more years as compared to BDS to reach the top level of education.

“Moreover, it is difficult to manage a work-life balance which is not really the case in BDS,” adds the student who scored 665 in the entrance exam.

Aditya’s batchmate Afraaz Singh Sidhu, on the other hand, is eagerly waiting for the NEET counselling scheduled in three weeks. He is yet to shortlist government colleges for himself. “I have just gone through the counselling results from last year. I am doing my bit of research, but I am waiting for the NEET counselling to see which would be the best college for me.”

Also Read: ‘Just go on for one more hour’ – mantra for NEET aspirants, advises high-scorer and Apeejay alumnus

With a huge syllabus to cover, both the students had to work out strategies to give their best. Aditya focused on studying consistently and going through topics multiple times. “It does not help if you are studying for 11 hours one day and then you come down to one hour the next day. Moreover, you should be able to retain the things you learn, which can be achieved through revision. Especially in Biology, which needs cramming.”

Thorough reading of NCERT books is crucial, Afraaz emphasises. He adds, “I focused on extensive MCQ practice. The more you practise, the better your chance of cracking NEET. I also took many mock tests. Many competitive exam books are available in the market, which is helpful. Also, make sure to revise topics as many times as possible.”

Besides, Aditya purchased online test papers of top coaching institutes. “Be careful about the kind of test papers you are solving. Most institutes tend to give you harder questions than what is expected in NEET. So, that does not help.”

Suggesting specific tips for studying Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, he adds, “Do not cram Physics. Most people do this. In Physics, your fundamentals should be very clear—everything has a reason behind it. Practise more and more questions—start with easy questions first. In Biology, you have to remember every single line because you can get questions from anywhere. Chemistry NCERT is also very important.” As far as memorising concepts in Biology is concerned, one can come up with tricks that suit them or they can also refer to tricks available on YouTube, he says.

Afraaz, who scored 663, also shared how he attempted the NEET question paper on the day of the exam. “In the final exam, like most aspirants, I attempted Biology first followed by Chemistry and then Physics. Time yourself so that there is at least an hour left for Physics.”

All said and done, preparation for competitive exams can be exhausting. Students often have to sacrifice other interests and are expected to focus their time solely on studying. But forcing oneself to study beyond capacity does not always help. Aditya believes taking breaks in between studying is very important. Sharing his experience, he says, “When you hear how lakhs and lakhs of students would be competing, you do not really know how to balance things out. So, in class 11, I devoted almost all of my time to studying. In class 12, however, I was more relaxed. When I got bored, I watched some OTT content.

“Whenever you get tired of studying, don’t overstretch but take a break. Or you can follow the Pomodoro technique where you study for 25 minutes and then take a five-minute break. Practise whatever works for you.”

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Senior Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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