How Dr.Nishitha aced an AIR 7 in NEET PG 2018 with just 7 months of PG prep!
The Marrow team is proud of Dr.Nishitha.S.H, who secured an All India Rank of 7 after acing a score of 887 in NEET PG 2018.
In our discussion with her, she has dwelved into the finer aspects of her preparation phase and has explained how hardwork coupled with perseverance will help you get top rank!
1) Hello Dr.Nishitha. Please tell us a bit about yourself
Hi. I’m Dr.Nishitha. I’m from Tumkur, Karnataka. I did my UG from Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences, Shimoga and graduated in 2017. I had an aggregate of 73 percent in my MBBS. I wish to pursue my PG in MD Radiodiagnostics at Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi. I didn’t take up any other institute exams this year. I took up NEET PG 2018 for the first time and scored 887 and got an All India Rank 7.
2) So how long was the duration of your PG prep? How many hours of prep did you go through per day?
I joined my DAMS classroom sessions in March 24th 2017. I finished my complete prep by the month of November. Since childhood, I have never been able to study right before my exams. So the last month before NEET, I used to just skim through the pages and not sit and study per se. By September I finished studying all subjects and I then did 2 revisions of the entire subject till November and after that I just resorted to online mock tests and brushing through what I had already studied.
The first couple of months my routine was Eat, Sleep and Study. I watched a movie once a week but apart from this I didn’t do anything else. I start my day early and I usually go to sleep by 9 PM. I don’t force myself to wake up by alarms and I used to get up whenever I can. I always focussed on quality study rather than the number of hours that I put in.
3) How often were you not able to achieve your daily estimate for study?
I am usually strict in enforcing my time-table. Preparation time for NEET is very short and I believe that even one day lost in prep cannot be compensated for at a later date. So I adhered to my time table strictly and was able to meet my targets for the day.
4) Did you think the introduction of negative marking changed the flow of your preparation? If so, how?
Initially after negative marking was introduced, I attempted a few mocks by being cautious in attempting the questions and my scores were a bit low. So I did my analysis and concluded that negative marking doesn’t matter much and its better to attempt all 300 questions. For e.g, let’s say you get one question right among 5 questions. You get positive 4 marks but also lose 4 marks in negative. So the net marks gained is zero. So it’s better to attempt and get that such questions right instead of losing the positive marks.
Some of my friends used to say its better to to not attempt all questions if the paper is tough. But I stuck with my strategy of attempting all questions and that helped me.
5) On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do would you grade your level of preparation for NEET?
I would score myself only 1. Though I did my mocks tests in Marrow and DAMS well, I was not convinced that I was prepared for NEET PG as it is always unpredictable and you never know how the questions might surprise you.
6) Where do you think was the lapse in your preparation? What do you wish, you could have done better to have been more prepared?
I don’t think there was a lapse in my preparation per se. It has got more to do with the lapse in my knowledge regarding the NEET exam. I got so many different perspectives and advice from people as to how the exam would be, how tough the questions will be, how many questions one should attend etc. So it seemed like a maze and my lack of clarity regarding the exam is why I felt unprepared for the exam until I took it up.
7) NEET being a highly intense and competitive exam, it’s natural for students to have self-doubts and suffer dips in their confidence level. How did it affect your preparation?
I did have a couple of ups and downs during my preparation. Everyone would have a few subjects that they are not comfortable with. But others might find it quite simple and easy. So its important to understand that everyone has subjects that they’re comfortable with and some that they are not. So we should try to keep cool and continue working. It’s important to prioritise those subjects in revisions and I made sure, I kept in touch with them by constant revisions.
8) What would be your advice to students going through such a phase of self-doubt?
Any student needs to have a certain confidence level to move forward. Everyone would feel comfortable in a particular subject. So I would recommend they take up tests in that subject to boost their morale, pick themselves up from there and progress forward. There is no shortage of online tests these days and it’s okay to take 2-3 tests continuously in the same subject. Ultimately it’s important to find ways to stay confident and try and be motivated as much as possible.
9) Were there any misleading practices regarding your prep that you that you eventually realised during the later phase of your preparation? How did you fix it?
I was not able to fix it, but I realised that sticking to one single guide-book for the entirety of the preparation of a subject is wrong. The notes that you take during classes is sufficient. If you feel like gaining any additional information, it’s better to go through the respective subject books like Harrison and read the topic. It’ll hardly take 10 minutes and it’s not necessary that you go through the whole chapter or book. Just the topics you want to. And from my personal experience in NEET PG 2018, questions from guide books are not being repeated any more. Hence simply believing that, if you stick to one particular guidebook and questions will come primarily from that book is misleading.
10) Was the Marrow app useful for your preparation? If so how?
I started using Marrow only at a later phase of my preparation around September. And I didn’t make full use of the app. Had I known about the app earlier, I would have made full use of it. I wasn’t a pro user of Marrow but attempted the mock NEET tests and accessed the free content within Marrow.
11) Would you like to point out anything specifically in Marrow’s content that you’d like to highlight for our users?
The most important aspect of Marrow is how appealing the app is to students, even when you don’t feel like opening any other textbook or notes. It is more engaging and you develop that interest in studying from it quite easily. There are other apps which we don’t feel like opening after the first time because of the bad design. The Marrow app has the friendliest interface among all other NEET PG apps.
I also felt like the error rate of the content in Marrow is almost nil. This makes Marrow more reliable than other apps. The questions that I got from the Mock tests were also of a high standard. You can see that the Question bank team had put a lot of effort into the content.
The best part of Marrow I would say is the daily Pearls. I had a travel time of 2 hours every time I go to my classroom sessions, and I used to go through these pearls then. They were the most useful to me, and even if someone is not using the rest of Marrow’s content I strongly advise they use the Pearls.
12) On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend Marrow to your fellow peers and colleagues?
I would recommend a score of 8.
13) At what time period during preparation would you recommend they start using the materials available at Marrow?
If they are a Pro user they can start right from the beginning. If you are going to any other coaching classes, then after every class, they can answer the questions from that subject rather than choosing to do all the questions at the last like I did. It’s a good idea to go through Marrow’s question banks after the class of that particular subject.
14) NEET being a knowledge intensive test or a test which tests your ability to remember vast volumes of information how were you able to cram so much information and prepare for the exam?
In UG days, its common for students to assume they would be able to study this chapter later during revision and not give it their best while preparing. but for NEET, every time you study you should study as if its the last time you’ll study that particular subject for NEET and there’s a good chance you won’t get to revise it later. I didn’t want to think I will get a chance to revise this later and focussed on studying it properly the first time itself.
15) Do you have any other advice or suggestions for students who are currently preparing for NEET?
Always aim to keep your scores in the mocks high. Aim for the top top 10 percentile in the ranks of those tests. That will help you to stay motivated and not lose confidence. The performance in the mock tests is highly likely to carry over to the main NEET exam. So aim for a higher score right from the beginning and if you’re not scoring well then it’s an indicator that something is wrong in your preparation. So taking each and every tests seriously is a must.
People would have heard about smartwork, shortcuts etc, but nothing matters for NEET. Though I believe a lot in smart work, this is the first time in 24 years I’m claiming that NEET requires sheer hard work. It’s also a misconception that people with good IQ will only be able to crack NEET. Hardwork is what will propel you to a good score in NEET.
The first 6 months is the most crucial part of preparation phase. I would say its more important than the last 3 months. So capitalise on the first half of the preparation to the max. All the best!
Books used by Dr.Nithisha for reference during PG prep:
Anatomy, Physiology, All short subjects – Arvind Arora
Biochemistry- Rebecca James
Pathology – Devish Mishra
Radiology – Sumer Sethi
Medicine – Mudith Khanna
Paediatrics – Arvind Arora
Dermatology – Saurabh Jindal
She had used her DAMS materials and notes apart from the above said references for her prep.
We would like to congratulate Dr.Nishitha for her achievement and wish the very best for her future endeavours!