How Dr.Prathibha scored AIR 999 in NEET PG 2018 with a solid 7 hours of prep a day!

The Marrow team is proud of Dr.Prathibha Karunanidhi, who secured a rank of 999 after acing a score of 737 in NEET PG 2018. She aspires to pursue her MD in Paediatrics.

Dr.Prathibha Karunanidhi

In our exclusive discussion with her, she has shared us some of her insights into her PG preparation and has touched upon how a constant revision and consistency in one’s preparation can help secure a top rank.

1) Hello Dr.Prathibha. Please tell us a bit about yourself

Hi. I am Dr.Prathibha from Salem, Tamil Nadu. I did my MBBS from Vinayaka Mission Medical College, Salem. I was the topper of my class there. I took up NEET 2017 when I was an intern and my rank then was around 22,000. My JIPMER 2017 rank is 454. My AIIMS 2017 rank was around 6000. I scored 737 in NEET PG 2018 and my All India Rank was 999. I wish to pursue MD Paediatrics for my PG.

2) So how long was the duration of your PG prep? Were you happy with it or did you think you should have started earlier?

I started from April 2017 after my internship got over. I joined Speed Coaching Institute because in Salem there aren’t any other classroom sessions available. Other institutes offer only satellite classes. I subscribed to Marrow from August 2017 and started going through the materials in it. I feel I should have studied more during my internship. Generally, internship in a private college isn’t as hectic as in a government college. However, I used to study in a haphazard manner then. But looking back I think I should have studied at least 2-3 smaller subjects.

3) Did you think the introduction of negative marking changed the flow of your preparation? If so, how?

No it didn’t change my preparation much. The Guess Tracker feature in the Marrow app helped me track my accuracy levels and made me aware as to how to answer a question and whether to attempt one or not. I ended up completely omitting the number based questions as you can’t guess a number based question if you don’t know the concept behind it. But other questions I learned to be able to make an informed guess in the exam.

4) How many hours of prep did you go through per day? How often were you not able to achieve your daily estimate for study?

Initially I was able to spend about 7-8 hours for preparation. But it dropped in the middle to about 5 hours a day. I made a time table where I allocated 5-6 days for short subjects and for others I dedicated 10-14 days. I make my own notes, like for e.g, for the whole of SPM I had made my own notes which is less than 100 pages. I used to spend around 15 mins every day for Pharmacology to revise the names of the new drugs. I don’t think its absolutely necessary for everyone to spend 12 hours or 15 hours for prep. One can settle for even 7-8 hours if one’s comfortable with it as long as they make those hours count.

5) On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do would you grade your level of preparation for NEET?

I would say somewhere around 5.

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?

For Paediatrics, I studied primarily from Marrow modules. I wasn’t consistent in the middle few months of my preparation regarding the number of hours I put for studies. I personally regret not taking notes for more subjects.

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 have an incredible support system in my parents and friends. I have always used their support to cope with myself during university exams in my UG days and whenever I’m stressed out I talk with them. I also have a very good support from my faculty at Vinayaka Mission and they also helped me a lot. My parents are also very understanding and they have never added any type of pressure to me when it came to studies.

8) What would be your advice to students going through such a phase of self-doubt?

They can take me as an example. I am not from a government college like Madras Medical College or Stanley Medical College. I had a mediocre score in my 12th standard and if I could score well in NEET, then everybody can. I think its also important to understand that it doesn’t matter if you study from a private institute or a government college. Ultimately it’s what you make of yourself from where you study. Make sure you have a good circle of people to talk out to whenever needed and that is also crucial.

9) Was the Marrow app useful for your preparation? If so how?

Yes it was. I started my pathology and pharmacology prep from the month of August. After I finished a particular chapter, I used to do the Question bank from Marrow and the extra points I used to note them down in my notes. One of my regrets is that I didn’t utilise the grand tests properly in Marrow. I should have attempted more of them. The individual tests I did all of them and scored well in it.

10) Did you feel the Marrow app offered you a strategic advantage, as compared to what your prep would have been without the app?

Yes. In subjects like Surgery, I didn’t have my notes so it was impossible for me to revise it before NEET. So I went through all the Surgery modules in Marrow and it helped me a lot. Marrow modules are extremely useful during the process of revision and they are very efficient and saves a lot of time.

11) On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend Marrow to your fellow peers and colleagues?

I would give 10. Even now I have recommended Marrow to several of my juniors. I had subscribed to almost all of the test series available online. But the problem with the other test series is that even for smaller topic tests they have like 300 questions. But Marrow has 50 questions and you can complete them in 10-15 mins. And you have 2-3 of them. So it saves a lot of time and frustration associated with it.

12) At what time period during preparation would you recommend they start using the materials available at Marrow?

I would suggest them to start right from the beginning. When I started using Marrow, the modules weren’t available and I got to use them only later. But now since its available right from the beginning, I would suggest my friends to use them immediately after they finish studying a particular chapter. The Latest Drugs module of Marrow was also very helpful in exams like JIPMER.

13) Do you have any other advice or suggestions for students who are currently preparing for NEET?

Start early. Try to focus on revision. Be consistent with your preparation. Not necessary to put in long hours for everybody. Every one will have their own method, but whatever time you spend make sure you make it count. Try to allot one hour a day for revision as it’ll help you keep in touch with the subject better. Pharmacology is a very volatile subject, so try and allot 15 mins every day to revise the drug names. All the best!

We wish Dr.Prathibha the very best for her future endeavours!


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