How Dr.Soma Dey secured a rank of 1132 in NEET PG 2018 while in the middle of her internship!
We, at Marrow, are proud of Dr.Soma Dey, a medicine Aspirant who is currently interning at Lady Hardinge Medical School, New Delhi. She took up her NEET PG exam in the midst of her busy internship schedule and was able to ace a score of 732, earning her an All India Rank of 1132 in NEET PG 2018.
She is a Plan C user of Marrow and has attributed her success to Marrow and it’s materials. In our exclusive discussion with her, she has shared some of her insights from her PG preparation phase and shared a lot of valuable feedback which is sure to help students, approach their PG preparation.
1) Hello Dr.Soma Dey. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi. I am Dr.Soma. I am from Agartala, Tripura. I joined MBBS at Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi in 2012. I used to be a decent student in my UG and used to score around 65 – 67 percent. I appeared for the November session of AIIMS 2017 and got a rank of 2000. I didn’t take up any other exams. I gave NEET in the middle my internship and got a score of 732. My All India Rank is 1132. I would like to pursue my PG in MD Medicine or Paediatrics.
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 would have been happier if I had come across Marrow earlier, because internship at Lady Hardinge is extremely intense and I had very little time to spare.
I wanted to start my prep in the beginning of my internship at January 2017, but it took me a few months to get the hang of the work involved. I found it tough to balance my work and PG prep in the beginning. So I would say my prep started from March 2017. But I started studying from theory subject books and looking back now, I don’t think they were of much use to me, as there’s no way I’d have been able to revise all the theory books before exam. I had a pretty good grasp of my final year subjects and that helped me a lot. I started using Marrow from July 2017. Marrow was a turning point in my PG preparation and I would say my actual prep started from when I joined Marrow. I didn’t go for any classroom sessions as it wasn’t possible for me to dedicate time from my internship for separate classes. I used the test series available online and the Marrow video lectures, to go through the subjects whenever I had free time.
3) Did you think the introduction of negative marking changed the flow of your preparation?
No. It didn’t have a big impact on me. I found the pattern similar to the AIPMT exam I took for joining my MBBS. Though on the day of the exam, it does restrict you from answering questions you’re not comfortable with. But that’s how things are for everybody and it didn’t really matter to me.
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?
I did not have a schedule for my prep and I couldn’t afford to make one either as my internship always kept me occupied. That’s where Marrow helped me, as for a person who cannot dedicate time specifically for prep, Marrow being available to me whenever I had the free time was immensely helpful.
5) On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do would you grade your level of preparation for NEET?
I would give myself a score of 5 out of 10. I left Ortho and Opthal from preparation and did not go through anaesthesia as well. This had an impact on my score as I wasn’t able to attempt the questions from those subjects.
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 feel I should have revised better. I could not revise during the last month of the exam. I used to solve the subject-wise MCQ’s and go through the notes I made from the Video lessons for subjects like Medicine, Pathology, Micro, Psychiatry and Dermatology. But otherwise I didn’t specifically focus on revision and I think I should have done that to have scored better.
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?
Yeah. I had several such moments. One such incident, I took a grand test in Marrow in which my rank was around 5000. I felt bad then and thought maybe this year isn’t going to go well for me and I should prepare for next year’s NEET. But then when AIIMS ranks were announced I got more confident. It felt discouraging, when the results of Marrow national mock test were announced and I got a rank of 6000. But I knew I was good with my final year subjects and I decided to do my best despite a few shortcomings and continued with my preparation.
8) What would be your advice to students going through such a phase of self-doubt?
I would advise them never to compare with others. Obviously it’s a competitive exam and one can’t help but compare, but during preparation everyone will have their own strategy, there’s no need to compare your level of preparation. At the end of the day, what matters is those 3 hours of exam and your focus and concentration has to be the best then. I personally know so many of my friends who knew their subjects better than I did, but weren’t able to get the ranks that they had wanted. So it’s also how you perform during those 3 hours that ultimately matters and I would recommend people equip themselves for that 3 hours duration by giving a lot of mock tests from any coaching institutes, they are comfortable with.
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?
The subject-wise theory books did not help me much. It was useful when you do it along with your UG preparation for exams. Maybe if I had made proper notes out of it, it’d have been useful but I did not do that. So that first phase of my preparation did not contribute much in terms of scoring for NEET.
10) Did you feel the Marrow app offered you a strategic advantage, as compared to what your prep would have been without the app?
Definitely. I am grateful to the Marrow team for coming up with this concept of video lessons on your phone. There are other videos out there, but I personally think Marrow has an advantage in terms of the quality of the videos and the app, especially when you are planning to dedicate 10 to 12 hours of prep solely from an app, I think Marrow has a clear advantage over the competition.
11) Would you like to point out anything specifically in Marrow’s content that you’d like to highlight for our users?
The daily Pearls were really good and authentic for last minute revision especially the ones from biochemistry, pathology and forensic medicine. And I would ask my juniors to be well versed with the Marrow pearls as these are the must-know subject content.
12) On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend Marrow to your fellow peers and colleagues?
It’s definitely a 10. I have already recommended Marrow to many of my friends. I see a trend where people come from all over the country to Delhi for their PG coaching classes. I have recommended a few of my friends who were considering that to sit at home, join Marrow, see the video lessons, do MCQ’s and prepare from the comfort of their homes.
13) At what time period during preparation would you recommend they start using the materials available at Marrow?
Right from the beginning of their internship. I think one year is enough to go through all the video lectures and MCQ’s in Marrow. So if you are dedicated then one year of preparation from Marrow materials would be sufficient. And do go through the marrow question bank atleast twice especially Biostatistics for Community Medicine , Pathology, Anatomy, Biochemistry, Surgery, Dermatology and Paediatrics and Forensic Medicine.
14) Do you have any other advice or suggestions for students who are currently preparing for NEET?
I would suggest against leaving out any subjects from preparation. I have observed people in general say, its better to not focus much on Medicine and Surgery and focus more on the first year and second year subjects. I would not recommend doing so, as I think Medicine and Surgery is the amalgamation of all the other subjects. You should learn to relate content across subjects. It is a fact that if you understand Medicine, it implies you know the Pathology, Pharmacology and Physiology behind it. I would personally suggest one to be good in their final year subjects as it would help one with the other subjects. All the best!
Marrow wishes Dr.Soma Dey the best wishes for her future endeavours!