Wednesday 13 April 2016

MEE and AIPMT/NEET: The ultimate guide.

- Sidharth Sharma.
Pic credits: Flickr.

Walking around the corridors, dressed in a white apron, with a stethoscope dangling around your neck- the idea itself is so fascinating, isn’t it? Every year, lakhs of hopeful aspirants apply for various medical entrance exams, but only a handful of them manage to get through it. Penfreak proudly presents before you an article, dedicated to all the medical aspirants out there. In this article, we shall talk about the various medical entrance exams and tips and strategies to crack these exams. We shall also bring forth to you some real-life success stories. So, let’s get started.

Do I really want to become a doctor?

Before you start preparing for the entrance exams, ask yourself a simple question- “Do I really want to become a doctor?” Medicine is very easy, but only if you are interested in it. It requires a lot of patience and hardwork. So, if you have a keen interest to know about the human body and are interested to serve the mankind, then go for it. A doctor starts earning very late in his life and while your friends, in other professions, start earning in lacs, you might be still studying. If these things don’t bother you, then you are definitely meant for it.

When should I start my preparation?

There is no ideal time to start your preparation. You can start from as early as Class 6, or even after Class 12. The sooner you start, the better it is. Usually, students start their preparation from class 11 itself, as it gives them ample time to master the concepts and solve plenty of questions.

Is coaching absolutely necessary?

There is nothing as such as necessity; it depends on what your requirements are. Coaching centres will provide you with study materials, a good faculty, test series etc, but if you are confident enough to study at home, all by yourself, then you don’t really have to join a coaching centre. Every year, there are thousands of students who manage to crack the exams, without any coaching. So, it depends on what your requirements are.

Understanding the exam pattern:
Before appearing for any exam, it is very important to know the exam pattern. In this article, we shall mainly talk about AIPMT and Assam MEE.

AIPMT (All India Pre-Medical Test) is a national level medical entrance exam conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education. Every year, around 6-7 lakh candidates register for the exam, while 4-5 lakh candidates appear for the same.
Duration- 3 hours
   No. of questions- Biology- 90, Chemistry- 45, Physics- 45
   For each correct answer, you will be awarded 4 marks and for each incorrect answer, you will be deducted 1 mark. Questions left unanswered will not be given any marks.
   Total Marks- 720

Assam MEE (Medical Entrance Examination) is a state-level entrance exam conducted by Dibrugarh University. Every year, around 30,000-40,000 students appear for the same.
   Duration- 2 hours each for Physics, Chemistry and Biology
   No. of questions- Biology- 100, Chemistry- 100, Physics- 100
   For each correct answer, you will be awarded 1 mark. There is no negative marking for incorrect answers.
   Total Marks- 300

Preparation for AIPMT-

The basic preparation strategy for both the entrance exams is almost the same. Get yourself a standard textbook and start studying from it. I would highly recommend all of you to use NCERT books as your basic textbook. In the recent years, there has been a tremendous rise in the number of questions asked from NCERT. In AIPMT, 75-85% of biology questions are usually expected from NCERT. In AIIMS, it is about 85-95%, while in Assam MEE, it is around 60-70%. So, get thorough with your NCERT textbooks. It might be a little boring but it will definitely pay off. After completing a chapter from the NCERT book, you can consult a reference book (any book of your choice provided it has no factual error) for in-depth knowledge or you can go through your coaching notes/materials. If you have any doubt regarding a particular topic, clear it then and there itself. After you have completed studying the theoretical portion, start solving MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) for that chapter/topic. There are thousands of books available in the market for MCQs. You can go through any one of them. 

After completing your syllabus, you should revise your chapters for as many times as possible. The more you revise, the better you retain. You may hear from your friends that a particular topic is less/not important and can be easily skipped. But don’t ever skip any chapter/topic. Entrance exams are not like your board exams; you might get questions even from the least important topic. So, I would recommend you to study each and every topic. Of course, there are certain topics which are highly important, as questions are invariably asked from them and so, you need to be very thorough with those chapters but don’t skip any topic which is of lesser importance. 

I would also advise the students to go for online mock tests/test series, as it will help the students to assess themselves. Appear for these tests sincerely, as these will point out your strengths and weaknesses. If you could not answer a particular question, then go home and find out the answer. These small steps will help you build a strong conceptual base. 

One month before exam- This is the period for final revision. Revise all that you have studied. Go through the previous years’ question papers to get an idea about the type of questions asked in the exam. Do not start any new topic. Take proper care of your health as falling ill during this period might interfere with your performance. 

The day of exam-AIPMT is usually conducted on the first Sunday of May. Keep your admit card and other belongings ready the day before exam. Have proper meal before going to the exam centre. Reach your exam centre well before time. 
AIPMT question paper-
As already mentioned, AIPMT consists of 180 questions: 90- biology, 45- chemistry and 45- physics. Start off with the section which you think is the least time consuming (In my case, it was biology). Try to solve the biology and the chemistry section as early as possible because physics requires a considerable amount of problem-solving, which might consume a lot of time. Be careful in marking your answers on the OMR sheet. Blind guessing is not at all recommended as for every wrong answer, one mark will be deducted. So, be satisfied with whatever you know.

AIPMT cut-off-
Cut-off varies every year. So, try to keep your score above 500, to be on the safer side.

Preparation for Assam MEE-
The initial preparation for Assam MEE is same as that of AIPMT (Read- Preparation for AIPMT).
After your AIPMT exam is over, you will get atleast 10 days for Assam MEE. During this period, go through the previous years’ MEE exam papers. You can buy Assam MEE book, published locally. You won’t get time to solve the entire book, but try to solve as many questions as possible. If you wish, you can revise those topics, which you are not confident of. 

MEE question paper -
The MEE exam is conducted over two days- physics and chemistry paper on the first day and biology and maths paper on the second day. A medical aspirant need not necessarily apply for the maths paper, but he can do so if he doesn't want to take any 'risks'. Each paper consists of 100 questions, to be solved in 2 hours. The physics paper is a bit tough and lengthy but the Chemistry and Biology papers are easy (provided you have prepared well). Try to solve as many questions as possible since there is no negative marking.

MEE cut-off-
The cut-off marks varies every year, so try to score more than 190-200.

CLICK ON THE 'QUOTED LINES' BELOW TO READ REAL-LIFE SUCCESS STORIES- toppers share their experience and give their valuable suggestions. Stay tuned in to Penfreak

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