NEET 2017: Aspiring to pursue medicine is just one step in a long path to achieving your goal. When it comes to medical aspirants in India, the first hurdle to accomplish is the National Eligibility cum Entrance Examination (NEET). This examination has witnessed a lot of changes this year and the question of clearing the paper has become all the more difficult.
This exam, conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), requires not just hard work, but also the right technique to clear it. It is essential to ensure that your preparations are headed in the right direction if you wish to crack the paper.
Here are some common mistakes you should avoid while preparing for NEET 2017:
1. Not following time-tables-
Time tables are the most decisive elements while you prepare for NEET. Strictly following time tables will help you get through the revision of the syllabus quickly and evade any last minute panic and anxiety for not knowing or not having the time to revise everything. A good time table you follow helps you leap through the preparation and have a relaxed mind set on the days prior to and during the exam.
2. Hectic schedule-
You may believe that the longer you study, the better you will fare in the exam and the better you will be able to cover all the portions of the syllabus. This is not true. If you follow this technique, it will affect your retention and develop fatigue. To get the best results, it is better to take 5 minute breaks and not let your study schedule affect your daily routine for sleep, food and other human needs. Daily physical activity is also recommended.
3. Ignoring NCERT-
It may be agreed upon the reference books are helpful and study materials from external sources will give you extra insight into some specific topics. However, if you put aside your NCERT textbooks to try and practice from these other sources, you will be blinding yourself to 70 to 80 per cent of the questions that will be asked in the NEET paper.
NCERT provides the base concepts and the solved questions for the majority of the questions for NEET. So, students must ensure that NCERT- based learning should remain their first priority during their preparations and must learn the NCERT concepts and their application in questions rather than merely memorising the case-specific approach.
4. Too many reference books-
After students have understood and covered the NCERT syllabus, they turn to reference books for further guidance. Many, unsure of which to pick, take on multiple reference books leading to a lot of confusion. Different reference books exercise different methods of approach. As these methods can vary dramatically from one reference book to the other, using too many of them can mix-up your concepts and generate confusions in your basic approach strategy. Students must keep their reference books limited to avoid this situation.
5. Ignoring subjects-
What do most students do when there is too much to study and one subject seems irrelevant or too difficult? They ignore it! When it comes to preparing for an examination like NEET, many students feel that they can safely avoid studying one subject if they can prepare all other subject to the best extent— which commonly happens in the case of Physics. They believe they can balance out the missing answers with the subjects they are better at.
This strategy, however, is quite detrimental and results in a performance that is not up to the mark as it reduces the chance of answering simple questions which may appear in the subjects they ignore and may toss them into a territory of difficult questions which they could have avoided. Students must involve all of the subjects in their preparation and allot more time to their weaker subjects so that they can boost their overall performance.
6. Avoiding self-preparation strategies-
Not everyone has the same ability to study. Some students have good analytical skills, some are good with concept retention, while others have other advantageous characteristics. Every student is unique in this regard and identifying the best study method for themselves is a vital part of the preparation process.
When you create your own preparation strategies, it would generate more favourable results and give you a boost of confidence in your own abilities. Think about how and when you are able to retain and understand the topics the best and choose this method to inculcate in your preparation. Avoiding this process will only keep things difficult.
7. Error calculation-
Many students waste huge amounts of time trying to calculate their errors during the examination. This encourages panic and, even if the mistakes are corrected, you will not find the time to cover everything. The best way to avoid this habit is by practicing mock tests by mimicking and exam-like environment and answer all (or most) of the questions before trying to correct or calculate your mistakes. This will help you maintain a relaxed stance and breeze through the exam without anxiety.
8. Rote learning-
Rote learning of topics is only helpful to a small extent to remember some theories better. However, when you only use this technique to learn everything, you miss out on the vital definitions in between the lines. Instead of memorizing everything, try to understand the concepts and learn how things work. This will help you figure out the more complex questions that require thought and knowledge deeper than memory.
9. Deceptive questions-
Exams do not always contain straight-forward questions that tell you exactly what is required in the answers. Questions are sometimes framed in a deceptive format, making students fall prey to them. Read and understand a question carefully before attempting it in the examination.
10. Exam break-
The NEET 2017 examination will be three hours long and each second is vital for the results.Taking a break during exam time can cost you close to 5 minutes which would have been else wise utilised in solving questions. This can cost you more than 5 questions or more than 20 marks in the exam – something which can dramatically change your NEET rank. It is also highly important to reach the exam centre well on time to avoid a last minute rush.
If you follow the above tips carefully and avoid the mistakes mentioned, there is no stopping you from scoring well and achieving your goal.
All the best!
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