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By God’s will

Jaiben George, who topped the AIIMS entrance exam last year, accords equal credit to systematic preparation and divine will for his success report Pankaj Mullick

education Updated: Jun 30, 2010 09:18 IST
Pankaj Mullick

When he topped the AIIMS entrance in 2009, Jaiben George couldn’t really say that he was surprised. For one, he had already joined AIIMS before the ranks were revealed. Second, he had already topped the Kerala entrance exam for the medical stream. Thus, the celebrations were more subtle than one would expect.

“Our ranks were published after the admission procedures were over, when I was at AIIMS. Apart from some small treats for my friends here, there weren’t any great celebrations,” says George.

George’s father, V V Georgekutty, provides a clue about how the AIIMS topper was inspired to put in his best. “One of your neighbours, Derrick, had topped the Kerala engineering entrance exam and that, I could say, stoked my son’s efforts to succeed.”

However, it was George’s dedication and belief in the divine that ensured his success. “He was regular in studies and kept a timetable throughout. He was a God-fearing student. Before going to the exam centre he used to go the church to pray. He always believed in doing one’s best and leaving the rest to God,” says Father James Mullassery, principal, Placid Vidya Vihar, George’s school in Chethipuzha, a village in Kerala’s Kottayam district.

Talking about his preparation, George says, “Actually there was no special preparation for AIIMS. I joined a coaching institute after the tenth standard and started preparing for my entrance exams, mainly for the Kerala entrance exam. But since topics for all such medical entrance exams are almost the same, it was not a big problem. I worked out certain previous years’ problems before the exam.”

George joined Brilliant Study Centre Pala, in Kottayam for a two-year course. He says it helped him a lot especially in bringing out his potential. The model exams helped him get acquainted with the entrance exam and took his fear away. The tests also helped him assess his progress, he adds. Incidentally, the same study centre has reported that its students have bagged 17 per cent of the total All India MBBS result this year, the top rank being 21.

Giving some detailed advice on how to approach the medical entrance exams, George says, “It is better to have a regular study habit. Try to understand the subject the first time itself because you may run short of time in the future. Even if you don’t understand a topic, try to clarify your doubts as soon as possible. One should have a thorough knowledge about the various topics in NCERT textbooks, which are important for any entrance exam.”

While this relates specifically on how to deal with the study material, George has some tips to share about the kind of discipline that is required to crack any exam. He says, “Always stay focused and work hard .Also, learn to avoid activities like watching movies, which you can do after exams, as well. Try to spend more time on theory instead of solving questions and try to learn from your mistakes. Read the question thoroughly before attempting because lack concentration even for a moment can change your rank.”

George’s father testifies to his methods of preparation. He says, “Jaiben is very systematic and regular in his studies. He’s always been tension free and on the day of the exam he never looks at his books.”

As told to

Pankaj Mullick

Tips and tricks

Focus on biology questions and don’t get bogged down by physics numericals

. It's a common misconception that Board exams are poles apart from entrance. Boards exams are like mathematics' table while PMT can be compared to
multiplication. Unless you master the tables, you can't ace multiplication.
. Invariably, all students and experts have one important nugget to share. Immediately after the Board exams, one should start studying books of 11th standard.
As you have just prepared for Boards, so topics covered in twelfth standard are more or less prepared. It's the syllabus in 11th standard, which will determine
your selection.
. Never ever join any crash course after Board exams, as it is sheer wastage of time, advise students in Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) and AIIMS.
. If you still want some help, you can join national test series run by academies as they will tell you what your weaknesses are and where exactly do you stand
among students from all across country. "In your class, you might be a topper, but when you compete with medical aspirants from all over, it will tell you what
do you still need to work on to crack the PMT," says Pavneet Kohli, a third year student in MAMC.
. There are two ways to attempt a question. Either you tick the right answer you are sure about. Alternatively, you can resort to the elimination process wherein
you are confident of all three wrong options. The answer which is left out is, undoubtedly, right.
. When neither selection nor elimination process can be followed, don't attempt the question at all even if you have a tinge of doubt. Wrong answers can negate
even the right answers as negative marking is followed in PMT exams. "In most of the cases, it's the negative marking which is the reason of a candidate's
rejection," reasons S K Suri, Managing Director, Sahil Study Circle, a medical coaching institute in Janak Puri, Delhi.
. Don't fret if you aren't able to solve a couple of questions. No one can solve all the questions. Out of 200 questions, even if you manage to solve 160 of them,
your selection is confirmed.
. Try to start the paper from Biology portion as it has the maximum weightage and is theoretical too. In case you start from Physics, you might get caught up in
tricky numerical questions. If it happens, one gets fidgety and rest of the questions also get affected in the process.
. Solve as many mock tests as you can. The more you practise, the better you get. It's not the time to revise the chapters and book again and again.

Physics:

. It's the Physics which decides the candidate's rank. For medical test, all students study Biology and Chemistry, but Physics get marginalised.
. You must learn as many shortcuts as you can. Any candidate can solve the paper in more than three hours, but only those who can solve the paper in time will
get through.
. In Boards, one has to ace the theory but in PMT, numerical questions play a critical part.

Those who don't have mathematics as a subject must give special attention to physics.
. There are some topics in twelfth standard which are similar to the corresponding topics in eleventh like heat and thermodynamics (eleventh class) is similar to
current and electricity (twelfth class). Likewise, waves is similar to wave and optics. It's advisable not to touch upon these eleventh class' topics again, as you
have just studied them in boards.
. Read those eleventh class' topics which were not covered in boards like mechanics and simple harmonic motion.
. Either you solve a numerical or you just leave it, don't keep it to be solved later.
. Read the question very carefully. It's common for student to read equilibrium as unequilibrium. Sometimes, it is required to tick the correct answer while in other
cases, it is the incorrect answer to be ticked.
. While preparing, one must correlate different topics as it improves the understanding.

Chemistry

. Read NCERT thoroughly.
. Give special focus on general organic chemistry and mechanism of action.
. There are chapters, which are generally ignored but being theory based, they are quite scoring. These include Biomolecules, Polymer Coordination Compound
and Transition Elements.
. Don't read one thing again and again. It's time to practise the multiple-choice questions (MCQs).
. Focus on topics, which you have been ignoring for long but are important.
. Don't read entire chapter before you start revising, rather practice and then revise only that topic what you tend to forget.

Biology

. Its weightage is maximum, so one must do it thoroughly and must devote maximum time on it. In PMT, it's suicidal to ignore Biology.
. Pay attention to the topics in Ecology and Biology in Human Welfare.
. Don't waste too much time poring over reference books, rather pick up previous years' papers and do as many MCQs as you can.
. Don't get nervous while attempting Biology questions as most of the questions are content based except Genetics.