It was the summer of 2008 when Ankit Sangwan’s dream to become a doctor was dashed when he got to know that there was no biology teacher for Class XI in his school - Guru Teg Bahadur 3rd Centenary Public School, Mansarowar Garden, Delhi. Nor was the teacher needed because barring Ankit, no one in the class of 40 was keen to study medicine. After repeated persuasive sessions with his peers, Ankit managed to convince four students who formed a “medical group” which gave the school a reason to hire a biology teacher. “I was the school topper and that made my case even stronger. The school helped us in every way it could.
Whether it was about laboratory work or completion of theory syllabus in the classroom, everything was taken care of,” says Ankit.
That was the time, when Ankit’s journey to become a doctor took off. Along with school studies, he enrolled for a medical test preparation academy (Narayana Institute, Janak Puri branch) which also gave him 50 per cent fee waiver, thanks to his brilliant score in class tenth - 92 per cent aggregate.
Ankit’s interest in biology drew him closer to the white robe that a doctor puts on when examining a patient. After school, he used to go for coaching classes every alternate day. After the class when he would reach home at night, he used to revise whatever was taught in the school and class. “It used to take me around two hours to do it. But I regularly did it for two years. If someone studies throughout the year, you can ward off the exam blues,” he adds.
Learning from mistakes
In Class XI, he found himself weak in physics, especially mechanics. “When I reached Class XII, I focused a lot on physics and made it my strength. I devoted half of my time to physics and the rest to both chemistry and biology taken together,” said Ankit.
No wonder he scored the maximum marks (186 out of 200) in physics in entire Delhi region in DUMET, while the second highest, who scored 175, was far behind him.
Another lesson Ankit learnt was the importance of NCERT books. In his quest to read the maximum, he initially ignored the textbooks but not for long. “There are good books in all the subjects such as Dinesh’s objective biology but NCERT should be done thoroughly. If you read only text book, you can definitely qualify, but to make to the top ten, you should read other reference materials too,” advises Ankit.
What is important?
In Physics, mechanics, electrostatics, and modern physics are the important topics. In Chemistry, he advises, one should focus more on coordination chemistry, chemical equilibrium and mole concept. One must give extra attention to biology as the weightage on biology is maximum - 400 out of 800 total marks in the DUMET.
After he finished his syllabi in all subjects, Ankit prepared from the bank of multiple choice questions and previous year’s papers. “There are many books to prepare from. But they are so thick that even if you read them all, you can’t retain all of that,” he says.
So, it’s better to follow the right strategy and he unravels his mantra to us. “One must study the important topics in detail and should access more than one source for that. For other topics, read NCERT and prepare answering the maximum number of multiple choice questions. There are chances that you will remember the answers if you have solved it in a test paper. Having said that, luck also plays a role and you will be lucky if you get the maximum number of questions from what you have studied,” says Ankit.
How much did he study?
Ankit used to study for six to seven hours every day before board exams and he was so regular that he was ready to sit for the entrance exams right after it.
“After board, I worked even harder for entrance exams but unfortunately my CBSE PMT exam got haywire which brought my morale down. All the exams - AIIMS, Delhi pre medical and AFMC were held after CBSE PMT, which took place on May 16. Had I performed well in the CBSE, I would have done better in other exams too,” adds Ankit. As dates of entrance exams drew close, he used to study for 10-12 hours every day.
He doesn’t believe in taking strain, and that is not needed if you are regular in studies.
Now Ankit is waiting for the result of AIIMS entrance, which is expected to be out on July 15. After that, he will decide the college he wants to join — Maulana Azad Medical College or AIIMS.
As told to Vimal Chander Joshi