How to Study Ophthalmology for NEET-PG / NEXT / INI-CET and FMGE

how to study ophthalmology for neet pg

If you are a NEET-PG aspirant and are trying to figure how to study ophthalmology for NEET-PG, this article will be of help to you. We will also describe a step-by-step schedule to complete ophthalmology in 7 days for NEET-PG.

Ophthalmology is one of the “DIRECT” subjects for NEET-PG, meaning most questions are straight forward and direct. There are not many cryptic and twisted questions in ophthalmology. The number of controversial questions in ophthalmology are also very few. This makes ophthalmology a HIGH SCORING subject for NEET-PG.

If you study a ophthalmogy review book well once, solve the Q-Bank of 1200+ questions and revise it all once, you have a realistic chance of scoring 100% in ophthalmology MCQs in NEET-PG.

10-15 MCQs ophthalmology MCQs will appear in NEET and you will be able to answer all of them with one “study and solve”. Those are great odds.
(Subjectwise distribution for NEET-PG is detailed in this article here)

And to complete the whole syllabus of ophthalmology for NEET-PG, 7-8 full days should be enough. This is the reason Ophthalmology is considered a high-yield subject for NEET.

Read on to find out how to score a 100% in ophthalmology in NEET-PG.

Step 1 – Make a study plan :

How many days should you devote to ophthalmology preparation?

8 days of ophthalmology preparation is the ideal duration.

Study for 8 days using this action plan that we describe below and you will be better prepared in ophthalmology than a vast majority of your competition.

After these 8 days, even if you spend <5 mins daily practising 5-10 MCQs, you will be able to revise ophthalmology much faster and efficiently.

Even one day of revision in the last month before NEET-PG, will hold you in good stead!

Total days for Ophthalmology preparation

= 8 days for first reading +
<5 mins daily +
1 day for Revising

10 days for 10 / 10 in ophthalmology !!

10 days for 10 / 10 in ophthalmology !!

Step 2- Decide your book

Which books to read for ophthalmology preparation for NEET-PG ?

Currently there are three review books in ophthalmology available in the market.

(Do note that some of these links are affiliate links. As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases, at no extra cost to you.)

(Click on the image to check it on Amazon)

SOCH: Simplified Ophthalmology Conceptual Handbook

Now, I think that Utsav Bansal’s review book has the most comprehensive review and detailed explanations, but for several topics, a lot of unnecessary facts and information has been added. Some of that information is not within the scope of PG exams and beyond the level of MBBS students. Also, several topics that have never been asked in 25 years of PG exams, do find place in this book. I personally prefer Sudha Seetharam’s book as it is much easier to read and revise from.

(Click on the image to check it on Amazon)

Self Assessment & Review Of Ophthalmology by Sutha Seetharam

I personally prefer the balanced approach in Sudha Seetharam’s book, as the explanations are precise and it covers the essential topics adequately. It is a decent review book, in a nutshell, as opposed to Utsav Bansal’s book, which often appears to be trying to be a textbook, instead of a review book.

Review of Ophthalmology by Ruchi Rai

I would not recommend Ruchi Rai’s book as it is not adequate and does not cover all topics well. Also, the explanations for the answers are very short at times. However, it is the smallest of the three books and much easier and quicker to read. So, if you have time constraints, you could try to complete in 4-5 days.

Also if you are planning to read from a textbook and just want MCQs to practise quickly, this book can be useful.

Self Assessment & Review Of Short Subjects : Physiology & Biochemistry by Arvind Arora

This is another review book in Ophthalmology with a comprehensive question bank with detailed explanation.
But you have the option of books written by specialist ophthalmologists, so why choose a book written by a non-ophthalmologist. (I can’t comprehend how an orthopaedician writes a book on ophthalmology, ENT, radiology, dermatology, psychiatry and every subject out there!!! Mind-boggling! It happens only in India, I guess!

(Click on the image to check it on Amazon)

Kanski’s Clinical Ophthalmology

With the changing pattern of NEET, NEXT and FMGE exams, Clinical vignettes and clinical scenario based questions have become most important. The clinical cases are frequently asked along with clinical images of examination findings and/or investigation reports.

You have to be prepared for Image based questions , especially in subjects like Ophthalmology, dermatology, radiology, orthopaedics.

This is why I recommend that you keep a copy of Kanski along with you when you are preparing ophthalmology. Kanski is a gold standard textbook, famous for the hundreds of clinical images it contains. It has so many good clinical images that it is almost considered a clinical atlas in ophthalmology.

My strategy would be to start your preparation by going through all images in a chapter before reading theory. Example, if you are starting with Cornea, go through Kanski images before starting your theory. Then when you finish reading, revise the images again, or better still, test yourself on the images.

You will be perfect in Image based questions in this way.

Now, if you are an intern, I think its best to borrow this book from the library or from a friend.

If you are a third year student, buy this book, read it, digest it and keep testing yourself on the images.

Step 3 – Executing the plan

Ophthalmology has a Question bank of 1200 MCQs. Solving 200 MCQs a day is easily possible. (How many MCQs should I study for NEET-PG every day?). If you read ‘retrograde’, you can finish the whole question bank in 6 days.

However, as I have outlined earlier, antegrade vs retrograde-which is better ?, you should add a day or two of antegrade preparation before you begin retrograde. Read the introductory text in the beginning of each chapter quickly in one day. This first day you are not trying to learn everything. Your goal is to acquaint yourself with the important topics in the subject and to familiarize yourself with the subject.

Here, in these first one-two days of preparation, you are not trying to learn or memorize. You are only trying to skim through the facts, focussing on bold and italicized points and oft repeated points.

Step 3A : Day 1 –Getting started – Introduction phase

Your first goal is to acquaint yourself to the syllabus, the chapters and sub-topics and the  number of MCQs per chapter and sub-topic. Make a mental note of the most important and high yield chapters and topics. This should take around an hour.

If you want to save an hour of your time, read this article instead where I have broken down the ophnthalmology syllabus into the most important topics and sub-topics for you. (You’re welcome ????)

(Gist of ophthalmology syllabus for NEET-PG)


1. Lens Cataract surgery types – ECCE, SICS, Phaco, Femto
Ectopia lentis is very  important.
Be well-versed with Cataract and related concepts.
Anatomy and Physiology of lens
Complications of cataract surgery
2. CorneaAnatomy and Physiology of Cornea
layers of Cornea
Congenital Anomalies of Cornea
Cornea Degeneration
Corneal dystrophies
3. ConjuctivaConjunctivitis
Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis
Phlyctenular Conjunctivitis
Dry Eye
4. GlaucomaPOAG,
Secondary Glaucoma
Glaucoma Surgeries
Anti-Glaucoma Medications (AGM)
Lens induced glaucoma
5. OrbitBlunt Trauma
Orbit Fracture
Orbit Tumors
6. EyelidsEyelid Surgeries,
Ptosis (Measurement and Causes)
7. Lacrimal Apparatus Epiphora, Dacryocystitis Treatment
8. RetinaCRVO,
Diabetic Retinopathy
Retinitis Pigmentosa
Stargardt Disease
Coats Disease
Ophthalmoscope (DO versus IDO)
9. OpticsTypes of Refractive Errors
Surgeries for refractive errors
Contact Lens
Types of Intraocular lenses
10.  Neuro-OphthalmologyVisual Pathway
Pupillary Reflex
Toxic Amblyopia
Optic Neuritis
Optic Atrophy
11. Community OphthalmologyNBCP
Vision 2020

Step 3B : Day 1 – Skimming Phase

You now are aware of the areas in ophthalmology that are often repeated in NEET-PG. These topics are high-yield and need more attention.

For the next 3-4 hours, your goal is to skim through the pages of the review book.

You are not trying to memorize anything now. You are simply turning the pages and highlighting the “keywords”.

What are keywords ? These are bits of information that are asked as direct one-liners. Basically, keywords are facts and factoids that you absolutely need to know.

NEET-PG one-liners are often direct or indirect sentences that test your knowledge of these keywords.

Example, when you going through the review text in trachoma, words such as FISTO classification, SAFE strategy, HP bodies, Arlt’s line,  Herbert pits will be the keywords you must focus on. These are straightforward MCQs that have been asked countless times.

Your goal in the skimming phase is to highlight these keywords.

This is possibly the easiest thing to do and yet it is the most important task in your preparation.

You should highlight the important keywords, the ones that have been asked in  the past as these are Direct repeats. However, look out for the potential new ones that have not been asked yet, but could be tested.

 Do not try to understand concepts at this stage. Do not even read paragarphs. In the first day, we are only identifying keywords.

In your final revision, you will ideally be revising these keywords again in the last one month before NEET-PG. So your goal is to highlight only the most important keywords.

Remember : This is a review book you are reading, it is not a coloring book !!

This is only a one day plan. No more, no less.

However, this one day will speed up your preparation for the next 7 days, where you actually have to consolidate concepts, understand pathophysiology and disease mechanisms.

Step 3C : Days 2 to 7 – Study and Solve

So after your first day of High yield preparation, you have a solid idea about important topics and you are aware of the keywords in each topic.

Now is the time to build up on your knowledge by reading the complete text in the review book, followed by solving those MCQs and finally reading through the explanations.

Let me repeat it for you – first, read the text, secondly, solve the MCQs and finally, read the explanations.

NOTE : when solving MCQs, mark the questions that you answer correctly with a different marker. These incorrect questions will need to be studied again; I will come to it in a while.

This way when you solve the MCQs, you will be able to test the kowkledge you just acquired and then, when you read the explanations you will be able to revise the knowledge you have acquired.

The idea is that your first reading is immediately followed by a Test and a quick revision.

Every NEET-PG topper will vouch for  the importance of revisions for success in NEET-PG. The best part of this  strategy is the fact that you are able to revise once, immediately after you have acquired new knowledge.

Alternatingly, if you have joined a class (like DAMS) or an online coaching platform (like Marrow or Prepladder), your schedule will be slightly different.

In that case, you will have to devote 2 full days initially, to either attend the offline class or watch all the online videos through the apps. The goal should be to finish watching all the videos as soon as possible.

The rest of the plan is the same as outlined earlier, where you should attempt to solve 200 MCQs and read those explanations.

Step 4 : Revising your newly acquired knowledge

At this stage, you have devoted 7 days for ophthalmology preparation – DAY 1 for getting acquainted to the syllabus by skimming through  and DAYS 2 to 7 for solving the MCQs and reading the explanations.

I highly recommend that before you jump to the next subject, you must spend one more day with Ophthalmology. This is for two reasons :

  1. Consolidate your knowledge – the ideal time for first revision is as soon as you complete your first reading.
  2. Eliminate your weaknesses – When you were solving MCQs, I advised you to mark your incorrect questions with a separate marker, and to read those explanations in details. Now is the time to test these questions again. Now is the time to eliminate those weaknesses forever.

This one day will be worth the time and effort, especially when you are revising the whole syllabus before the exam. You will see that your retention and recall is highly efficient.

Step 5 : Retaining your knowledge

Now that you have revised once, you will feel confident that you have completed Ophthalmology well.

When you are giving grand tests, you will be happy to notice that you are answering most of the questions correctly based on your retention.

It is possible that you are not able to recall some facts and are getting those questions wrong.

This is exactly why I created my telegram group ???? (Why Telegram and not whatsapp?) (Best medical Telegram groups to follow for NEET-PG)

Every day I post 5-10 MCQs as Telegram polls, which you can answer as you go about your day. I post the correct answers after 12-24 hours, so you will be able to assess your mistake(s) if any and correct yourself then and there. I also post high yield snippets (HYS) and image based questions(IBQs) daily. You will also get a community of PG aspirants, and I encourage PG aspirants to discuss controversial MCQs in the group.

If you take 5 minutes to check the updates on the group everyday, you will be able to  revise ophthalmology completely 3 times before NEET-PG and that too, with minimal effort. How, you ask ?

Well, ophthalmology has a Q-bank of 1200 MCQs.. I post 10 MCQs daily, that is 3650+ MCQs in the year. That means, if you solve each MCQ that is posted, you will be able to solve the whole Q-bank 3 times over! Again, you are welcome ????


To summarize, Ophthalmology has 10+ MCQs in NEET-PG.

You can easily score 10/10 by devoting 8 days initially and one day in the last month before NEET, and by answering the 10 MCQs daily.

I recommend a similar approach for all subjects. You can read study tips and tricks for all subjects in this article here.

I hope you found the article with the tips and strategies useful. I can promise you that if you stick to this strategy you will do really well in the PG entrance exams.

Do let me know if you have any queries in the comments below.

Happy Studying,

Hello there! I am Dr PKJ (Pankaj Kamal Jeswani).
I am an ophthalmologist by profession and medical educator by passion. I teach Ophthalmology to medical students, preparing for NEXT, INI-CET and other medical entrance exams. I love mentoring young medical minds and helping them in their medical journeys.
Do check my Ophthalmology preparation group on Telegram.

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