What to do after NEET-PG

Hello there!
If you appeared for NEET-PG 2020, and suddenly feel existential, not sure what to do with your time and life anymore, you will find this article a godsend.
When I first wrote NEET-PG a few years back, I remember feeling burnt-out during the preparation and as soon as I was done with the exam, I took a complete break from all studying.
I was so wrong. I wish I knew better. Now, in hindsight, I could have done so much better.

I wish I had someone to tell me exactly what to do, and what not to do, especailly after NEET-PG.
This article is to help you maximize your time in these first 1-2 months after NEET-PG, things I wish I would have done, things I think every serious PG aspirant should do. Here’s my two cents.

First things first, NEET-PG 2020 was unexpected and surprisingly different for the vast majority of candidates.
NBE (or Nat Board) took a detour from the usual pattern of One-liners and fact-based MCQs.
Instead, most of the questions were clinic based. The grand-old clinical vignettes, popularized by AIIMS and classically abundant in USMLE, were seen in NEET-PG for the first time.
Is this a good practise from NBE ? Well, for starters, yes. These clinical questions test a candidate’s acumen and are much better than those random one-liners.
But the way NBE keeps changing the exam pattern without any information or notices is unfortunate.

So, while everybody agrees that NEET-PG was different, nobody is confident about how they are going to fare compared to the competition.
This uncertainty and confusion will persist till the results of NEET-PG are declared on 31st January.
For candidates whose ranks lie between 3000 to 10000, the uncertainty will persist even longer, till the counselling season is complete. “Whether you should opt for a clinical seat at a poor college or opt for a non-clinical seat or attempt NEET again”.

I feel uncertainty is the biggest hindrance in preparation.
When you are uncertain, motivation to study long hours becomes difficult.
This article will tell you how to avoid this uncertainty.

1)My first advice to you is to stop thinking about the results.
AND START PREPARING FOR AIIMS.
AIIMS PG entrance will be held in May.
The counselling session will go on till April.
If you are sure to get a seat through NEET, you can stop studying, if you want.
If you do not opt for a seat (in April), and then decide to start studying for the next session of exams, you will already be behind competition.

My point is if you do not study much till April, you are already four months behind competition and throughout the year, you will be playing the ‘chasing game’. Also, you would literally have to ‘start over’, as your old knowledge would have ‘washed out’.
On the other hand, if you keep studying from now onwards, your knowledge and ‘link’ will stay intact.
You will also have a strong chance to crack AIIMS and central institute exams in May session.
I know so many of my friends and juniors who persisted after NEET and successfully cracked AIIMS, PGI, JIPMER.

Note : If you do not want to look so far as MAY, and if neurosciences interest you, aim for NIMHANS which will be held in March. Even if you do not plan to take Neurology, neurosurgery or psychiatry, you should atleast attempt the exam. You will be able to study better when you have a goal in sight. If anything, treat that exam as a Grand test.

2) My second advice is to build a support system, of friends and family members.
This post MBBS preparation is a difficult phase.
Now, after NEET, you will see that most of your colleagues are in no mood to study.
Do not fall in that trap. Do not follow that herd.
Instead, get in touch with 1-2 sincere friends, and get your preparation started. These 1-2 initial months, you can use all the moral support you get.

3) Lastly, this is a perfect time to eliminate your weaknesses.
IN Grand tests and in NEET-PG, you would have realised that there are subjects and topics you are weak in.
Use these 1-2 months to really study these subjects and topics well. The goal should be to make these weak areas your core strengths.

Also, a word of caution. Go slow initially. Slow is good, as long as you go steady. We do not want to burn out now.
We don’t need any of those 16 hour study days. No need to burn that midnight oil at this stage.
Keep it cool, but also stay in touch with your studies. 6-8 hours of efficient studying at this stage is great.
That will leave you with enough time to spend quality time with family, hangout with friends and taking care of your physical health.
Keep a balance. Keep it rolling.
My two cents.
Happy studying! 🙂

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