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How to prepare effectively for the NEET exam

It is that time of the year when children in India have graduated from school and are looking forward to the next major step in their life and career. Medicine is a most sought-after field and there are thousands of students like you, seeking a seat in a medical/dentistry college.

However, before you attain that coveted seat there is a major hurdle you have to cross – yes, it is the NEET.

Till a few years back, you had to write entrance exams for individual colleges and based on their cut off, you were allotted or denied a seat. This was causing great hardship to many students as often exam dates of different colleges would clash or the waiting time for decision would differ greatly leaving students in limbo and frustration. It was to avoid such hassles that the Government came up with the concept of NEET – the three-hour National Eligibility and Entrance Test for medicine and dentistry colleges, both private and government. It is governed by the NTA (National Testing Agency) and conducted by the CBSE. It is a single national level test for admission to around 90,000 medical and dentistry colleges across the country, making it an extremely challenging exam. The question paper comprises 180 questions divided into four sections: Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology.

Preparing for the NEET requires a lot of hard work, determination, discipline, time management and above all, complete focus. You will be competing with thousands of students from across the length and breadth of the country. However, in spite of such a seemingly Herculean task, a systematic and dedicated approach towards the NEET can guarantee a positive outcome. Intelligent hard work becomes more important than just hard work. We give below a few tips on how to effectively prepare for, and crack, the NEET.

1. First and foremost, spend time on chalking out an extensive study strategy. Find out the complete curriculum properly and go through it fully to get an idea of what you will be tested upon. Some of the topics may be easy for you and some difficult so make a mental note of them. This will help you when you are apportioning time for each chapter.

2. Understand your strengths and weaknesses. Be practical about your ability to study for long hours. Observe how long you are able to focus continuously and slowly try to increase that duration, but for not more than 3 hours at a stretch. Create a specific place for your study and try to study only there. Create an exam-like ambience every time you study. This will allow the brain to stay alert for the whole period.

3. Decide on what books you are going to study from. Do not have too many books around you. Clutter outside you could create clutter inside your brain too. Discuss with your teachers and seniors and choose your books. Read, re-read and revise as many times as possible.

4. Make weekly targets and stick to them. Practice questions in a time bound manner. Try to increase your speed with every successive practice. There are many mock tests and free online exams available. Take advantage of them. Create an exam hall ambience and write these tests.

5. Do not skip any topic. Give equal weightage to each. Pay attention to all diagrams and equations. Picture based questions are common so know your diagrams thoroughly.

6. Be crystal clear on your concepts. Revise the questions given in the books also. Since the questions are all multiple choice based, you must be very strong in the subject and must give attention to even the minute details. You never know where the next question will come from!

7. Learn to eliminate answers. Also, always remember there will be negative markings. So read each question carefully, do not assume its meaning, think before you tick the answer. The questions are rarely direct. They will require you to apply multiple concepts to get at the answer. You will acquire this ability as you practice, so practice is the ultimate key to crack the NEET.

8. Finally, take care of your health. Allow yourselves a beak after every 2-3 hours of study. Do not indulge in the internet or TV. They can suck away your time. Spend as much time with family members as possible. Your strength will come from their support and love. Stay confident and positive and you will easily clear the NEET. There are around 90,000 seats and one of them is surely yours.

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