PrepLadder congratulates Dr. Laboni Sarkar on achieving this unbelievable feat. We wish her all the best for her career and future ahead.
In this exclusive interview with PrepLadder, she shares the plan that worked for her to help you achieve your dream PG seat like she did.
Hello, please tell us something about yourself.
I'm Laboni Sarkar from Medical College, Kolkata. I secured a rank of 10 in AIIMS and 18 in PGI Chandigarh November '16.
What do you think is the correct approach to study for AIIMS PG? Only MCQ's or Theory+MCQ's?
Both are equally important, so a balanced approach is needed.
When should the preparation ideally be started?
As early as possible of course, but I personally started in March this year after my internship ended. A strong foundation will help you especially with the current pattern of exams so do try to be serious about your professional exams and read some key topics from standard textbooks during your mbbs years.
Please list the books you studied for each subject.
I read Devesh Mishra for pathology, Gobind Rai Garg for pharma, Apurba Sastry for micro and Rebecca James for biochem. Notes and mcq's from Arvind Arora volumes for other subjects.
Have you attempted PGMEE previously? If yes, what did you do different this year that lead to your success?
Yes, I appeared for All India during my internship last November but I had zero preparation due to the workload at our college and as I was still considering giving the USMLE; I did not even qualify. Then I just planned out my strategy for each subject and started reading them from the pg entrance point of view, making a schedule so I would have ample time for revisions.
How big is the role of practice and revision while preparing for PGMEE and how much time should be dedicated for it?
It's the most important. Medicine is such a field where you do forget half the things you read if you are not in touch with them. No one wants their hard work to go in vain, and the way to do that is to streamline your reading matter by making notes and revising them repeatedly. I finished my first reading in August and gave around 4-5 revisions after that. MCQ practice is also extremely important - I used to keep at least 1-2 hours every day for it and gave all the mock tests of the DAMS online test series. It's important to keep mixing and correlating subjects so you stay in touch with all 19 of them.
Did PrepLadder play a part in your success? If yes, how?
Yes I used to read the interviews of all the toppers and get inspired by them in my low moments. Extremely helpful!
Did you use a time table/study plan to keep your preparation on track?
Yes that's very important.
Were you a topper or a mediocre student during MBBS?
Somewhere in between.
List the most difficult and easiest subjects for you.
I found surgery and medicine easier. I gave extra focus to whatever topics I was weaker at so that I could bring all subjects to the same level.
One mistake that you believe everyone must avoid while preparing for PGMEE.
Please don't focus on rare or controversial things. Don't read the text from guidebooks that you won't be able to revise and which are not written by subject specialists. Never ever think you won't be able to do it. If you are appearing after your internship, I would not recommend joining a housestaffship unless your prep was already quite good (like 4000/5000 rank during internship.) Time will fly and as this is a competitive exam, the more time you get for revision the better chance you have.
Some last tips for our readers preparing for PGMEE?
Never lose hope. 2-3 days before my AIIMS exam I was convinced I had forgotten everything and would give a disastrous performance. Just tell yourself you have done the best you could and stay calm. All the best!
More topper interviews will follow soon. Keep following this space.