PrepLadder congratulates Dr. Sabha Ahmed on securing Rank 69 in AIIMS May 2018. We wish her all the best for her career and future ahead.
To find out how she achieved this incredible feat, we spoke to her and tried to understand what it takes to attain such a rank. We would like to share the excerpts from her interview so that we can all learn from his experience and use it to score our mark.
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Hello, please tell us something about yourself.
I'm Sabha Ahmed, have pursued MBBS from Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangalore. I have secured Rank 34 in PGI May 2018 and 69 in May AIIMS 2018.
What do you think is the correct approach to study for AIIMS PG? Only MCQ's or Theory+MCQ's?
It's important to have a strong theory base to crack centrals. A strong foundation can be supplemented by MCQ practice which will help with speed and accuracy of application.
For PGI per se, having an immaculate theory base is of great importance. The exam is a test of your mettle -mental and physical. Hence mock practice and PGI like Mcq practice becomes mandatory
When should the preparation ideally be started?
It's an amalgamation of the entire MBBS curriculum. If someone has given a good read during MBBS, a few months of brushing up will suffice. On the other hand, for someone who hasn't done extensive reading, a minimum of 6-9 months is needed to fill the lacuna and stand at par with the rest of the aspirants.
Please list the books you studied for each subject.
I have primarily been a USMLE aspirant, but I did use a few of the following review books
Anatomy: Langmans embryology Snellen's neuroanatomy
Physiology: BRS physiology
Biochemistry: Lipincott for genetics. Rebecca James is a high yielding read.
Pathology: Dr Sattar's review, Robbin's. For Indian Pg I did review Devesh Mishra
Microbiology: Apurba Sastry
Pharmacology: Katzung and Gobind Rai Garg for MCQ practice.
The rest of the subjects, I didn't review any guides . I re-read the material I had prepared for USMLE. Biostatistics Review of UWorld was helpful.
For PGI specifically, I did the last 4 papers of Manoj Chaudhry.
Have you attempted any PG exam previously? If yes, what were your ranks then and what did you do different this time that lead to your success?
Yes, my previous AIIMS rank was 867. I had attempted around 172 questions. I realized to be in the race you need to attempt atleast 185+ that’s why I attempted 192 questions in this session.
For PGI this was my second attempt. In Nov I had got a rank of 190! I realized the importance of repeats then and managed to do few papers before the May session
How big is the role of practice and revision while preparing for AIIMS PG and how much time should be dedicated for it?
For me, especially this session was more of a long term memory based performance. Due to unforeseen reasons I was unable to revise in the last one month. But, due to my inherent understanding of the concepts I was able to crack it. I always promote conceptual understanding over rote learning and very rightly it has come in use this session. I would also like to add that MCQs should not be weighed in as questions, rather as stems to lateral learning.
Did PrepLadder play a part in your success? If yes,how?
Absolutely. The daily free updates are a boon to any medico preparing for entrance exams.The mock exams are helpful as PrepLadder has the maximum number of aspirants giving the mocks.
The accuracy of the mock results is very impressive. I had secured a rank of 54 in the AIIMS mock exam. That did give me the impetus to appear for the exams despite lagging revision wise.
Did you use a time table/study plan to keep your preparation on track?
Well, I think a time table looks very appealing on paper, but I was never able to stick to it. Instead the motive should be to learn something everyday. That being said, ideally the last one month should consist primarily of revision. If you have spent a good amount of time deciphering the concepts, the last 30 days can be devoted to factual information!
Were you a topper or a mediocre student during MBBS?
I would say an above average candidate. I have failed in the first internal assessment of PSM but did eventually bag the university gold medal for it in the final exam. It's always about the effort you put into learning the gist of the subject.
List the most difficult and easiest subjects for you.
Biochemistry was always a terror starting from 1st year. Pathology, Medicine and Physiology were my favourites.
One mistake that you believe everyone must avoid while preparing for AIIMS or PGI.
Giving too much attention to visuals and learning unheard of syndromes and developments. AIIMS and PGI ARE GOING TO TEST YOUR BASICS . Keep it simple!
What was your exam taking strategy in AIIMS PG and PGI?
I have never had time management issues with AIIMS since it is 200 questions in 3 hours. I finished the paper well ahead of time. I had around 8 questions for review, which I wrapped about 10 minutes before the final ring. I attempted 192 questions. Like I said due to my inability to revise in the last month, a few factual questions I decided on giving a miss.
For PGI, I had enough mock practice from the previous year, so time management which was an issue before was now at bay. I managed to mark around 235 questions with 483 options 25 minutes beforehand. In the last leg I marked 6 more questions and increased my attempt rate to 525-530!
Some last tips for our readers preparing for PG?
Keep it simple, its a rat race but you don't have to be one. Learn the basics of each subject well. Have a good set of notes, revise them well. Do not overthink on the main day, it's natural to feel overwhelmed. Give it your best shot!
We thank Dr. Sabha Ahmed for sharing her success story.
Best Wishes for PG entrance
With Love, Team PrepLadder