Dr. Chiraag Mandal who in his own words was an above average student, all through his college has achieved the distinction of scoring All India Rank 10 in NEET PG 2018. He would also be mentoring the NEET-PG aspirants on PrepLadder platform. To find out how he achieved this incredible feat, we spoke to the man himself and tried to understand what it takes to attain such a rank.
We would like to share the excerpts from his interview so we can all learn from his experience and use it to score our mark.
Hello, please tell us something about yourself.
I am Dr. Chiraag Mandal, I have graduated from Christian Medical College , Vellore. I scored AIR 10 in NEET PG 2018.
What do you think is the correct approach to study for NEET PG? Only MCQ's or Theory+MCQ's?
According to me, a mixture of Theory and MCQ’s is required to be well prepared for NEET-PG.
When should the preparation ideally be started?
Preparation should be started as early as possible. But it’s never too late to start even if you are left with only 6 months. I have been working in a hospital during my preparation, so I got three days a week to study for 8 months and it paid off. So don't think too much about the time you have for preparation. The trick is to just start, make a schedule and execute the plan to best of your ability without worrying about the outcome.
Please list the books you studied for each subject.
The standard Jaypee publication books for each subject along with Final Edge for image based questions helped me a lot with my preparation.
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, I have attempted PG exams previously in 2017 for practice. That time as I was still working in bond; and I currently still am serving out the rest of my service obligation; and not eligible so that was prior to preparation. Last year, I scored AIR 13000 in NEET PG. But I strongly advice to the future exam takers that even if you are much into your job, don’t hesitate to participate in PG exams as it will familiarize you with the exam pattern.
This year I attempted the November session of AIIMS and JIPMER and secured AIR 118 and 41 respectively.
How big is the role of practice and revision while preparing for NEET PG and how much time should be dedicated for it?
Practice and revision plays a huge role. Practice should be started from day one itself of preparation and at least one revision is required. The more the number of revisions, the better your preparations will be.
Did PrepLadder play a part in your success? If yes,how?
It definitely did play a part in my success. I started doing Prepladder subject and grand tests from day one itself and it helped me continuously benchmark myself.
Did you use a time table/study plan to keep your preparation on track?
I did use a study plan and kept modifying it according to priorities and left out time for preparation.
Were you a topper or a mediocre student during MBBS?
I was not a topper, nor a mediocre, maybe somewhere in between.
List the most difficult and easiest subjects for you.
Most difficult was probably SPM. Don't think I had an easy subject.
One mistake that you believe everyone must avoid while preparing for NEET PG.
One must not wait to start doing mock tests after finishing reading the whole tests. Grand tests should be started from day one even if you don't know anything. Thus, when you are reading the texts simultaneously it helps in identifying what specific topics to stress on.
What was your strategy to tackle negative marking? How many questions did you attempt?
Attempt all questions without hesitation. Probability will always work in your favour if you do the math. The NEET Pg ratio of 4 positive to 1 negative will always give you a positive score even if you attempt everything by chance , think about it.
Some last tips for our readers preparing for PG?
Keep at it. When you get down or feel bored of studying , just do a mock test. That way you never waste any time. The most important resource that we all deal in is time. And that is very important to understand. Understanding the importance of time more than anything else is integral to cracking the NEET PG and the value of every minute can't be more emphasized.
We thank Dr. Chiraag Mandal for sharing his success story and congratulate him for achieving such great results.
If you too would like to share your success story with us, comment below. Because each story is equally important.