“Some people dream of accomplishing great things. Others stay awake and make it happen”. Batul Nadeem, a student at Aakash Institute, secured AIR 584 in NEET 2020. Batul appeared for Aakash National Talent Hunt Exam (ANTHE) and joined Aakash Institute to prepare for NEET. Batul is of the view that Aakash changed her life and helped her realize her dream of studying in the best medical college in the country. Let’s read further to find out more about Batul’s journey from ANTHE to NEET 2020.
Hi, I am Batul Nadeem, a former student at Aakash, Vasant Kunj Centre, New Delhi. I have scored 681 in NEET 2020 and my AIR is 584. My journey with Aakash has been very amazing. I joined Aakash in Class X and appeared for the Aakash National Talent Hunt Exam (ANTHE), a scholarship exam at Aakash. I did my research regarding which coaching institute to join for NEET preparation, and everyone including my friends, peers, seniors and teachers advised for Aakash Institute.
My Days at Aakash Institute, Vasant Kunj Centre
I had a great time at Aakash. The classes were very engaging and interactive. Sometimes, when it was difficult to learn a particular order, we would make a mnemonic. Once to remember the order of actinides, we composed a song with lyrics followed with drumming on the tables. We used to make stories for remembering the reduction potential of elements as well. We used to have quizzes which were very competitive and also a great way to summarize what we had learnt.
Preparation at Aakash
We had regular tests and assessments at Aakash. Every alternate week we would have to write tests in addition to the Fortnightly tests, Term exams and the AIATS (All India Aakash Test Series). Apart from the modules, we also had additional Question Banks. Whenever we had doubts or if any concept was unclear, we could easily contact our teachers. The teachers also gave us additional notes when necessary. Studying was made very simple for us. We used to have additional Tuesday Classes at the centre where we would solve high order thinking skills questions and ask doubts. We would even get assignment questions to solve for extra practice.
Managing School Studies with NEET Preparation
It was a little tough at first to manage both school and coaching together but eventually it evens out as in both places we are learning the same thing. In fact, it became much easier to score better in school exams because I was getting better at understanding concepts rather than mugging it up. I focused on my NEET preparation which paid off in school exams as well.
I clearly remember how during the school exams, students would struggle with conceptual and application based questions. But I, on the other hand, wouldn’t find it as difficult as all of it was already covered in the coaching classes. I never missed any tests at Aakash even if there was a test at the school the following day and that made a huge difference in improving my score.
My Study Routine
I had no fixed study routine. I preferred studying in class with the teacher over self-study. So, on a regular basis, I would mainly study the notes and refer to some theory portions in the module. I did the practice questions mostly at school because there was a lot of free time between zero periods and in between classes. There was no fixed number of study hours for me because I studied whenever I got time. During a weekday, I would study for 3-4 hours apart from classes. I also believe, it doesn’t matter how many number of hours you put in, what is more important is to remember what you study. Even if you learn or revise a few concepts in a day and not the entire chapter, it’s all good. If you decide to sit continuously, take frequent small breaks between your study sessions to refresh yourself.
Preparing for NEET
Good conceptual knowledge is a must. Additionally, your basics should be clear as it will help you to understand the topic in an easy and better way. Managing time along with accuracy is the key to success. Many times during the mock exams, in a hurry I used to mark the answers incorrectly even after knowing the correct answers. In order to build my speed as well as accuracy, I solved many sample papers and mock tests. After every mock paper, I used to properly analyze my mistakes and improved upon them. I used to solve these questions again without error.
Apart from that, it is also important that you do not slack off during the last few months as this is the most crucial time to revise the syllabus from the start. Try to cover as much as you can and focus on what you have previously learnt. Do not study new topics as it will take more time and you will lose out on revision.
Impact of COVID 19 Pandemic on my Preparation for NEET 2020
I don’t think the pandemic affected me in any negative way. Throughout the pandemic lockdown my studies never suffered as we were constantly given question papers and had doubt classes online with the teachers and even classes for concept clearance. The teachers would also check our progress regularly. Thorough revision and continuous testing helped me prepare well for NEET 2020. I even saw a boost in score in the last 3-4 months.
A Fact-check on Some Notions that Students have:
Physics is difficult and 180/180 is not possible.
Not at all true. In NEET 180/180 is achievable. It’s all basic understanding and application which is easily covered in regular classes. For NEET Physics one has to ensure that they study theory as well as solve questions. Also, maintaining a cool head while solving questions involving calculations is supremely important as even small mistakes can cost you.
Biology can be studied only 2-3 weeks before the exam.
Absolutely not. The last 2-3 weeks should be only for revision and not learning new stuff or lessons you were supposed to cover earlier. It is important that Biology is given equal time as Physics and Chemistry, if not more. Biology constitutes 50% of the NEET exam paper with 90 marks whereas Physics and Chemistry are 45 marks each. Also it is something that requires constant revision otherwise you are bound to forget important facts. Preparation for Biology or any other subject needs to begin as early as possible to reap maximum benefits.
Tests are the best way of revision.
In a way it is true as you can judge how well you can apply concepts and recall facts. It is also the easiest form of revision when you do not know where to start. However, along with tests you also need to revise from notes and NCERT or any study material you have so that you do not miss out on frequently asked topics.
If I focus on Entrance exams then my Board exams will suffer.
It is completely untrue. I scored decent in NEET and my overall Board score was 97.6 along with 100 marks in Biology. During Boards I had to go a little easy on NEET preparation but that only ended up in helping my NEET preparation. Both NEET as well as Board exams are based on NCERT syllabus. So, basically, preparing for NEET means preparing for Boards as well. The only thing you need to focus more is on learning the theory as questions in Boards are subjective in nature.
NCERT is only important for Biology and not for Physics and Chemistry.
Again not true. NCERT is must for Biology and also important for Physics and Chemistry. Both Physics and Chemistry section in NEET 2020 exam paper were largely based on the NCERT. A thorough reading of the NCERT textbook for at least 5-6 times is a must. Read every line carefully, go through all the solved examples as well as exercise questions at the back of the chapter. Focus on the definitions, important terminologies, relevant data and additional points at the end of the chapter.
Competitive exam preparation is a selfish journey, one should not help others as they might get advantage from it.
Being selfish during this time does more harm than good. I found it easier to remember facts once I had discussed them with someone else. For example, during the last few months of preparation, my friends and I formed a study group to discuss NCERT thoroughly and revise it. Every day we would decide chapters to study and ask each other questions on video call. This way it was as good as reading the chapter thoroughly 4 times. When you share your knowledge with someone else, even they will share some facts in return so it is a mutually beneficial partnership.
1 year is not sufficient for preparation of entrance exams.
That is not true. There is a slight time crunch as more syllabus has to be covered in less time. However, with correct guidance and hard work anything is achievable. One has to ensure that they utilize their time smartly to gain maximum output. For example, they can start revising or studying from high weightage chapters so that a large portion is completed which will relieve some stress.
Authored by: Batul Nadeem