Name: Parool Mishra
Birth Place: Angul, Odisha, India
In which year you qualified NEET?
At which attempt you qualified NEET?
College Name and admission batch
Saheed Laxman Nayak Medical College and Hospital, Koraput, India (Admission Batch: 2020)
Why did you choose this profession?
To be honest, I didn't plan on ever entering this field. In fact, I was ready to become anything but a doctor, thinking that MBBS life must be too hectic with no room for fun and enjoyment. But then, when I was in 10th grade, one of my teachers, who is like a mentor to me, told me that I'd make a good doctor. That ignited a spark in me, and then I really started imagining myself as a doctor, interacting with patients, examining them, and curing them. That has been the driving force in my life ever since.
When did you actually start preparing for NEET?
In 2018, when I was in 11th class.
Did you take any coaching? If yes, do you think coaching is necessary for clearing NEET?
My school had an integrated coaching program for NEET aspirants. So, all the coaching I have had was from the school itself. Do I think coaching is necessary for clearing NEET? NO. Do I think coaching "environment" is necessary for clearing NEET? Definitely yes. The syllabus of NEET is covered during the 11th-12th itself. In my opinion, what we are taught in these 2 years is enough for clearing the exam. Adding to that, there's YouTube! You can learn any subject and clear your doubts on your own through the Internet and YouTube. What one does not get from regular classes at school is a competitive environment. You see, NEET is a fairly easy exam to crack, but the competition is humongous. One has to fight with 2 million others to get a seat in a medical college. If you are not faced with worthy competition in your preparation days, it'll be very difficult for you to handle the competition in the real exam.
How did you balance your school and NEET Preparation? Was it the same or you studied separately for NEET and the school examination?
As I mentioned earlier, I was in an integrated coaching batch. So, we were taught NEET and the boards side by side. Personally, I didn't have a separate strategy for school exams. I applied whatever I learned for NEET in my school exams. From the start, I had set my priorities straight: NEET>>>School exams
What were your sources during preparation for biology, physics, and chemistry?
Physics: Class notes, HC Verma for questions
Chemistry: NCERT, class notes
Biology: NCERT(in bold capitals)
Our school also got us the All India Tests (AITS) of various coaching institutes. So after a portion or unit is completed, we all take that test and get our scores and ranks. As the tests had exactly the same pattern as NEET, we got familiar with the question pattern from the grassroots level.
Solving previous-year questions is an absolute requirement. I must mention that I solved both NEET and JEE (Mains and Advanced) the previous year's questions (PYQ) for physics and chemistry. Solving the JEE questions, especially the advanced ones, helped me build an aptitude for solving.
Are NCERTs sufficient for cracking NEET? What's your opinion on this?
For Chemistry and Biology: A big yes, as long as you accompany that with solving PYQs.
For Physics: I felt NCERT for physics was a bit boring for me. You may want to replace that with whatever notes you have.
What were the major challenges that you faced during preparation, and how did you tackle them?
The 2.5 years during which I prepared for NEET was the lowest point in my life. I had never felt as inadequate and incompetent as I did during that time. I would try so hard, attend all classes, solve all MCQs, and get all my doubts cleared, but still, I was not able to perform up to my own expectations in AITS. I have cried several times during class, trying my best not to be seen by the teacher. Frankly, at that point in time, my life was a cycle of going to school, coming back, studying, solving, sleeping, and repeating. I did not find happiness in anything at all. This went on all through 2018 and 2019.
What I did was that I stayed brave through the entire time, and carried on the hard work.
Is it true that when you prepare for this exam, you have to devote 18 hours a day or something like that? Did you attend family functions or festivals, or were you always studying?
18 hours a day is a bit of an exaggeration, but yes, you have to devote a lot of time to your preparation. I feel the number of hours a day is not a good measure of preparation. The hours vary from person to person. At the end of the day, what matters is whether you were productive today or not.
How did you keep yourself motivated during your entire journey?
The fact that I believed in myself was the sole reason behind my motivation. You have to believe that you can score higher than you already are. You have to believe that you can answer more questions than you already are. You have to believe that you can rectify your mistakes. Trust me, it works wonders.
Did you use technology like social media or your phone during your preparation? How did you prevent yourself from Doomscroling?
I had not made any accounts on any of the social media platforms till then. At times, I wasted some time on YouTube, for which I had to take the extreme measure of disabling the app from the settings lol. I attended some free live classes on YouTube and Unacademy on my mother's phone. In the live chats, I found students, who were scoring 650 or higher. It made me feel good when I answered questions faster than they did.
Nowadays, coaching for NEET has started from 6th or 8th class itself. What is your opinion on this?
*facepalm* In my opinion, this is just a way used by the big coaching institutions to increase their target audience. School students definitely don't need to take coaching from such an early age. Let them learn at their own pace at school, explore all career opportunities and then let them decide in what field they are really interested in.
What do you think is the right time for starting preparation for NEET?
Since the syllabus of NEET is the syllabus of classes 11th and 12th, one can start preparing from the 11th.
Till how many attempts one should give this exam?
I am speaking for myself; I would have quit after two attempts.
As the cost of pursuing an MBBS degree from a private university in India is very high, not everyone can afford it. What do you suggest someone do if they are unable to secure admission in a government college? Should they take a gap year or seek admission abroad for the same course?
Again, speaking for myself, I would have taken a gap year, attempted the exam for the second time, and then planned accordingly.
Your Mantra for success
Consistency, Faith, and Hard work
What advice would you like to give to the NEET aspirants?
1. Be brave champ. You can do this. Have faith in yourself and shoot for the stars.
2. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. You have to stay consistent throughout.
3. Your willpower needs to be strong enough to get through the difficult time.
4. You have to learn from your mistakes. Also, learn to forgive yourself.
5. Quoting my Physics sir, Mr. Asish Singh, "Your preparation should be a vector, not a scalar. The effort that you put in should be in the right direction." I realized this pretty late in my preparation, but it's better late than sorry.
6. Never underestimate yourself. You deserve nothing less than the best. Don't compromise with your dreams.