Shalini Gupta, 19 Aug 2014
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HIS dream became a passion, and he says he wouldn’t have been anything else but a doctor. Meet Lokesh Aggarwal, this year’s AIPMT topper who will be joining AIIMS, and who is deeply inspired by his father, a paediatric surgeon.

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Q. How did you decide on taking up medicine as a career?
A. After my Class 10 exams, I was confused, whether to go for engineering or medicine. I was apprehensive that my friends in IT would be well placed than me. So I asked my dad, “If I put in hard work in medicine, would it be worth it? He cautioned, “Being successful in this profession is a struggle.

There is no guarantee that you would be a successful doctor even after 10 years, it is a continuous struggle.” However, he insisted that I should let my interests decide my course. I have seen my father get up in the middle of the night to do a surgery and I respect him even more, he is my personal role model. Since I have always idolised him, there was no second option, but to study medicine.

Q. What were some of the other exams you sat for?
A. I secured fourth rank in AIIMS,  eighth rank in Manipal Medical entrance exam, second rank in Banaras Hindu University and fourth rank in UP combined Premedical Test.


Q
. Did you take any coaching? How does it help?
A.  Coaching helps us understand new patterns of questions that can be asked in the paper. I took the test series from Aakash Institute during the last three-four months of my preparation.
 
Q. How did you balance your studies for boards and medical entrance? 
A.  Syllabus for board exams and medical entrance is the same, while the pattern in the exam is more subjective in boards, it is objective in entrance exams. My aim was to get 60 percent in the board exams, I was more focused on cracking the entrance.

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Q.How did you study? Did you follow a schedule?
A.  I used to get up at 6 in the morning. 7-12 in the morning was the peak concentration time for me. I think it is very important to set your biological clock to the time of the exam, usually 10-1 in the morning, so that you are mentally alert while giving the exam. I used to go for a walk to relax and take a break

Q. What are the things that an aspirant has to keep in mind? Any tips?
A.  While preparing I focused more on concepts, less on factual points. Study conceptual mechanics in Physics (Class 11) and don’t skip it, since it builds a strong foundation. Biology and Chemistry require more of integrated learning.  My advice to others would be to keep studying. If you have to mug up things, better leave them.

Q. How confident were you of your preparation?
A.  I was overconfident of my preparation and my teachers criticised me for that, but I am thankful to them. I believe overconfidence is like a cage that has to be broken. It is through this metamorphosis that learning can happen, else stagnation sets in.

Q. What was you strategy while giving the exam?
A.  In the first 40-50 minutes, I would try and attempt direct questions which usually comprise 60-70 percent of any paper. Follow this with numericals which are usually indirect and attempt the toughest questions last which require application of concepts. That way you are attacking them from a position of confidence.

Q. What would be your advice to other aspirants?
A.  Be yourself. Don’t feel terrorised by your parent’s expectations, instead pursue your interests and be clear about what you are doing. Each one of us is different; hence we have to devise our own method of studying.

Q. What are your future plans?    
A.  My dream is to become a surgeon with specialisation in a particular area. I believe that if you are a good human being, you can be a good doctor. 

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