Mridul Sharma secured All India Rank (AIR) 5 in AIIMS MBBS 2016, the most coveted medical entrance exam in India. The meritorious boy from Kota, who aspires to do something different in the field of Medical Science, has secured an MBBS seat at All India Institute Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi.
In a candid chat with Careers360, the victor says that determination, perseverance and passion to achieve his dream are the propelling factors in his journey towards success. Besides these elements, his preparation strategy included analysis of previous years’ question papers, taking mock tests, and revision.
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Excerpts from the interview:
Careers360: Congratulations on your outstanding performance in AIIMS! Are you surprised?
Mridul Sharma: Thank you! Though I was confident about cracking AIIMS, but AIR 5 comes as a surprise for me. The feeling of being one of the top rankers is altogether different. I have been receiving congratulatory messages from umpteen people. I am into a different world.
Careers360: What are the key factors behind your spectacular success in AIIMS MBBS 2016?
Mridul Sharma: I attribute my success to hard work, focus and determination that I have put over the last 2 years. My teachers and parents played a vital role, which helped me in achieving this feat, as guidance in the right direction is necessary for cracking an exam of this level. Though I encountered various highs and lows during my preparation phase, but never let myself bog down. I continued preparing for the exam with the same spirit and excitement that I had initially.
Careers360: What made you choose medicine as a career? How did you start your preparation?
Mridul Sharma: My fascination towards Biology and passion for doing something exceptional in the field of Medical Science drove me to choose medicine as a career. I started preparing seriously for MBBS since I was in class XI. Later on, I joined coaching and started preparing sincerely for MBBS entrance exams.
Careers360: Which field of medicine, would you like to pursue your career in after MBBS?
Mridul Sharma: I would like to pursue higher studies in Neuroscience after completing my MBBS.
Careers360: Did you have any preparation strategy for AIIMS? Would you like to share some of the names of books you have studied from?
Mridul Sharma: Yes, I had a plan in place where the important elements of my preparation for AIIMS included routine studies, revision, and taking regular mock test. I used to religiously devote 8 to 10 hours for my studies daily. While taking mock tests, I would put in some additional hours for preparation. In the process, I also learned to work upon my weak areas, which helped me to a great extent. As AIIMS paper carry reason assertion based questions, it becomes essential to have firm command over concepts in order to solve them. Along with revision, I devoted my time in practising sample papers and taking mock tests to strengthen my exam taking ability.
I would study from NCERT books. Way ahead of AIIMS entrance exam, I had covered all the topics of class 11 and 12 from NCERT books. However, to bring more clarity of concepts and in-depth studies, I would study other reference material like notes from coaching institutes, books from different authors, etc. I found Physics by DD Mukherjee and Chemistry book by Balaji Publishers very helpful. For Biology, NCERT books are really good.
Careers360: On the day of exam, did you have any plan of action in your mind to follow while attempting AIIMS question paper?
Mridul Sharma: I started with the questions which I was sure about. As Physics is my favourite subject, I began with it followed by Biology, Chemistry, General Knowledge and English Comprehension respectively. There was no planned strategy which I had in mind. I kept shifting from one section to another while solving the paper. On the one hand, this way of attempting the paper saved me a lot of time, on the other, I was able to maintain good speed in completing the entire paper.
Careers360: According to you, how was the overall difficulty level of the exam? Which subject was the easiest and the toughest in AIIMS MBBS?
Mridul Sharma: In my view, the overall questions were of moderate level. As Physics is my favourite subject I found it easier than Chemistry and Biology. However, many of my friends found the questions from Physics and Chemistry to be tough as compared to Biology and General Knowledge.
Careers360: Do you think coaching is necessary to crack entrance exams like AIIMS MBBS?
Mridul Sharma: Yes, I think coaching helps us to a greater extent in all preparation related areas. I enrolled myself in coaching so as to get expert guidance on how to prepare for entrance exams. Mock tests and study materials provided by the coaching institute helped me boost my performance level and exam taking strategy gradually, which I feel can’t happen in self-study. Though there are students who crack AIIMS MBBS without classes, but still I would say it helps a lot.
Careers360: Would you like to share a little about your family? How supportive were your family members in your preparation phase?
Mridul Sharma: My father and mother are government employees. My family has been incredibly supportive. My parents provided me all the required support and resources, while motivated me whenever I felt low. Apart from providing me the best education, they have taken care of every comfort of mine at all levels of my preparation.
Careers360: This year, there has been lot of confusion surrounding AIPMT and NEET. Did the ongoing NEET row affect your preparation?
Mridul Sharma: I hardly bothered about it. Though it did distract me intermittently, but could not hold my attention for long and I would bounce back to my preparation quickly. As I longed for top medical colleges for pursuing MBBS, therefore my only focus was AIPMT/NEET, AIIMS and JIPMER.
Careers360: What are your hobbies? How often could you pursue them?
Mridul Sharma: Apart from playing badminton and cricket, my hobbies include listening to music. Listening to music is something which relaxes my mind. Beatles and Morone are my favourite music bands.
Careers360: Would you like to share any message for medical aspirants who will be appearing for the entrance exam next year?
Mridul Sharma: Devise a study plan based on analysing question papers of last 3 years. It will help you in understanding the weightage given to different chapters and topics in actual question paper, thereby helping you in preparing for the exam accordingly. Aspirants must thoroughly cover the entire syllabus without missing NCERT books. Though all are have their own study plan, but consistent hardwork and passion for achieving your dream without getting demotivated is an essential element to crack medical entrance exams.
Stay tuned to medicine.careers360.com for more news and feature related to AIIMS MBBS 2016
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