JIPMER MBBS 2019 Topper Interview: Many of us would go ballistic if we topped a national-level exam like JIPMER. But not Arunangshu Bhattacharyya, who has clinched AIR in JIPMER 2019. Success sits lightly on his young shoulders, as he philosophically comments that success in an entrance exam like JIPMER is only mere stepping stones, that will pave the way for achieving something bigger and more fulfilling. Interestingly, Arunangshu has also secured AIR 19 in NEET 2019. A native of Surat, Gujarat, he also holds opinions on candidates who burn midnight oil in last few days leading up to the exam. He says forgoing sleep and rest can create a vicious cycle and is not at all conducive for success. Insead he suggests one must take proper rest, eat healthy and also follow one’s passions.
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Read the full JIPMER MBBS 2019 Topper Interview by Arunangshu Bhattacharyya, and learn what other pearls of wisdom this wonder kid has to offer!
Careers360: Congratulations on being ranked AIR 1 in JIPMER 2019! How does it feel, especially so close on the heels of you being ranked AIR 19 in NEET 2019?
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Arunangshu: It feels really great and was quite unexpected too for me. I got to know about the news from my teacher at ALLEN who called me while we were in the cab. The results of International Biology Olympiad (IBO) were declared that day itself and I was really excited about getting to represent India at the international level in Szeged, Hungary, so the news about JIPMER left me completely spell bounded and enthralled.
Careers360: Were you expecting to be ranked number one? And what was the reaction at home?
Arunangshu: I had a gut feeling after the exam that I had performed well, but that I would secure rank 1 was completely unexpected. As I mentioned, my parents and I were in the cab trapped in the heavy Mumbai traffic when the news reached us. The moment we were told about it, the boredom associated with traffic got transformed into exhilaration and joy.
Careers360: Which would you rate higher and why - your success in JIPMER or performance in NEET?
Arunangshu: I would rate my success in NEET a notch higher as most of my preparation over the last 2 years were mostly based on NEET so though I did not end up securing top rank in NEET as in JIPMER self-satisfaction was much higher in NEET which matters at the end of the day.
Careers360: What is your total and subject-wise marks?
Arunangshu: In JIPMER, the marks and marks distribution are not directly revealed to the candidate. The number of incorrect answers was shown (20 in my case) and I remember I left 2 questions so my marks can be extrapolated to be 692/800. My percentile was 99.9986761.
Careers360: What motivated you to pursue medicine as a career?
Arunangshu: The sheer scope and mysteries regarding physiology still prevailing about the human body were what arose my fascination with medicine. I have a greater inclination towards research, especially in oncology and stem cell technology which I would love to pursue along with being a regular doctor.
Careers360: Give us a brief description of your background - schooling, family, place of birth, etc.
Arunangshu: I was born in Guwahati, Assam and moved to Surat, Gujarat when I was 3 months old as my parents were already working there. My father Samarjit Bhattacharyya is an electrical engineer and my mother Aparajita Bhattacharyya a chemical engineer and both are in Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). I did my schooling till class 10th at J.H. Ambani Saraswati Vidyamandir, Surat and completed my higher secondary education from DDPS Kota.
Careers360: How did your family support you in your journey?
Arunangshu: I had mentioned in the earlier interview about the extensive emotional support provided by my parents to which I would like to add that the atmosphere in Kota is highly competitive; every week a test is held where students in thousands sit in. There are lots of ups and downs in the entire journey with each up and down getting amplified by adolescence. It is in such times when family support matters a lot, especially in keeping my mind free from selection or rank pressure.
Careers360: You have also appeared in AIIMS? What is the expectation now, considering success in JIMPER and NEET 2019?
Arunangshu: Can’t say for sure, as AIIMS exam is conducted in 4 shifts and a lot depends on who appear with us in our shift. That’s why I have kept my expectations at bare minimum so whether a positive or negative result comes I could accept it and move on.
Careers360: Tell us about your preparation for JIPMER 2019 and how did you balance it with preparations for the Board exam and other medical entrances.
Arunangshu: To be honest, I did not prepare separately for JIPMER and used my knowledge gained during NEET and AIIMS preparations to get by it. The next part of the question is really important as balancing boards and entrance tests is really important. Firstly, boards must not be neglected since day one as even if we try your best just before boards, we can never get marks we really deserve. Secondly, the syllabus of Physics, Chemistry and Biology is the same, the only difference being in the mode of answering and depth of questions. So its my personal opinion that one should not make demarcations while studying a particular chapter into entrance or board related portions but must strive to get the essence of the subject. While practising questions one must think about being board or entrance oriented.
Arunangshu: Did you take any coaching or help? How beneficial did it prove?
Careers360: Yes I did take coaching from Allen Career Institute, Kota. For me, it was really beneficial as it allowed me to get a sense of competition that I would be facing at a national level. Though I feel the entire coaching experience can be quite overwhelming for many students. I had been associated with ALLEN since class 8th which smoothened my transition to Kota life but the same may not be for everyone. I definitely have to say that coaching helps in enhancing one’s creativity in the STEM subjects as the faculty and peer there are of level to conduct discussions which are often not possible in school environment. This in turn may or may not help in the entrance tests but definitely prove to be fruitful in the long run.
Careers360: How much time did you devote in self-study vs. coaching?
Arunangshu: After school, I attended coaching classes for some 5-6 hours where I made it a point to sponge in maximum information. After coming home, I used to revise what was taught in under half an hour and then either practise questions or study some other material. A very important philosophy that I used to stringently follow was that optimisation and smart work always trumped unplanned hard work. That’s why I never compromised on sleep or food and even if I would manage to slip in just 2 hours of study after a hectic day, I would strive to make those couple of hours the most effective ones.
Careers360: What was your strategy on exam day- like time allotment, setting section-wise priority, etc?
Arunangshu: I have talked about my strategies of NEET before. Speaking about JIPMER which has 200 questions which are meant to be attempted within a paltry 150 minutes. This necessitates proper time management. The level of biology is quite higher than those of other entrance exams that’s why proper time must be allotted for it. Chemistry and Physics of JIPMER have been always quite straightforward and a popular saying about JIPMER that went about in Kota was that it asked a disproportionately higher number of questions based on rote learning in Physics and Chemistry but I did not find them to be true on the exam day. Strategies as set in NEET, albeit a bit quicker solving speed is perfect for JIPMER. MAT and English are quite common-sense based for which no prior preparation is needed.
Careers360: How would you rate the section-wise and overall difficulty level of JIMPER 2019? Also, how would difficulty level of JIPMER compare against AIIMS MBBS 2019 and NEET 2019? Arunangshu: The difficulty level of JIPMER is somewhere between NEET and AIIMS with AIIMS being the most difficult. Section wise, biology was the most difficult followed by Physics and Chemistry.
Careers360: How did you tackle your strong and weak areas?
Arunangshu: I believed in never leaving my strong topics while at the same time trying to convert my weak topic into strong ones. This I did by trying to first quell my fears regarding them. For instance, in Physics I had a fear of Wave Optics in spite of it being quite straight forward for many. I overcame it by first extensively solving easy questions of it and gradually shifting to difficult ones thus building up my confidence regarding it.
My general belief was to revise every topic of Biology and of the rote learning portion of chemistry at least once every 10 days. This helped in maintaining command over my subjects.Careers360: What are your hobbies? Did you engage in them during the preparations?
Arunangshu: I am really fond of reading books, especially political non-fiction. Though I could not take my books to Kota, I made it a point to regularly read Indian Express page to page. On Sunday, I would get various newspapers from my friends and used to read their editorials. Politics really fascinates me and I never gave up on it, though definitely controlled myself to not end up wasting too much time.
Careers360: What factors would you attribute this success to?
Arunangshu: In the journey of life, there are several milestones to be made, each of which involve a plethora of different people but the only people who remain constant are our parents. My parents have a big role in this achievement of mine because of their unwavering support and numerous sacrifices they made which often go unnoticed, other times unacknowledged but always persists. My coaching institute also deserve a shout out. One of my teachers there, Dr. Parvez Khan deserves to be mentioned as he supported me throughout my journey in Kota and kept me motivated irrespective of whether I went up or down. My friends at my hostel were also a very crucial reason why I managed to secure a good rank.
Careers360: Any particular college you have in mind for admission?
Arunangshu: If I get AIIMS Delhi, I would definitely choose that. If not, I may go for MAMC or JIPMER.
Careers360: What is your message or advice for future medical aspirants?
Arunangshu: Smart work helps more than hard work. Maintaining good health is really crucial to get good results. It is a common myth among aspirants that night owls who sacrifice their sleep as well as mess up their circadian rhythms end up being ‘successful’. I personally don’t consider ranks in entrance exams as ‘success’ but take them as mere stepping stones on the path to a much larger unimaginable success. So eating healthy food, sleeping well, not taking stress and following one's own likings is as crucial as studying. One might end up a notch or two lower relative to other rankers but in the larger scheme of life one is bound to succeed if he or she keeps a balanced life.
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