Nikhar Bansal, who comes from a family of doctors in Agra, has scored All India Rank 5 in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2021. He has obtained 715 out of 720 marks in the medical entrance exam and now intends to study MBBS from AIIMS Delhi. His father is a doctor and his brother is studying medicine from Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) in the capital. His elder brother was also one of the top scorers in NEET three years ago, getting AIR 28.
Despite hailing from a family of doctors, the preparation route was different for Nikhar. This year the pandemic had led the National Testing Agency (NTA) to change the exam pattern for NEET 2021. Further, Nikhar’s dream college — AIIMS — used to have a separate entrance exam till two years ago. Now, AIIMS too enrols students via the NEET score. The 18-year-old took these changes as challenges and modified his preparation accordingly.
“Since NEET is a time-restricted exam, I had decided that for optional questions, if I knew the answer to the top question I would not waste time reading the second option,” said the Nikhar, who got only one question wrong in the exam. c “Biology and physics have concepts that one can understand and take on any question, but with chemistry, one has to learn and remember a lot. I found that irritating,” he said.
Nikhar also believes that not having a separate exam for AIIMS entrance worked in his favour as that test used to have “unpredicted questions”. He has been preparing for NEET for about 2.5 years with Aakash Institute, Agra. While Nikhar enrolled in the classroom programme, the preparations moved online due to the pandemic. “In the beginning, I was happy considering there was more time at my disposal, but eventually it started to become monotonous. To keep me motivated I kept on changing the daily routine while maintaining 12 to 15 hours of study every day,” he said.
During the pandemic, Nikhar’s father had to stay at the hospital for some months while serving patients. This, instead of scaring him, had motivated him to take up medicine, said Nikhar. “A lot can be done to improve the condition of doctors in India. However, it is still a rewarding profession as it is helpful to others and has a purpose. I was inspired to see my father work, especially during the pandemic,” he said.
Advising his peers, the soon-to-be doctor said, “NCERT is the key. One does not have to study from too many sources or attempt too many exams. It is primitive though to be thorough with the books one follows and NCERT is the basics. I also referred to national-level exams by Aakash and modules were given to me by my teachers.”
“While preparing, if one thinks about the rank and result, it only derails from the studies. One needs to be in love with the process and with the subjects to be focused for such a long time,” said Nikhar.
Source: News 18