The National Testing Agency (NTA) will hold the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2021 for admissions to undergraduate medical and dental courses on August 1. Every year around 15 lakh students appear for the exams while the seats are few thousand. With such fierce competition, a multi-pronged approach is needed to succeed in this exam. The exam has three key subjects, namely, physics, chemistry, and biology.
The key to crack NEET is in working towards attaining balance while aiming for perfection and score maximum marks in the subject that can be mastered well. While hard work is indeed a significant factor, working smart and using smart techniques can also add to making the journey into your desired medical school smooth and successful.
Those with better strategies revolving around effective time management take away the rank. Biology is the most important section of NEET. Let us further get down to know how to score well in the Biology section of this exam and some beneficial tips to assist you in strategizing your move.
1. One needs to identify the chapters that contribute a significant percentage to the exam keeping the study part NCERT-centric, for instance, chapters such as sexual reproduction in flowering plants, human reproduction, the molecular basis of inheritance and biotechnology: principles and processes from class 12 syllabus require greater attention.
From Class 11, lessons including biological classification and Biomolecules must be mastered from NCERT and their focus should not deviate from it. Studying from alternate reference books is also imperative but only after their relevance in context of NEET is taken into account. Questions from human physiology share a giant chunk in the NEET exam and one must thoroughly read and revise all the chapters in this unit. In the last years (2011-2020), nearly 29 questions have been asked from the lesson Neural Control and Coordination.
2. Alongside, the diagrams, labeling, figure legends are a must-do/read/remember especially from chapters like Animal Morphology and Biomolecules. Life cycle of certain organisms such as Plasmodium given in chapter Human Health and Disease should be studied in-depth to answer any in between the lines type of questions. Essential methods to remember these is to use as many approaches as possible for practice using all types of stimuli: mechanical (written practice), visual (underline/highlight) or auditory (listening exercises). These methodologies have proven effective in terms of memory enhancement.
One can create their own memory place particularly for lessons such as Plant Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, using own voice recordings over something as basic as “whats-app” and listening to your own voice again and again, particularly when it comes to memorizing endless list of facts, figures and scientific names. Photocopying the figure parts of NCERT and practicing various labeling and identifying the objects is another technique that yields successful results.
3. Switching from one chapter/concept to another such as Principles of inheritance and variations with Cell cycle & Cell division and at a quick pace is also an important factor during the exam where the mental strength of the candidate is tested. Multi-concept questions are often asked from lessons like Chemical coordination and Integration and Reproductive Health. Integrating all the information, assimilating it and using it to answer the MCQ in least possible time with 100% accuracy contributes majorly to success.
4. One can learn to take calculated risks in biology section through elimination techniques and avoid negative marking as each point matters. There will come a time while attempting the paper where you may be unsure of the answer, take a pause, think, if you aren’t sure, move on, learn to compartmentalize and complete the biology section. You can always revisit after filling the bubbles correctly.
5. Never make the mistake of assuming an answer in biology without reading the complete question and given options entirely as it may appear to be just too simple, there might be a hidden trick which you my overlook. Most mistakes often occur when the candidate does not read the question correctly, hence, going slow can actually help your accuracy, scan the keywords, process in the mind and then mark your answer. For example, look for homophones & spelling such as renin ad rennin: former is part of hormonal regulation while latter is an enzyme.
6. Often many questions /options appear from Biology NCERT exemplar which should be thoroughly done in detail as a step to attain high score in biology. The most recent version of the NCERT should be read by the aspirant and all the updated details are to be essentially learnt.
— Written by Anurag Tiwari. The author is National Academic Director (Medical), Aakash Educational Services Ltd.