Toppers Tips & Tricks to Crack NEET-PG: Dr. Aleena Andrews, Rank 3, NEET-PG



1) EduLanche: We understand that you cleared the NEET-PG in your very first attempt. This means you would have got just a few months for the preparation. Can you please share with us, what helped you to achieve AIR 3 in the first attempt?

Dr. Aleena Andrews: As this was my first attempt and I had no other option than to prepare during my internship. I could not spend a lot of time for NEET-PG preparation, and I was not expecting to be a topper. I just tried to make use of the time available and I think rather than the total hours we put in, how effectively one utilises the time is more important.

What has also helped me is having a foundation from the UG period especially in the basic sciences. Thus, in my opinion, preparation for NEET-PG should start at least 10 months prior and this may vary depending on the effort you have put in UG period.

2) EduLanche: How did you prepare for NEET-PG - solving previous question papers or studying subject-wise books with MCQs?

Dr. Aleena Andrews: Just doing MCQs alone won’t be good enough. Familiarizing with the MCQ pattern and finding out high-yield topics and then going back to the subject theory from standard textbooks would be a good option for those preparing for entrance exams. A good base in theory will help you in cracking the not-so-familiar questions.

3) EduLanche: Did you attend coaching classes? How useful were they? Do you think cracking the exams is possible with self-study?

Dr. Aleena Andrews: Competition will improve your sharpness and let you know where you stand among peers. Anxiety level may increase if you do self-study and can affect one’s preparation. Frequent exams held in coaching centre helps you to evaluate yourself and rectify the flaws. I had enrolled in coaching class but due to house surgeoncy postings, I was unable to attend the regular classes. I managed to get the benefit of their crash course and also attempted all tests that were conducted.

5) EduLanche: Did you have a timetable and how well could you follow it in each stage preparation?

Dr. Aleena Andrews: It is always good to have a timetable so that you could keep a track of what you have covered and how much is pending. Ensure that there are frequent revisions.

As I had to prepare during the internship postings, I was never really able to stick to a timetable as such. I read up whenever I got time and ensured I had frequent revisions too. If coming up with a timetable is difficult just go with the schedule which the coaching class that you have enrolled puts up, in which way you could just go through (may not be in depth) at least superficially the important topics in each subject.

6) EduLanche: Did you use UG textbooks/reference books for of any subject(s)? 

i. What was your approach to Park for PSM?

Dr. Aleena Andrews: A good number of questions are from PSM. So I had read Park and did the MCQs based on the same.

One of the approaches to PSM could be reading up the MCQs to get an idea of the important topics and the pattern of questions. With that in mind refer to those important topics in Park so that you get an extra edge if at all new questions are asked. If you have learned the basics during the UG days, it would be like brushing up your memory. Personally, I don't feel one gets the time to cover the entire Park during the limited preparation time.

ii. What was your approach to Harrison's Manual of Internal Medicine?

Dr. Aleena Andrews: It is not really possible to cover the entire Harrison during the preparatory phase. It is always good to refer high-yield topics from Harrison. For example, some of the topics are favorites of examiners-Rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, infective endocarditis, MEN syndrome etc. The list goes on. Surely when one starts preparing, he or she will get an idea on such topics after working out the MCQs given in the NEET-PG books.

7) EduLanche: Did you prepare lecture based notes and textbook based notes? If yes, how helpful were they?

Dr. Aleena Andrews: When I felt some topics are very important at the same time volatile I made some points from the text, so that I could go through those few days prior to the exam. It actually saves the time spent on picking up the topics to read and going through the whole material to find out the important points.

8) EduLanche: The new pattern of examination contains image based questions on ECG's, CT scans, USGs, instruments, histology etc. Did you specifically prepare for tackling them?

Dr. Aleena Andrews: I had gone through pictures given in the textbook for the corresponding subject as and when I got time. There are online tests as well.  Going through some of them will give you an idea regarding the exam pattern.

9) EduLanche: How important is the revision? How frequently did you revise during the preparation?

Dr. Aleena Andrews: Revision is the key to a fruitful preparation. As the list of topics is vast, we need to consolidate what we read by frequent revisions.

10) EduLanche: How many days did you allot strictly for final revision and were you able to go as planned? What was your strategy for the final phase of revision?

Dr. Aleena Andrews: Covering topics in the allotted time may not be possible and time allotted for revision may vary from person to person. I feel, last one month more emphasis should be given for revision than learning new topics. With roughly the 3 months that I got post house surgeoncy, I tried to read the topics that I felt were important and quickly go through the notes. I had attended a crash course and I tried to cover the topics which were covered in the crash course. In this way, I was able to touch upon all the subjects briefly, though not extensively.

11) During the PMT preparation days, doing as many exams as possible was highly recommended. Did you use online question bank or exams for NEET-PG preparation and how did they help in cracking the real exam?

Dr. Aleena Andrews: Yes, I had given online tests.  I think they will help to decrease the fear of giving a test and help you to evaluate yourself and rectify flaws.

12) EduLanche: There are many candidates who spend a lot of time for preparation, but have failed to secure a good rank. When you look back, there will be possible mistakes in the preparation that you were fortunate to avoid. Can you please share them.

Dr. Aleena Andrews: I don't think I am fully qualified to comment on that, but what I feel is stressing upon either too much of MCQs alone or theory alone coupled with the lack of revision can be one of the reasons. Excessive stress can affect one’s performance. I think frequent revisions and trying to stay cool-headed on the day of the exam may help a lot in facing this.

13) EduLanche: Our research shows a large number of candidates are under stress during preparation. Were you under pressure at some point in time? How did you unwind during those days?

Dr. Aleena Andrews: Yes, pressure is a part of PG entrance preparation period. A supportive and understanding family and a group of positive friends will help a lot to diffuse the tension. It is important to believe in your potential.

14) EduLanche: What tip will you give your juniors for the exam day?

Dr. Aleena Andrews: Stay calm and cool-headed and just give your best.

15) EduLanche: How did you plan your time during the exam? How many questions did you attend and what was your rank(s) & score(s)? Were you attempting questions in any particular order or from 1 to 300 in one go?

Dr. Aleena Andrews: 

  • I gave all 300 questions a shot. I went in the serial order one by one. 
  • My score was 1248.5079 and I received AIR 3.

16) What do you think about PREMIUM? Do you have any suggestions for us to improve the same?

Dr. Aleena Andrews: This is a very useful, innovative approach to prepare for the PG entrance exam. It has incorporated all the required methods to present the study material in a convenient and easily accessible form. NEET-PG aspirants can reap the benefits from it.

17) Can you please share some details about your parents?

Dr. Aleena Andrews: My father is a Neurologist. He currently serves as the Head of the Department of Medicine at Govt. Medical College, Thrissur. My mother works in the same hospital as Addl. Prof in the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

18) EduLanche: Which college & course will you be joining?

Dr. Aleena Andrews: MD Radiodiagnosis at Govt. Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala.


  • PREMIUM is the new name for eAccess 
  • Dr. Aleena Andrews was a topper in NEET-PG 2017



Congrts dear....In top 10 in first attempt is awsum!!

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