Any high school student who has plans to do medicine or dentistry in India will know of the NEET exams. NEET stands for Nationals Eligibility Entrance Test. It is a requirement for admission into a government or private medical or dental college in India. Students are tested in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics and begin studying from as early as Grade 9. This is an extremely competitive exam and requires immense focus and dedication to crack it, to reserve one of the 90,000 available seats. 

Since these exams are conducted in May, preparations can overlap with the 12th Board exams, making it a challenging and stressful time for students. This is why starting early is important. While many employ coaching services to prepare themselves for NEET, they can be a massive burden. They are time-consuming, stressful, and can be overwhelming. Coaching academies also tend to be quite expensive, so here are three ways to clear NEET without coaching. 

Being disciplined and having a strict schedule

Often, studying too much can lead to burnout. Indian students may not always find the time to address these issues amidst demanding schooling and exam prep. This is why following a timetable can be one of the most important ways of being successful at cracking NEET. It is no secret that such competitive exams require long hours of studying. A timetable helps you optimize your time for studying and also for other activities to balance your day. You can allot certain hours to NEET preparations, a few hours for schoolwork, a little time for hobbies such as a sport, or another fun activity. 

Here are a few benefits of following a routine: 

  • Research has shown that taking breaks between studying can help you retain information better and give your eyes and brain a break. 
  • It can rejuvenate you and aid you to focus, making it less likely to lead you to burnout. 
  • Timetables also help you interact with the information on a more consistent basis. As the saying goes – practice makes perfect! 
  • Having a routine makes it easier to plan, and proper planning prevents poor performance. Planning is vital to doing anything well, so planning how to study, when to study, where to study, etc. requires thought and consideration to make you the most efficient while studying. 

Timetables may not work for everyone, but it is the easiest way to cultivate discipline. However, there are numerous resources online such as youtube videos, self-help blogs, etc. that can inspire you to cultivate a healthy, balanced and efficient study routine.

Making use of the right resources to study 

This aspect is of paramount importance to holistically prepare for the NEET exams. Take the time out to find the right textbooks that cover all topics and do so in a way that you understand. You need to analyze and reflect on how you learn best so you don’t waste time studying in a way that isn’t working for you. 

 There are so many ways online to enhance your learning:

  • Watching videos: If you are a visual learner, many organizations and individuals make videos specifically for the NEET syllabus, question paper patterns, etc. 
  • Blogs and articles: for those who absorb information better through reading, many articles provide creative ways of explaining and dismantling complex topics so you can understand better. 
  • Ways to study: people learn in different ways by creating mind maps, flashcards, or colorful notes. These are some of the many options online to process information in different ways, making learning less monotonous and more fun. 
  • Podcasts/ audio files: if you are short on time, or just an over-achiever, listening to podcasts while doing other activities such as household chores, walking, gymming, etc. can expose you to the syllabus in a different format, especially helpful for students who tend to absorb information better via auditory means. 

Knowing the syllabus and exam like the back of your hand 

Cracking NEET is all about being familiar with everything about the exam – the syllabus, the question paper pattern, the correct wording for the answers, and even your strengths and weaknesses. 

Regarding the syllabus, constant exposure is the only way to familiarise yourself with the topics and concepts. Making notes, revision, and ensuring you understand the topics perfectly is very important. Knowing additional things such as the question paper patterns will help you solve the paper more efficiently. 

Solving past papers regularly will also help you understand the syllabus thoroughly, and get more comfortable with the length and organization of the paper. 

To save time and study productively, knowing the NEET syllabus weightage will help you plan how to split your focus between topics. Chapters that are known to be more prevalent in these exams will need more attention than easier topics or concepts on the syllabus. 

Another way to gain as much information about these exams is to talk to people who have experienced them. They could be teachers who are familiar with the NEET syllabus or friends, cousins, and others who have attempted these exams. It is important to know their experience with writing the exam, even if it is trivial information about the exam venue, the way the exam is conducted, etc. You can never be too prepared, especially for something this crucial and demanding. 

In summation, coaching is not the be-all and end-all of cracking NEET. Contrary to popular belief, with the right approach, these exams can be mastered without shelling out thousands on tuition, expensive coaching academies, and private tutors. With the internet at your disposal, there are many resources available online for free, on various platforms. Whether in the form of audio, video, or reading material, there are endless options available. You just need to know what to look for and where to look for it. Practice, discipline, motivation, and organization are some of the most important traits to possess if you are looking to conquer these exams by yourself. However, it is noteworthy that taking frequent breaks and doing activities apart from constantly studying are also vital to maintaining your mental and physical well-being during this stressful and demanding period. Be careful with risking burnout by studying too much, and make sure to study smart instead of studying hard.