NEET is a national exam for students seeking admission to medical colleges in India. It is one of the most significant and difficult exams for medical students and passing it is a mandatory requirement for obtaining a government or private medical seat in India. Last year, the NEET PG exam was attempted by more than 1.7 lakh students while the UG exam was attempted by more than 18 lakh aspirants. Such a high number of applicants demonstrates the intensity of competition around this exam.
In 2023, the NEET PG and NEET UG exams will be held on 5 March and 7 May, respectively. Now that the exam is getting closer, aspirants will need to have a plan in place to perform well and reserve their seats. Given the level of competition, this well-known rigorous exam will call for the best plan to reduce the possibility of losing marks. To this end, mock tests can serve as a crucial approach for figuring out candidates' level of preparation and generating effective preparation strategies for particular areas where the candidates are lacking.
Mock tests, also known as ‘simulation exams’, can benefit both sorts of students, those who are re-attempting and those attempting for the first time. Candidates that are re-attempting can evaluate their performance more accurately, while first-timers can obtain a general notion about marks, preparation, and timing.
Importance of Mock Tests
Mocks are regarded as useful and helpful study tools for preparing for medical admission exams. Students can undertake mocks for the reason of-
Getting familiar with the pattern
The majority of students taking the entrance exam are unfamiliar with the format of the test. Mock tests can make it easier for students to analyze and get familiar with the exam format. Mocks can help to better comprehend the pattern of questions, time allotted, subject-wise weightage, and difficulty level of the exam.
Comprehending strengths and flaws
Attempting mocks will help you to work on subjects whose questions you find challenging. Through mocks, topics that require more preparation and which ones you have already nailed can be determined, increasing your chances of getting a better score.
Time management is the most crucial component of completing NEET or any entrance exam. The time allocated for each question, typically 40 seconds, must be practiced to enhance the capacity for time management and rapid thinking. Additionally, the best way to manage time is to solve simpler problems first and challenging ones later.
Revision helps candidates answer problems more quickly and accurately. When studying independently, students frequently forget to switch between the disciplines, yet when solving mocks, they would be required to switch between the topics from each subject, which will result in better revision. Also, based on mock attempts, a list of one-line statements and phrases can be created to be referred to within the last 15 days.
Managing pre-exam stress and anxiety
Students can better handle exam anxiety and develop their ability to think clearly under pressure by completing mocks in the allocated time.
Some websites provide mock exams that are close replicas of the actual exam, offering candidates a full review of their performance.
The applicants' confidence and aptitude for self-analysis are also considerably increased by experiencing a similar setting and pressure before the final exam.
Clearing doubts in time
Doubts can be marked while taking the mocks to have lecturers answer them right away. This guarantees prompt clarification and a minimal buildup of doubts before the final exam.
Applicants must continually assess their performance and work to minimize the points lost due to erroneous responses. Therefore, at least 15 practice exams and 12 previous year question papers must be attempted before the final exam or three to four practice tests should be taken each week. This will improve accuracy and speed while preparing applicants for a variety of questions with varied degrees of difficulty.
The applicants can also use a variety of NEET-PG preparation tests or practice exams to improve efficiency. Various mocks that candidates can routinely take before the NEET exam include:
Integrated preparation mocks: These tests help to study and get ready for two or more subjects at once.
Full-length mocks: These comprehensive practice exams cover every section of the NEET-PG exam.
Exam-specific practice mocks: They familiarise aspirants with the exam structure and prepare for the most challenging and crucial topics, depending on the type of exam.
Sectional preparation mocks: This test is an effective tool for determining the degree of each section's preparedness. The experts suggest that candidates should take section mocks before looking for full-length mocks.
Mini-preparation mocks: Each subject is covered in detail in the mini-preparation tests. They serve as a useful tool for determining the degree of preparation for each test section.
Topic-specific practice mocks: These mocks can prepare for the trickiest and most crucial themes, give more confidence, and aid in developing a strong grasp of difficult subjects.
The majority of medical students endure anxiety before taking the exam because their entire careers hinge on it. As for the successful applicants, they always do something different from the rest. Taking mocks is one way that helps them to undertake strategic preparation for NEET. However, one must ensure that before taking these mocks, approximately half of the syllabus must be covered. And, post that, a consistent practice of mocks can help aspirants in navigating NEET with ease.
About the author: Dr. Nachiket Bhatia, CEO of DBMCI, is recognised for donning many hats and is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of contemporary e-learning in the medical field. It started when his father established the seeds of DBMCI, which sparked an interest in entrepreneurship in him, a flame that is still powering his leadership. It was his flame of curiosity and determination to give only the highest standard of quality coaching that made DBMCI stand tall and unique in its spectrum today. Along with his enterprising capabilities, he has always endorsed the idea of technology going hand in hand with education and it was his conviction that technology can revolutionise education, that enabled him to transform DBMCI from a 5 Cr. loss-bearing company to a 100 Cr. profitable business.