The First and the Final Attempt
Let us first come to terms with reality. The MDS entrance exam is the toughest exam we will ever face in our academic lives. This exam is not just a challenge, but a chance for us to prove ourselves and our worth. It is an opportunity of saving a tremendous amount of money and earning an equally incredible amount of respect. But above all the MDS exam is the gateway to better things in life.
A few months ago, as I lay buried neck deep in books I thought, "What chance do I have against the geniuses, the toppers and colleagues who have dropped not one but many years preparing for this exam? 7000-odd intelligent people hardworking enough to have done BDS against my humble first attempt." I don’t claim I was very optimistic. But then something struck me from inside…a feeling that said, “I will not waste one year of my precious life doing this all over again” The thought stuck and I put a note on my study table which said – There’ll be no next time. It’s now or never.
That is the exact sentiment that I wish to discuss and emphasize upon. ‘The First & The Final Attempt’. I do not wish to preach…or consider my self an advisor of any sort. I just hope that maybe what motivated me, could motivate you. I hope that what I share with you will help you look at your preparation from a different angle.
MDS entrance exams are like baking a Cake. In order to prepare a good cake you need:
1. Right ingredients :
Just like a cake requires the exact ingredients, entrance examinations also require the right set of books.
-National Boards : They are the oldest, most reliable and most asked source of questions. The clinical part is especially very important
-Gowri Shankar’s MCQ bank: This book is the bible for exam preparation. Every question, every key fact, every fill in the blank should be memorised by heart.
-Bhatia: This is another good book, though it is an alternative to Boucher.
-Cawson: Though its popularity has decreased, it is always safe to do this book.
-Dental pulse: The latest book in the market comprising of two volumes- Clinical and Basics. This is the most complete book for mds preparation. Contains amazing original subject synopsis which would cover the grey areas and your weak points of various subjects or topics. The MCQ are from most of the past year exams and have been meticulously arranged chapter and topic wise.
-Past year Dental PG papers: Past year MCQs from various exams are a must do. Refer to Dr. Atul Soin’s AHEAD question bank series or Gowri Shankar’s past papers.
-Past year Medical PG papers: This is the most neglected , yet most important section since around 50 - 60 questions in the dental AIPG paper are inserted from the MBBS AIPG paper of the same year , and the MBBS questions are often repeated from their own bank. So you must do MUDIT KHANNA for AIPG and AMIT ASHISH for AIIMS. Last five year papers are absolutely essential. The questions would help you tackle the repeats and the explanation would help you with newly framed questions.
2. Proportion of ingredients:
Different exams require different amounts of preparation. You may have to stress on certain portions or topics for one exam and then change the pattern for some other exam.
3. Time to bake:
You need the exact time and temperature to bake a nice cake. But you should not undercook. Start before hand and plan out so that you have ample time for revisions. But at the same time you should not overcook. Do not stress on one book or topic far too long than required. Maintain a balance between revisions of various MCQs, theory and past papers. Chalk out a time table , and follow it.
“ If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”
4. Serve it while it is still warm:
You must revise what you have studied atleast 15 days before the exam. Human memory is very deceitful. It tends to forget the minute details if the subject matter is not revised regularly. Hence revision is the key to success.
5. Dedication, desire, & hard work:
This is the single most important factor. If u want to see your name in the list, what you need is dedication and hard work, and there are no short cuts. You need to study for atleast 12 - 14 hours a day for atleast 5-6 months before the exam. I know it may sound tough but remember “ When the going gets tough, the tough get going”
These are not absolutes of any kind. Just we have been taught in Orthodontics…that ‘There is no ideal…just individual ideal’ Similarly there is no ideal preparation method. Whatever works for you is what is meant for you. Hope I have been able to help.
Thomas Alva Edison once said “ success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. We all at RxDentistry can take care of the 1%, but the rest 99% has to be done by you. Best of luck. And remember…this is the final attempt.
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