If you want to know how to crack NEET without coaching, here are 10 points to maximize your chances of success.
You must understand that your preparation controls what you achieve in your life, especially if you target any entrance exam such as NEET. If you are preparing for NEET without coaching because of economic reasons, let me tell you that it has more advantages than disadvantages. The only drawback you have is that you have to arrange for practice questions. It is easy because, at TLBI, you will find an ever-increasing library of practice questions for NEET biology. There are plenty of practice question-banks book out there for other subjects. On the other hand, there are so many advantages on your side, such as-.
- You can set up for a faster pace of study as compared to a coaching.
- You can also set priorities for completing chapters. You can decide which chapters to finish first, followed by which one next. It is important to take care of the sequence in which you study any subject.
- You will save so much of hard earned money.
- It might seem counterintuitive, but by not joining a mediocre “coaching,” you will put yourself under a lot of constructive pressure for success as well as peer pressure. It will keep you motivated for a longer duration.
1. Deadlines are your friend
Because you don’t have a guided system available to you that a coaching sometimes provides, you have to create your own attack plan. A perfect plan for success should always include meeting your deadlines. Therefore, to achieve success in your quest to crack the NEET exam, always set up deadlines for your chapters. Meeting your deadlines are little checkpoints which will work as your milestones for the final exam.
Create your deadlines at three levels
- The first deadline will be at everyday level. What I mean is you will set up the deadline for every day to finish up your planned chapter or a part of it or maybe even a practice question set.
- The second deadline level will be at the week level. The combined result of your daily deadlines will be the target of your weekly deadline.
- Finally, the deadlines set for the month should be composed of a cumulative result of weekly deadlines.
- Ultimately all your deadlines should be achieved at least 2 weeks before your final exam.
Analyze your NEET exam preparation dynamically
At the end of every day, week and month, give some time (about 15min) to analyze if you could achieve the set deadline. If you did, give yourself a pat on the back and feel proud. But if you couldn’t, then take moments to think and find the reason why you couldn’t. When you do that, make sure you take care of it. Remove the disturbances from your niche and increase your effort.
Just make up your mind and...
Anything is Possible
Analyze yourself to set your deadlines
Every person has his/her own ability to grasp concepts and practice questions at their own speed. Therefore it is important to set your deadlines. I strongly advice against following someone else’s deadlines/timetable. For example, person A can complete the digestive system in two days, and on the third day, he or she can finish the practice questions. On the other hand, another person B can do the same thing in a total of two days. Now you have to analyze yourself what is your pace of understanding and practice. You should give yourself one week to analyze your speed of grasping things, and based on that, you should devise your own deadlines. Of course, the deadlines should depend on the topic’s complexity rather than the number of pages a chapter has. At this point, if you think that this is too much work, then imagine how you would perform when you join your graduation program of MBBS, BDS, or BVSc. Working hard without smartness infused in it gives inferior results. A week spent on analyzing yourself is worth saving months of haphazard learning and it may very well be the deciding factor in landing you admission in your preferred graduation program in elite institutes such as AIIMS.
Time Left for NEET Exam 2021 (1st Aug 2021)
The countdown above should give you a sense of urgency and you should maintain this urgency for the amount of time left for NEET exam. Bookmark this page in your browser to come see this countdown whenever you feel lazy or demotivated. If you are preparing for board exams as well, then check out my post on how to study for board exams. Even if you are not preparing for board exams, you will find useful suggestions there, so check that out.
2. How Many Hours Should You Study For NEET Exam
There are times when you might have wondered that how much should you study which is enough to crack NEET exam? If you have not wondered then surely your parents or relatives must have bothered you to study more and more.
Let me explain something which you might have heard before but never really appreciated its importance. The concept is “Optimum Value” of anything. It actually means that too much or too little of anything does not give the best results. Similarly, you should study optimally which means that you should not study for crazy long hours of more than 14 hrs or even less than 3 hrs (undistracted). Keep control of your time spent on non-productive activities especially on your phone. You can make your time table with the help of the deadlines you have set in the previous section.
You need to keep complex topics such as organic chemistry, physical chemistry, physics, human physiology, plant physiology during the time when you are at your maximum productivity. For example, I used to keep 9am to 1pm and 9pm to 1am (total of 8hrs) for things I need to concentrate more and for difficult topics. Rest of the study time during the day was kept for things to memorize.
3. Textbooks for NEET exam
About 90% of questions come from the syllabus covered in NCERT textbooks of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. I have seen students trying to cover syllabus beyond NCERT textbooks, and in the process, they lose their focus from NCERT, which is an inferior strategy and can cause so much damage. Use your logic here – if you focus your 100% on 90% of questions, you can achieve a 90% score theoretically. On the other hand, if you focus 70% (30% focus on things beyond NCERT) on 90% of questions, then you will score 63% plus anything you might catch from things beyond NCERT. Now, compare the two situations, in which case you find your success chances much higher. Of course, in the first one where you gave your full attention to the NCERT syllabus.
The bottom line is that read NCERT textbooks inside out. You need to first understand the concepts, and then you have to remember the concepts. It is easy, right?
You can download pdf soft copies of NCERT textbooks here
- Physics Class XI – Part 1 and Part 2
- Physics Class XII – Part 1 and Part 2
- Chemistry Class XI – Part 1 and Part 2
- Chemistry Class XII – Part 1 and Part 2
- Biology Class XI
- Biology Class XII
Reference textbooks for NEET exam preparations
- Physics– HC Verma, Nootan Physics and Resnick Halliday
- Chemistry – Modern ABC chemistry and Organic Chemistry by Morrison-Boyd
- Biology – TLBI Online YouTube channel (coming soon), Trueman’s Biology and You can always clear your doubts by asking in the comment section of TLBI.online.
4. Give Equal Importance To All Chapters
I have seen so many students and teachers who emphasize preparing for the exam based on chapters’ weightage from the previous years. I don’t think that’s a good idea. You should understand the gravity and importance of this exam. The preparation based on weightage is actually a prediction that can go wrong, and you might end up losing your one year. So, I emphasize you to give equal importance to all the chapters of your syllabus because you cannot (and should not) take the risk simply because there were few more questions from one chapter and lesser from the other. Also, I have seen that if someone gives importance to chapters with higher weightage, they tend to practice questions more of it. Since everyone has a limited amount of time, they entirely skip (by choice or lack of time) the chapters of lesser ‘weightage’. This brings too much risk to an important exam.
With that being said, you can decide which chapters to cover up first. It is a good idea to cover chapters such as human physiology, cell physiology, and chapters which were in your earlier classes of 8th, 9th, and 10th. There is an advantage of doing that because it takes slightly less time and will boost up your confidence quickly. Later on, you can start studying chapters which are fundamentally new to you.
Pro Tip: Always study a complex or boring topic along with an easy and interesting topic. This keeps you motivated to study for longer hours.
5. Practice Questions for NEET
“PRACTICE BEGETS PERFECTION”
Nothing is more critical in any preparation than practicing for the final exam. You might have noticed an old saying in multiple movies, including Gerard Butler’s 300 – “The more you sweat during practice, the more blood you save on the battlefield”.
Similar philosophy applies in all aspects of life. Practicing NEET quizzes for the NEET exam should attract your equal effort as for understanding concepts. You can use a good test series, which you should always supplement by the ever-increasing library of practice questions available on TLBI.online which provide you a exam like simulation.
You should practice at least 200 questions each of Physics, Chemistry and Biology every week once you have completed your 50% syllabus. The questions should cover NCERT questions, questions from last 10 years (buy good previous year question banks), TLBI’s NEET quiz for biology. If money allows, you may join an all India Test series.
6. Develop A Friendly And Competitive Group
There is a saying that says that two people can achieve more together than they achieve working alone. The same is true for your preparation for the NEET exam. However, I’ll strongly recommend not to grow the strength beyond 3; otherwise, it might become a crowd. Now you must be thinking that why to share your knowledge with your competition. Believe me when I tell you that you are gaining more by learning with someone than what you gain by learning alone. You will be able to compare notes, develop a friendly competition, and can always freely discuss. As a small group, you will be competing with the rest of the aspirants, which is somewhere around 15 lacs every year. By doing this, your chances of scoring better than the rest of the population increase dramatically. Now the trick is to find the person who has the same mindset and intellectual level. Once you find the person, try to form a group.
Competition is always good, provided it is constructive and friendly in nature. You should develop and cultivate a friendly competitive environment which will go a long way in your life. Whether you end up becoming a doctor, pharmacist, scientist, or anyone related to science, it is always beneficial to develop a friendly competition. This could be your scores in the upcoming test or quiz. Or attempting a quiz fastest with the highest score. There are so many ways you can develop this competitive environment, which is helpful. However, take care to not indulge in any competition with an ill mentality. Always motivate your peers; it will help you as well.
7. Keep Yourself Motivated
As I have said earlier, motivation and the drive to success is essential for a more extended duration preparation. At times, you might find yourself feeling boring while preparing for Neet, especially when you are preparing for topics you don’t find interesting. For that, you can always sandwich two sessions of a boring topic with a topic you find very interesting. For example, I used to study animal classification followed by a human physiology chapter followed again by an animal classification session. Remember this, even though you might find a topic boring, but as I’d mentioned earlier, you must give your best effort to every topic.
Whenever you find yourself getting demotivated or losing focus, you should take a very short break (10-15 min). Play some music from the TLBI playlist and think about what you will achieve when you crack the NEET exam. Imagine the changes that will bring in your life and the people close to you. Image the pride running through your veins when you wear that white coat and all the responsibility it brings. Imagine all the satisfaction and confidence you will feel if you crack the NEET exam without coaching. Believe me, the moment you realize that you will find yourself reading through your textbooks.
8. Set up a reward system
Your selection in the MBBS program in India’s elite institutes will be a reward in itself to you and everyone around you. Still, our mind works in mysterious ways, and one such way is the reward system.
I suggest you to use this hack for your productive benefit. Find yourself a hobby (watching serials online doesn’t count), a hobby which you love doing. It can be any sports, video game (careful which games are right for you and which are not), listening to loud music, or all-time gold is just a sound nap. Reward yourself with some time (30min-1hr) after doing substantial learning and practice for your NEET exam.
You may set conditions like you will play for 30 min after finishing a chapter or practicing 500 questions. Just make sure not to set easy targets and never bypass the requirements. Otherwise, you will end up spoiling yourself for no achievement at all. If you find yourself cheating with this reward system, then this is not your cup of tea. Do not set up a reward system.
9. Revision is more important than reading for the first time
Have you ever had the feeling after reading a question, “I know the answer for this, but there is some doubt; it is just not coming to my mind”? Believe me, if you have this feeling upon reading a NEET exam question, you are in a dangerous situation. Why? Because you have the confidence that most likely you know the answer, and you are willing to take the risk of answering the question. In reality, if you are wrong, you might end up reducing 5 marks (4 if you had responded correctly, plus 1 because of negative marking). One such attempt will send you behind hundreds in rank, therefore reducing your chances of admission to your target institute. 5-6 such attempts and you will be at the verge of losing an year’s worth of effort and money. Money, because you will be late by one year when you start earning.
Now that we have laid the understanding of the problem, let’s break it down. You might have guessed by now the reason behind it. It is a lack of proper revision. If you read something just once, it goes into your memory, but if you don’t go through it after a while, you will have a faint memory of it. This leads to the development of that hollow confidence. Since you don’t remember all the relevant concepts, the chances are you will take the risk and fall into the trap, therefore, end up scoring -5. Not good.
So, the bottom line is to always include regular revision sessions in your preparations. My suggestion is to modify according to your ability to remember, the topic’s complexity, and your interest in it. You read something for the first time, revise after a week, then again revise after a month. A final revision should be about 2 weeks before the exam.
10. Enjoy Learning
The moment you chose Science as your stream in Class XI, you have joined a life long journey of experimentation followed by learning. And the moment you start enjoying your learning driven by curiosity and supported by strong logic, no one will be able to stop you. Always ask questions. After achieving that mindset, you won’t be needing any coaching to help you with any exam, whether it is NEET, AIIMS, JIPMER, or any other exam you can think of.
Conclusion : How to Crack NEET without coaching
It is possible with some well planned efforts and strategies concluded here-
- Always set deadlines
- Keep yourself motivated at all times
- Do not deviate from NCERT textbooks (download from the link provided in the main text above). Some reference textbooks can be studied from.
- Give equal effort to every chapter of your syllabus.
- If needed, reach out to help and guidance.
- Form a friendly and competitive group.
- Practice lots of good quality questions
- Revise regularly.
- Set up a reward system
- Enjoy learning.
I am here to help you develop that aptitude of logical thinking to achieve the best you can so that you can play a role in India’s scientific development, especially in the fields related to Biology.
All the Best !