The results of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) were declared on Monday and Keerthana topped the medical entrance examination from Tamil Nadu. The Chennai girl secured All India Rank (AIR) 12 by scoring 676 marks out of 720. Keerthana secured one of the top ranks with a 99.99 percentile. While Keerthana secured an overall AIR 12, she stood third among all the female candidates. An aspiring doctor, Keerthana said, “At school, I read the CBSE Curriculum. The Biology lessons are the most important. I often read it so that I don’t forget them.”
In this exclusive interview, Keerthana shares details about her preparation strategy, the driving force behind her dream and other essential aspects which helped her ace the exam.
Q: Congratulations Keerthana on being AIR 12 in NEET 2018. How are you feeling after this achievement?
A: I feel extremely happy and elated. The result was truly more than what I had expected and that is very gratifying.
Q: Tell us a little about your family and how they supported you in this success?
A: My family has been extremely supportive at every stage of my preparation. My parents have been a great source of motivation and I could always talk to them when I was feeling down.
Q: What motivated you to pursue Medicine as your career?
A: I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of being able to save people. My parents are both doctors and I have seen how doctors can contribute to society. I wanted to be a part of this noble community.
Q: Tell us about your preparation routine for NEET-18? How much time did you put for coaching vis a vis self-study?
A: I did not have a subject wise daily schedule. Rather, I had chapter wise and concept wise time allocations. I used to attend coaching regularly and spent 1-2 hours other than coaching every day.
Q: Your schedule would have been quite hectic during preparations. What did you do to keep yourself refreshed?
A: I used to take a lot of breaks while studying. Listening to music and sketching helped me cope with any stress that I faced.
Q: Among all the three subjects, which was the easiest and toughest subject for you?
A: I felt physics was very conceptual and easy to grasp. On the other hand, I felt biology was tedious just because it was volatile and you had to keep revising.
Q: Where do you see yourself in the next five years down the line in the medical career?
A: I have my eyes set on ophthalmology but I think that’s liable to change in the next five years. That being said, I want to be a doctor who doesn’t just treat patients but is also involved in medical research.
Q: Do you think coaching is necessary for cracking exams like NEET?
A: Coaching helps to augment your preparation. Even if you don’t have access to coaching, you can still clear NEET with focused study. But if you attend coaching, your preparation is more clear cut and comprehensive.
Q: Other fellow aspirants also knew what books and syllabus points were to be prepared. But what according to you ensured success for you?
A: Being thorough with the books at hand, instead of having a diffused idea of a lot of books helped my preparation. One has to be thorough with the basics before going on to higher concepts.
Q: What suggestions would you like to share with the future NEET Aspirants?
A: Start early and keep your spirits high throughout your preparation. Consistent smart work will surely yield good results.