Hyderabad: Who doesn't want to be a doctor? Almost everyone. But landing a medical seat is easier said than done. Who knows it better than those who have cracked the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). With lakhs of students taking the exam across the country, it is evidently a difficult task. Differences of one or two marks can bring down the rank steeply.

But it is the tough that gets going when the going gets tough. An inkling of the challenge, the burning of midnight oil, the focus and distraction faced was given by NEET 2021 toppers at a programme organized at the Media Plus auditorium by Scientific Minds Academy the other day. Proper strategy, time management, practice and regular studies are the key to overcoming the challenges. But at the end of the day, the question remains: I could have done better or he did better than anyone could imagine.

Several students shared their experiences and gave tips for clearing India's single largest medical entrance test in one go. "Don't lower your output nor burn yourself out. You are your own rival. Push yourself to do better," suggested Hussain Ahmed who scored 675 out of 720.



For Abdul Mannan (672/720) the NEET journey is not a sprint but a marathon. Effective time management is of utmost importance. "Spend time with your family, friends who are also competing and have good food," he told NEET aspirants.

For Noora Nafees what matters is not the marks but the effort one puts in. All students do not have the same capabilities but everyone has the capacity to improve and get better. "Change your approach to study and revise what you learn one hour every day," she said recalling how she used to study under pressure and couldn't get enough in her head.

Good effort and talent apart, what is most important is passion and determination. Rahmat Fatima, who cracked NEET 2017, surprised everyone when she explained how she overcame the odds. Having lost her father, the challenge of running the household fell on her mother's shoulders. The family's financial position did not permit higher studies for Rahmat Fatima. But seeing her resolve, her mother encouraged her to go for NEET. Luckily the management of Scientific Minds, where she studied, understood her problem and did not insist on money. "But for Sadat sir, I couldn't have cleared NEET," remarked an emotional Rahmat.

She explained how she didn't have a table nor a separate room in her house to study. She dreamed of landing a seat in the Osmania Medical College and had the OMC poster pasted on her almirah. "If you have a strong will nothing can stop you, not even your poor financial position," she said.

Rahmat Fatima, who is now in her MBBS final year at OMC, advised students to come out of their comfort zones and give their all to tackle NEET. "For god's sake don't touch the mobile phone. It is a big devil for your studies," she remarked.

Her colleague, Ashrita, asked the NEET aspirants to put their hearts into what they are studying. She recalled how she spent 16 to 17 hours a day studying. "But balancing life and studies is more important," she added.

Jaleel Ansari, chairman of Vision Trust NRI Forum, KSA, complimented Scientific Minds Academy for putting up a good show. It is a big achievement that 27 of its students out of 55 secured good ranks. He told students not to go for medicine just to fulfill the wishes of their parents. "Don't deceive yourself if you don't have the capabilities," he said.

Dr. M.A Mateen, a radiologist, asked students to focus on what they are doing. Close down all distractions and let your inner self make all the noise. He also suggested out-of-box thinking. He wanted NEET aspirants to approach challenges and problems in new and innovative ways. "Perceive situations differently and search for non-obvious solutions," he told them.

Giving a PowerPoint presentation, Dr. Mateen said high standards of integrity, a clear sense of duty, a service motto, and taking responsibility were important. What makes good doctors? According to him, it is not brilliance but hard work and good character. Asking students to immerse in their studies, he said "Your desk must become the Bermuda triangle by night."

Director of Scientific Minds Academy Syed Sadat said success depended on the performance of students although the credit is given to teachers. The role of teachers and parents is only 20% and the remaining effort has to be put in by students. Students learned by teaching others, he said and gave examples of how senior students at his Academy used to teach others.

Although it was a felicitation programme, it turned out to be a lesson in gratitude. Several students thanked the Scientific Academy director Syed Sadat for proper guidance and encouragement. And on his part, the latter gave credit to the innate spirit of his students.

J.S. Ifthekhar

J.S. Ifthekhar is a senior journalist with nearly four decades of experience. Ifthekhar cut his teeth in journalism at the Indian Express before he moved to The Hindu. He was also associated with the Siasat Daily, Telangana Today, Deccan Chronicle, Onlooker magazine, Newstrack, Detective Digest and a few news agencies. He has written on different subjects and aspects of Hyderabadi life. However, his passion remains literature in general and Urdu poetry in particular. He is equally concerned with culture, heritage, civic affairs and problems confronting the man in the street. As a journalist he has taken up cudgels on behalf of the underprivileged and many of his stories in The Hindu saw the government promptly taking corrective measures. Ifthekhar has authored two books - Hyderabad - The Nawabi City on The Move and Haj - The Spirit Behind it. He has also translated two books from Urdu to English. His third book - Urdu Poets and Writers , Gems of Deccan  - is just released. Loves to write and writes to live. Can't imagine doing anything else.

Next Story