Dr. Shivani Arora (RxPG Nick: DOCSA), an alumnus of Government Dental College, PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana scored a top rank in highly competitive AIPGE 2006. Like everyone else, we were also curious to know about the secrets of her success in this challenging exam so we sent Archana, one of our staff members, who tracked her down for this interview. While doing this interview, we learned that this talented dentist is not only a top ranker but a creative and vibrant person as well. Read on to know her more.
RxPG: You have got All India Eight rank in AIPGE 2006 (Dental) exam. RxPG
is curious to know about the secret of your success?
Shivani: I would quote hard work, determination and confidence besides luck and
best wishes of the well wishers as the key to this success. I followed a
definite plan for studying which fortunately paid off well.
I started my preparation in my second professional year in a slow but steady
pace and maintained that pace always. Second Ill say I had positive
affirmations that I m going to make it. One of my frequently spoken quotes is
If someone can then why cant I. If you ask only one secret to my success then
Ill give credit to my positive attitude.
RxPG: How would you visualise your success?
Shivani: I consider it as a stepping stone into a much cherished career now. I
find myself in a more favorable state to advocate relevant advances in
RxPG: Who do you attribute your success to?
Shivani: My PARENTS more than my hard work
RxPG: How did your parents, family and friends contribute to your success?
Shivani: My parents, brother and friends were totally into my preparation, they
provided me the supportive environment. I could study without much tension as
they were always there to boost my morale
RxPG: We appreciate the fact that preparing for an extremely competitive exam
must be really challenging. During your preparation, did you ever doubt your
ability to succeed in it?
Shivani: Competing for a meagre 100 seats at times made me feel low. But the
lessons of holy Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta gave me the strength which helped me to
have firm belief in my success.
RxPG: How much time do you think one requires for serious preparation for
Shivani: Ill suggest those still in college to start NOW and maintain the
steady pace. But 6 12 months of honest and extensive preparation is required
and is sufficient and more the time invested better the chances of success.
Though it depends on personal preferences and speed as well
RxPG: Which books did you read for the theory part?
Shivani: I referred all the standard text books. It is so because one book
explains some topics nicely and other topics are beautifully elucidated in other
RxPG: What was your daily timetable during the preparation?
Shivani: I preferred night hours for studying. I never had a fixed schedule. I
always listened to my body. When I got tired I slept and when I felt like
studying I picked up my books. I averaged 8-10 hrs daily for fruitful study. I
never missed the morning newspaper and RxPG/RxBDS.
RxPG: What do you think is the better way of preparation between
selective, intensive study and wide, extensive study?
Shivani: I will recommend SMART WORK. Wide extensive study of selected important
topics and little idea of most of the topics should suffice the need for
RxPG: Did you attend any coaching? Were they useful?
Shivani: I attended AHEAD institute DELHI for 3 months. My medical subjects were
weak so I was definitely benefited; moreover mock tests gave me idea about my
weakness to emphasize further in my preparation. Again its usefulness will vary
from person to person depending on how much confident you are regarding your
RxPG: How important you think is internet in preparation?
Shivani: Internet has got a definite role as vast information, especially the
recent advances is there to be harnessed at a click of mouse but at the same
time books are more important, if you are confident about things given in books
then you can easily attempt 70% questions. Hence internet is a good supplement
to the text in the books and not its replacement.
RxPG: What was your strategy for the exam day?
Shivani: I took exam day on a positive note, woke up early, and had a light
breakfast, dressed myself in lively colours, soothing fragrance, to feel fresh
Yes I will like to mention my strategy for writing the exam.
I calculated the cut-off around 70 75% meant I could have safely left up to 20
% Q un-attempted. So I used a cross to highlight those atypical questions in my
first round of attempting the paper. Then I never bothered to get lured by them
this helped me to keep my self composed during the exam. I just concentrated on
70% question paper. During my preparation days also I was not worried about
those 25-30 Q which are dicey FOR EVERYONE and concentrated on important and
frequently asked topics.
Secondly, 0.25 negative meant even if I risked few questions, every 4th correct
answer would fetch me few valuable marks. So after attempting 70% Q in first
round I risked another 40 questions, expecting the above to help me. And
fortunately it paid off well.
RxPG: What is your overall impression of the AIPGE exam?
Shivani: This exam is well devised to test the skills in and around various
subjects comprehensively but if you are having good understanding of subjects
and well updated, u can get through. Its not limited to the last moment
preparation or the cramming ability. The trends been changing year by year, with
emphasis more on clinically oriented and in depth specialized topics like
radiotherapy, radiology , genetics, molecular biology etc. the paper been
tiresome which tests the tricky nature of common topics. We need to be patient
enough during the paper and target those questions for which we are sure of.
RxPG: Had you not been successful in AIPGE, what would have been your
reaction? Did you have a backup plan?
Shivani: (thinking)... Im a firm believer in success irrespective of time.
Hence failure would not have deterred my convictions
..and I would have strived
hard for the upcoming tests. I would have been successful tomorrow if not today.
RxPG: RxPG website is the largest and most active community website for
medical students. How do you visualise the role of RxPG in moulding the careers
of the medicos?
Shivani: RxPG is the best place and RxPG has a great family of support team and
members. They all provide with the best environment for nurturing the much
required intellect, and the zeal for learning new from the peers. Besides the
much required impetus for the studies the selfless ever helping nature of the
community incited in me these noble qualities and I think its a great platform
for making a good human being and not just an intelligent doctor.
RxPG: When did you join RxPG and how did you come to know about it?
Shivani: I joined RxPG on 12th Oct, 05 I read about RxPG in RxPG Biostatics Buster book by Dr Himanshu Tyagi (Jaypee Publishers)
RxPG: How did RxPG help you in your preparation?
Shivani: The discussions in the forums helped me to have proper insight into
important topics. Clarity of concepts gave me confidence. Regular Mock test
helped me gauge my preparation and marking strategy.
RxPG: What is your opinion about RxPG?
Shivani: RxPG holds an important place in my life. Around September when I was
studying on my own and feeling lonesome, I familiarized with RxPG. The impact
was evident within a fortnight. Besides the tremendous mental support I honed my
intellectual skills here. Appreciation from RxPG_Team and RxBDS family gave me
lots of confidence
RxPG: As we see on RxPG website, most of the doctors and medical students are
somewhat disillusioned by medicine as a career and some seriously think about a
career change. What would you like to say to them?
Shivani: Changing profession is for glitters we perceive in the alternative
choices. But i strongly believe success is not in any profession.. Its in
attitude.. Its in determination its in the person. We may not leave this noble
profession just for the sake of easy money.
RxPG: What is your advice to the future aspirants?
Shivani: Start saying to yourself that you are going to succeed none can stop
you. Dont listen to your peers who de-motivate you. Have a burning yes for your
priorities. Have a definitive plan and act accordingly.
Note: Dr Shivani Arora aka DOCSA also ranked 4th in Haryana PG 2006 and 10th in PGIMER Chandigarh Exams. This was her first attempt at PG entrance exams. When she is not browsing RxPG or having fun in offbeat forum, she reads newspaper, good books and plays with colour and music.
The forum thread for discussing this interview is at http://www.rxpgonline.com/postp217184.html
RxPG site's dental edition is available at RxBDS.com