Dr. Aditya Soral (RxPG Nick: draditya) scored 3rd rank in highly competetitive All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi's National MD/MS Entrance Exam in May 2006. With this grand success, he became a celebrity in RxPG AIIMS forum. As there were persistent requests by RxPG community members to have his formal interview on the website, our staff member Archana contacted him and managed to extract some of the secrets behind his huge success in this wonderful interview. An alumnus of 2004 batch of SMS Medical College, Jaipur, he came across as an extremely humble and generous person in this interview. His open attitude towards sharing his insights about cracking the (arguably) most difficult PG entrance exam in India clearly exemplifies the RxPG community spirit and core values of mutual help and collective intelligence. Read on...
RxPG: What is the secret of your success in AIIMS exam?
Dr. Aditya Soral: I think the biggest plus point I had in this exam, was,
that I had already scored a rank in AIPGE and Rajasthan entrance. So, I was
absolutely tension free and I think that showed in the way I attempted the
RxPG: How did your parents; family and friends contribute to your
Dr. Aditya Soral: I would grab this opportunity to acknowledge the support I
got from all these people; it was instrumental in my success: Dr. Samridhi Nanda
(my study partner), Mr. M. M. Mehrishi (my grand dad), my parents, my brother
Kartik, my senior Dr. Gaurav Srivastav and my mama and mami. These people,
helped me keep my cool and recover from those bouts of depression (a frequent
thing during preparation)
RxPG: Had you not been successful in AIIMS, what would have been your
reaction? Did you have a backup plan?
Dr. Aditya Soral: In fact, I never really thought I would make it. I had
given up studying after my Rajasthan pre-pg entrance, all I can say is, I was
RxPG: How would you visualize your success?
Dr. Aditya Soral: Hand of god :-)
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?
Dr. Aditya Soral: Always, getting through in these competitive exams needs a
lot of luck, over and above your preparation (of course an essential part)…so
you know; it’s a tough call.
Dr. Aditya Soral
RxPG: How much time do you think one requires for serious preparation
for this examination?
Dr. Aditya Soral: I think it is pretty subjective. It depends a lot on the
way you have studied during MBBS. If you have got your concepts right, I don’t
think it needs a lot of time, the person, Debajyoti (coolmed) has scored rank 34
with just two months of intensive studying. Having said this, I think a year of
regular preparation is more than enough.
RxPG: When did you seriously start preparing for this
Dr. Aditya Soral: I had made AIPGE my target. I started off seriously, in
January last year (2005)
RxPG: Which books did you read for the theory part?
Dr. Aditya Soral: Anatomy (ACROSS), physiology (only questions), biochemistry
(Rana Shinde), Pharmacology (KDT), Pathology (Robbins), Microbiology (Panicker),
Forensic Medicine (ACROSS), Medicine (Harrison’s), Surgery (couldn’t figure out
till the last moment), Orthopedics (Maheshwari), Ophthalmology (none), ENT
(Dhingra), Gynecology (Shaw), Obstetrics (Dutta), Anesthesia (ACROSS), Radiology
(ACROSS), Skin (ACROSS) and Psychiatry (ACROSS).
RxPG: Which books did you read for MCQ revision? Which revision books
were the most productive and which were least?
Dr. Aditya Soral: Mudit Khanna and Amit Ashish; I think were the highest
yielding as far as my preparation was concerned. Salgunan is a brilliant book,
but unfortunately, I picked it up very late. AAA didn’t help me much.
RxPG: How important you think is Internet in preparation?
Dr. Aditya Soral: Not much, in fact for me it was more of a stress
RxPG: What do you think is the better way of preparation between
selective, intensive study and wide, extensive study? What did you choose as
your style of studying?
Dr. Aditya Soral: I think a highly selective and directed study plan is the
key to success. The real idea is to prepare topics rather than entire subjects.
Year after year, a lot of questions are repeated from the same topics, so
mastering these topics certainly gives you the edge. Extensive study, although
prepares you better for exotic questions but my personal opinion is that, it is
a gamble, and remember the stakes are
RxPG: Cramming for Indian PG entrances is often taxing for the brain
and many people struggle with retention of facts. Did you face this problem as
well? If so, how did you deal with it?
Dr. Aditya Soral: I think I will take up research in AIIMS regarding “memory
retention”. It is the most difficult thing to do; it gave me a lot of
nightmares. I cannot advice anything regarding that, I am sorry.
RxPG: Did you attend any coaching? Were they useful?
Dr. Aditya Soral: No, I didn’t attend any coaching classes. I think
self-study is good enough for PG entrance, but I would suggest everybody to take
mock tests. They are very helpful, in the sense that, they help you to develop
the exam taking strategy.
RxPG: What was your daily timetable during the preparation? Why did
you decide on such a timetable? Were you able to stick to the timetable
Dr. Aditya Soral: Although I had made an infinite number of plans, I must
say, they were not followed at all. I would say that for any given plan, even if
you were able to follow 80%, consider it a success.
RxPG: Which subjects did you focus on?
Dr. Aditya Soral: That is where I messed up. I put a lot of stress on
medicine; in fact I did medicine for well over 2 months…shear waste of time. I
personally feel that one should put more stress on smaller subjects rather than
never ending subjects like medicine (I didn’t do it, but it is my
RxPG: What was your strategy for the revision? How many revisions did
Dr. Aditya Soral: i messed it up, I seriously did and it was all because of
aimless studying in the initial 4 months (including 2 months of Harrison’s). In
the end, I was able to revise just the questions and answers (without
RxPG: What was your strategy for the exam day? How many questions did
you attempt and why?
Dr. Aditya Soral: My strategy was pretty simple; I just kept my cool and
“thought” about every question. The reason I highlighted thought is because,
this is exactly what I didn’t do in November AIIMS. I attempted 189 questions. I
think it is always better to attempt on the higher side, because an additional
20 to 30 questions you do, acts as a buffer for negative marking (which is
RxPG: After the exam, you must have checked your answers with
textbooks and the community prepared answer key here at RxPG. What was your
approximate calculated score?
Dr. Aditya Soral: I forgot my paper at Delhi, so couldn’t evaluate.
RxPG: What is your impression of the AIIMS exam? Is it
Dr. Aditya Soral: Ah! The AIIMS paper was fantastic; I think it is always
easier to crack the AIIMS paper as compared to the AIPGE paper. The AIIMS paper
has a lot of concept-based questions, where you can actually think (unlike AIPGE
RxPG: Is the pattern of the examination appropriate? Would you
recommend any improvement?
Dr. Aditya Soral: The only thing I would suggest is, the AIPGE paper should
be made like the AIIMS paper. Although, no paper tests all the skills required
to select the best, the AIIMS paper does more justice to your hard work.
RxPG: What do you want to specialize in, why and where?
Dr. Aditya Soral: Earlier I had planned to take up orthopedics, but now
because I have scored a decent rank, I am pitching for M.Ch. Neurosurgery
(integrated course). The reason being my passion for everything “neural”.
RxPG: RxPG is the largest and most active community website for
medical students. How do you visualize the role of RxPG in molding the careers
of the medicos?
Dr. Aditya Soral: I came across this site during the AIPGE crisis and believe
me; I was completely taken in by the marvelous idea. I think RxPG is
instrumental in developing a sound database of information, which would have
been unthinkable, had this site not been there. Other than that, I think one of
the under stated beauty of the site is, it’s ability to bind the person and bond
him to the others of his own ilk, support is very essential in the formative
years and this is exactly where RxPG strikes.
RxPG: How did RxPG help you in your preparation?
Dr. Aditya Soral: I was unfortunate; I didn’t come across the site during my
RxPG: When did you join RxPG and how did you come to know about
Dr. Aditya Soral: I joined RxPG during the AIPGE crisis; I came to know about
it through my friends who were already members here.
RxPG: What is your opinion about RxPG?
Dr. Aditya Soral: It’s a brilliant site. Thanks a lot guys for such a
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?
Dr. Aditya Soral: Hang on guys, there is nothing better than being a doctor,
RxPG: What is your advice to the future aspirants?
Dr. Aditya Soral: Keep your approach focused, don’t loose your confidence and
you will win.
Note: Dr. Aditya Soral stood 3rd in AIIMS MD/MS entrance exam, May 2006, 468th in AIPGE 2006, 22nd in Rajasthan PrePG 2006. Apart from studies, he likes reading, writing and badminton.
RxPG Interviewer: Archana Desai
If you know of someone whose achievements can be inspiring for medical community in any way, please go ahead and interview that person for RxPG or let us know so that we can put someone on their trail! If you are a ranker (any rank) in any of the medical competitive exam and want to help the medical community by sharing the secrets of your success, please get in touch with us by using the feedback form.
Comments on the above interview can be left in RxPG AIIMS exam forum in this thread http://www.rxpgonline.com/postt52724.html