NEET Preparation in Pune
‘NEET moms WhatsApp group ‘had a trail dialogue one Sunday morning. NEET Preparation in Pune By the time, I caught on to the conversation, there were some 130 odd messages unread. One of them I distinctly remember was – “ CCMA papers are really good, everything comes from there only !!” Oh and this statement was enough to tickle my inquisitive nature. ( As it is we are all vulnerable 6 months before the exams ) So, after really reading the chats to make sense ( not browsing casually with a flick of a finger !) – here I was .. reading all big wig things about this test series in Mumbai and Sangli which was supposed to be a real NEET mocker and the people on that group swearing by them completely. So the next logical step was then to make an inquiry. On the same day, numbers were exchanged and calls made and my son was enrolled …
I would be lying if I used the phrase – ‘to my surprise’ – actually completely contrary –As expected, my 17-year-old high adrenaline high testosterone teenager son retorted like a punch on my face – almost like main yeh shaadi nahi karunga …
Then what follows is a usual story in everyone’s household – bribes were offered and cheesecake was made ( sorry swigged) & then I could get that one half-hearted reluctant nod from him.
So next very day he was writing his first NEET syllabus Mock test from their Test Series, the one highly recommended by one and alls of the limelight Mumbai and modestly genuine Sangli. Academy for medical entrance examinations
To tell you frankly, my job was done there itself. My son getting exposed to one standard test where I get to know his comparative rank amongst the students from outside his current circle.I went on with my usuals, not bothering to meddle any further. One test was over, second one done. And all the routines just continued. I asked him his marks, they weren’t so bad, so I never complained and things went on undisturbed for a week.
Now, what happened after that is what totally surprised me. Probably this is the only reason I felt like penning these memories. I distinctly remember, it was a weekday afternoon, and I received a call from the coordinator of the Test Series, saying that Prabhu Sir wanted to talk to me.
That rang a bell. They were talking about Dr. Abhang Prabhu, a teacher I had interacted 5 years ago when my elder daughter was appearing for MHCET ( that’s another obituary I can write how the exam was aborted just 3 days before it’s birth ). In the meanwhile, I had really not bothered to keep any communication with Sir, which I now of course regret.
And in his usual super time-efficient manner, even without saying a casual hello, he went on talking about my son’s performance in the first two tests. I said to myself, can you pause, do you even breathe?
What followed next and later for remaining 3 months – was totally new to us. In the same call itself, he asked me to sit down with a notebook, (we later named it as a logbook) and write down his scores. By the way, he was all perfect with his homework before he even called me. He knew my son’s scores, his barren areas, and the whole analysis of his present state as far his preparation is concerned.
He rightly pointed out that, Physics, which is a terror for most, was my son’s strength. At the same time, he showed it to me, how under-prepared he was in Biology. Well the discussion didn’t stop there. He said, mind you, all the questions that he had gone wrong in Biology were all from NCERT textbook and he proved that with page numbers and paragraphs from textbook ( almost like a prosecutor). The next thing he said, I must add my son to same call and have a conference call. Now this was tricky. I was in clinic between patients and he was at home. So then he insisted we decide upon a time for a joint call in the evening , which happened as scheduled.
Sir explained to him in the most teen–absorbent manner and rightly pointed out his deficiencies. Sir was brutally honest and told him he was not at all prepared to write full portion tests. He showed him that his data of NCERT BIO was highly inadequate. He also suggested that we begin from scratch. He made a timetable for Biology revision for the next month. He was advised to attempt Unit wise tests of Biology , wherein there would be detailed study rather than a causal overall superficial browse.
And there we were – again back to Living World and learning life spans of parrot and banyan tree. But this time, the study was extremely meticulous, specific and time-bound as there was a rigid timetable of 10 Units in one month . After every Unit Test, mistakes were evaluated. They were categorized as conceptual, silly & inadequate data mistakes.
Here I remember Sir’s words- mistake is not silly, the person making the mistake is. All inadequate Data mistakes were corrected same day, by reading that part of book again and all conceptual doubts were addressed. This went on for a whole month. During this period, phone calls, conference calls, zoom meetings between the three of us were a routine. Such high level of constant interaction built up a tempo which was undistractable.
I too enjoyed every bit of it as I was taught by their team as to how to take take-ups in Biology at the end of every chapter. I was also maintaining the log book of mistakes and monitoring the progress. By the end of the month, when he finished the Unit Papers, he was then offered Biology only Prelims. These were a mixed bag of the whole syllabus, entirely from NCERT textbook. The questions were tricky and would often point you to what and where you lack. It was a continuous process of reading, evaluation and correction and of course a steady progress. After 30 such prelims were over, then was he allowed a full portion paper of PCB. By then obviously Bio was an easy 340 at least.
By this time, what happened in my Ecosystem is also important. The word about CCMA and Prabhu Sir had spread like the delightful smoke on a well-seasoned cast iron sizzler plate! Everyone had an appetite for such a motivating and engaging program.
A lot more of my friends’ children were already enrolled and they all were following the same process. And FOF joined .. ( teenage lingo for friends of friends !! )
What I realized when I witnessed everyone’s progress is worth a publication honestly. I saw everyone progressing with the same pace, reaching the same milestones at regular intervals at almost the same rates, of course, some ahead of others obviously as they joined the program later.
I love being academic about everything I do. ( Sometimes my family hates me for it. Taking a footprint of the arch and choosing the shoe according to the pronation is one such quirky thing I do !! ) .
To sum it, I drew the following conclusions regarding any preparation, it be doing the Everest Base Camp, training for a full marathon or cracking NEET . . They can be summarised as –
- Process is important and above anyone and everyone ,
- Process is universal irrespective of the child and his basic aptitude
- Process is built objectively as there is continuous evaluation and correction.
- Process makes the preparation as effortless as possible.
You have to submit yourself completely to the process or it doesn’t work as much as it would if you do so .
Teaching and coaching are two different entities.
Every coach is a teacher, but every teacher is not a coach.