Ashutosh Panda topped with an all India ranking of 73 among the 19244 candidates who cracked the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) from the state this year.
LocalWire’s Pratika Priyadarshini spoke to Panda, who hails from Bolangir district and secured AIR 73.
A keen cricket and badminton enthusiast, Panda always dreamt of becoming a doctor.
While putting in 6-7 hours of studies everyday, he also ensured that he played for at least an hour to keep stress at bay.
Excerpt from the interview:
LW: Congratulations on securing an all-India rank of 73 in NEET, How are you celebrating?
AP: Thank you so much! I am feeling very happy and I think everyone feels happy when their hard work comes to fruition.
I expected this result because I dedicated one year to prepare for medical entrances.
All my family members are very happy.
No one has ever performed so well in my family.
Making my parents proud is the biggest celebration for me.
LW: Tell us something about yourself
AP: I am from Bolangir town.
My father works in a private medicine shopa mu mother is a supervisor and works under the Women and Child Development Department.
I have an elder sister who is studying architecture at National Institute of Technology, Calicut.
I did my schooling at Saraswati Sishu Mandir at Bolangir and I did my Plus II from Yuvodaya College last year.
I enrolled in Yuvodaya Medical/IIT-JEE classes at jayadev vihar in Bhubaneswar where I simultaneously prepared for NEET and AIIMS.
LW: What motivated you to pursue medical as a career?
AP: Whenever I visited a hospital, I saw people respecting doctors as God, as they save lives.
I believe there can be no profession as noble as that of a doctor.
I have always cherished this idea and my family and friends have always been there to support me.
It is their motivation that helped me take one step forward to fulfil my dream into a reality.
LW: How did your family and friends support you in this journey?
AP: As I said, there is no one in my family, not even an acquaintance, who is a doctor.
But I think that it is the moral support that I needed and which proved helpful. They made me believe that I have the ability to score well in the exam. It is their encouragement which has led me here.
LW: What is your overall and subject-wise score in NEET 2019?
AP: In NEET my overall score was 682 out of 720. My sectional score was Physics 180 out of 180 in Chemistry 161 out of 180 and in Biology 341 out of 360.
LW: Are you expecting a similar result in AIIMS as well?
AP Yes, I am expecting a rank below 100. The level of AIIMS exam is similar to NEET.
LW: How did you prepare for medical entrances?
AP: My focus was on medical entrances and the institute helped me balance preparations for both.
I used to study for 6-7 hours a day. I believe coaching was the main reason for my performance.
I enrolled in the programme that’s chalked out for students who want to prepare for NEET.
The materials that’ the faculty at Yuvodaya provided me cleared my concepts.
LW: Which according to you were your toughest and easiest sections in each exam?
AP: In NEET, Physics was easy and Chemistry was tough as there were ambiguous questions.
Biology came across as the toughest section for me. In AIIMS, I attempted the English section in the end because I never consulted a book for this section.
I gave answers on the basis of my own knowledge.
LW: How did you tackle your strong and weak areas?
AP: My strategy was to concentrate more on weak areas and revise them from time to time. I did a lot of practice of MCQs which helped me in solving difficult questions.
LW: What are your hobbies? Did you engage in them during your preparations?
AP: I love to watch and play sports. While I was in Yuvodaya, I played cricket and badminton. They used to give us one hour break in the evening. It was like a stress buster for us.
LW: Which factors would you attribute this success to?
AP: Well, there are a lot of factors. Of course, my family made it all possible by motivating me throughout. Apart from them, my teachers at Yuvodaya guided me and that is also a very important aspect of my success.
LW: Where do you see yourself in the future?
AP: My focus was on medical entrances so I am yet to decide what I will specialise in. But if I have to choose then I think I will go for Orthopaedics.
LW: Any message or advice for future medical aspirants?
AP: First of all, concentrate on clearing your basic concepts. Try to clarify each and every doubt that comes in your mind with the help of your teachers.
There is nothing wrong in asking questions.
Although hard work is the main reason for my results, I believe proper guidance is also necessary.