Rachit Agrawal not only made his family proud when he secured AIR 1 in NEET PG 2018 but became the pride of the entire state. Since 2013, he is the first one from Gujarat to secure first rank in the exam. How he did it, is no miracle but pure dedication and hardwork. In this interview with Aglasem, he shares all his preparation tips, success strategy, books he studied, and more. Know the key to success from the topper himself.

About Yourself

A big congratulations to you for Securing AIR 1 in NEET PG! You are the first one to get the first AIR 1 in your state since 2013. This is a huge achievement. How are you feeling right now and who was your pillar of strength throughout?

It is a great feeling. I would like to credit my success to my parents, brother, college professors, friends and faculty at PG DIAMS. I am thankful to everyone for everything.

What is your score in NEET PG? Did you appear for any other PG medical entrance exams?

I secured 975 marks. No, this is the first and in all probability the last PG entrance exam that I appeared for.

Tell us a little about your family?

I have a very supportive family. My father is an ophthalmologist, Dr. Dilip Agarwal, and has been practicing for past 30 years. My mother, Mrs. Arti Agarwal, is my strength and reason for my success. She is MA history and hails from Rajasthan. My brother is also a doctor, Dr. Rahil Agarwal. He has done his MBBS and MD Radiodiagnosis from Ahmedabad and is currently pursuing Senior Residency for the same from Manipal University, Karnataka.

In which year did you pass your MBBS from PDU Medical College? How was your experience there?

I finished by MBBS in the year 2017. Life at PDU was great. I now feel that my decision to stay back at Rajkot after my 12th was for the better. In the 1st and 2nd semester, I felt that the schedule was too tight but after that, I got a lot of time for self-study.  Also, the internship in some departments is a bit hectic but the professors and residents help us balance our practical training with studies. Luckily, I got a good friend circle there and has a great time throughout my college days. 

Other than studies, what do you like to do in your leisure time?

I love watching movies, listen to music, hang out with friends. I also like to travel and observe wildlife. I often read articles or any write-ups about random things.

About Preparation For NEET PG

How did you prepared for the exam? Did you take any coaching?

Yes, I had joined PG DIAMS classes at Rajkot, in my final year. While preparing I paid full attention to my MBBS curriculum. I think doing so is important to get a good score. It gives you an edge over people who are only preparing to get the MCQs right.

What according to you is the ideal time to start preparation? What should be the study plan?

I think the best time to start preparation is in your final year. Joining a coaching institute is desirable but not obligatory. Some of the faculties teach very well and you can take down notes and they even help you when you are stuck. But try to study your final year subjects, including minor from standard books. Side by side you can also solve some MCQs to acquaint yourself with the pattern of the examination. 

Try to study all subjects. Patho, Pharmacy and PSM are very high yielding. I had a time bound frame for each subject, which varies as per my strength and weakness. Students preparing for the exam ahead can have thier own time frame. Do not just read or solve the MCQs, give equal weightage to both. During the internship, the schedule gets a bit hectic but one must try and maintain a balance between the studied and duty.

It is also important to have a keep last 2 months for revision. Without revision, all will be lost. It is natural to have adrenaline rush in the last few days but try to stay calm and collected and surely all will be well.

Which books did you refer to for preparation?

I studied from:

Subjects Book Name (Reference Book)
Anatomy  AA for MCQs, BDC
Physiology  Dr Soumen Manna, Ganong
Biochemistry Dr Rebecca James, Vasudevan
Pharmacology  Dr Garg, KDT
Pathology  Dr Vandana Puri, Robbins
Microbiology Dr Apurba Shastry, Ananthanarayan
Forensic Medicine Dr Akhilesh Notes, AA for MCQs
Medicine Harrison, MCQs from AA,Dr  Deepak Marwah’s Notes
Surgery Dr.Pritesh Singh
PSM Dr Vivek Jain, Park
Obs and Gynae Dutta,Dr Sakshi Arora
ENT  AA, Dhingra, class notes
Ophthalmology AA, Khurrana, class notes
Pediatrics  AA,Ghai, class notes
Orthopaedics Dr Apurva Mehra Notes and Books for mcqs
Dermatology AA for MCQs, Neena Khanna
Anesthesia  AA,class notes
Radiology  AA,class notes
Psychiatry Class Notes, AA for MCQs, Niraj Ahuja 
Image Based  Final Edge by Dr Deepak Marwah

Which, according to you, is the toughest section and needs special attention and practice?

I don’t think there can be an answer for this. It varies from person to person. Yet, for me, it was anatomy which I think is long and volatile.

How did you gain speed and accuracy for solving 300 questions in due time?

Speed is very important. It is important to stay cool. 300 questions and 210 minutes, that means that on an average you get 42 sec for each question. Some questions may require more than a minute while some can be solved in less than 20 seconds. I intended to complete a bunch of 100 questions in about 65 min leaving 5 min for revisiting the questions I was not sure with. I also kept a watch on the timer.

Any message or tips for our NEET PG Aspirants!!

My message is simple, ‘Study hard, study smart’.

What is your mantra for success?

I think it is very important to have your basics right.


What was your analysis of the NEET PG exam?

It was like it has always been. Primarily a one liner question exam. It had many “pseudoeasy” questions where the examiner may trick you into marking a wrong option, whereas, in some very easy questions, the option too confusing.

Numerous image based questions were from Radiology and Pathology. 50% of it can be solved with basic knowledge and reasoning skills but the remaining may require special efforts. The exam had questions which expected you to think a little. It is important to deduce and extrapolate to arrive at the answer and make an “intelligent” guess.

Any tips to the future aspirants for the D-day?

Stay cool and keep a track of the time. Think, think, and think (but don’t overthink)!! Have a high attempt rate. Try and attempt questions where you can eliminate at least 2 options, sometimes, even attempt those questions in which you can only eliminate one option.

Future Plans

What are your future plans? Which specialization are you willing for choose and why?

Ans. I am planning to take up either medicine or radio or pediatrics. I was never fond of any surgical branch. My interest in these three subjects developed from my UG days. All the three are very challenging branches in there own way.

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