Cracking code of theory in DNB Pediatrics

Hi all, and to begin, its my immense pleasure to write for everyone of you out their, preparing for the theory exams.

I think, you all agree with me that we are going to burst the toughest Postgraduate exam in INDIA, and for cracking this difficult code we need to follow some rules. How should we prepare, thats always a question before we start for our theory exam studies. So we will discuss here regarding few tips to prepare theory exam for DNB pediatrics and crack the code!
Steps in preparation:

1. FEAR REGARDING THEORY EXAM?

Don’t be panic, that theory exams are approaching, if we prepare systematically we can easily get through, it just requires 2 months of proper revision before theory.
         Infact it is going to be exam for our examiners because we will sit in exam hall only for 6hrs per day for 2days, but our examiners will sit about 12hrs each day without any contact to external world under central camera monitoring for about 5-7days for correction of our papers. So its going to be fearfull for them not for us!
So first remove your FEAR from your mind

2. How is the theory exam pattern?

We have total 4 papers, each paper has 10 questions, though each paper they designate for some systems it may not be so strict on that,  1 or 2 question may come here and there but for us it won’t decide our pass result. We require only 7-8 question to know for passing theory exam per paper.

3. Types of questions?

a. Descriptive 
b. Classifications
c. Approach
d. Drugs
e. PSM programs
f. Investigations
g. Causes and Treatment options
h. Anatomy and physiology
i. Development 
j. Now split questions are coming frequently (each question has some 3 sub questions)

4. How to start preparation?

a) First and foremost important thing will be segregating material (old question papers, review articles,etc)
b) Books for preparation:
        Majority of us read lot of books without knowing what to read 
        Exam oriented reading is important 
        Majority of answer keys will be prepared from nelson text book only.
What Books to use for preparation:
                                 Nelson textbook of pediatrics
                                 Cloharty neonatology manual
                                 IAP text book And Journals
Journals :
1. At least last 1year IP
2. IJP
3. IJPP 

"For better understading PSM programmes we can see the ministry of health and family welfare website, nice flow diagrams available their"

How to read 
1. Better to have a good company. 2-3 students together 
2. Read loudly 
3. At the end of each topic try to memorize the points tobe written in exam,those points should be revised frequently (during tea time, while discussing with friends)
4. Try to write model exam atleast weekly once so that time management and practice will be known.
5. Most difficulty topics like statistics, development and behavior must read more frequently.
6. “Try to prepare your own flow charts”.
7. For all topics try to prepare Differential diagnosis (create your own Mnemonics also).
8. Now majority will have smart phone in that u can take " snaps of important tables from nelson " so that can be revised whenever time permit /free time/boring time.
9. Ask the teachers in your centre to correct the papers and ask them to give feedback every week.
10. Revision should be started at least 2-3weeks prior, avoid reading new topics, while revising take a topic, close ur notes and try to memorize with your friends, if one is not able to answer another person should try, it should not take not more than 10min, at the end see your notes if any points are missing, in this way you can revise fast and you won’t get bored or tired.
11. At least 10days before exam try to regularize your sleep pattern don’t sleep too late, it may affect your sleep during exam days also as well as performance.
12. During exam days try to sleep by 10pm, max by 11pm, get up by 6.30am.
13. One more important issue is majority of student travel far to reach exam center it is better to reach at least 2days prior to exam because new place, for some student will take some time to adjust for the environment, and u can search good accommodation prior only.
14. Don’t eat more junk food

         Flow charts will help for students who have bad hand writing it will b easy to represent and examiner also will understand, it is way to secure good marks also. Sometimes u should think in exam hall itself to create flow charts. 
I will give one example. I had got one question “expand ASHA, outline functions and remuneration, potential impact of ASHA”?
I just thought in exam, she works like bridging agent between community and PHC, so I have created a flow diagram like this,
                                             Try to be creative
What to do In exam hall:
1. Don’t jump and write the answer 
2. Analyze the question paper first
3. U have total 3hrs time 
4. For each question u have about 18min, think about a question for 3 min, format in your mind then start writing or else if write in hurry u may forget some points to represent in sequence.
5. Try to use some colour pens for underlining 
6. If u r crossing 18min for a question don’t waste time on that leave some place for that and go for next question, u don’t get more 1-2 extra marks to spend more time but if r not able to attend next question u may loose more marks.so keep a watch on time.
7. Always write answers in sequence 
8. Most of answer keys will be prepared from nelson hence even if u write whatever given in there, you will get good marks. Don’t think you have written only one page or so and you wont get what u expected. “ Length of your answer doesnt decide ur marks”.
These are some of my observations and practices I followed for theory exam preparation but many must have more doubts, so you can contact any time by posting the "comments" at the end of this post and ask your querries ot even suggest others, we are here to help u.

         " All the best for all of u, if some students get benefit from us please don’t forget to feedback us, so that we can improve constantly and suggest if any thing need to be done "
The link for all my Q&A notes of this series is here
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