NEET: State board students get cracking


Current students are a majority in coaching classes; crammed schedule preps them on strategy

V. Lavanya, who wrote her Plus Two examinations in March, says the next seven months will be dedicated solely towards preparing and gearing up for NEET 2018.

“I attend coaching classes five days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as prepare at home for the same,” said the State board student. Despite scoring 1,109 marks in her board exams, she wasn’t able to clear NEET the first time and is now spending 14 to 15 hours a day preparing for the competitive examination.

Students of both State Board and CBSE streams have been flocking to coaching centres across the city, hoping it will help make NEET a sure shot in 2018. While the coaching classes do have a fair share of students like Lavanya, who have taken a year off, a majority are students of Class XII, who have less than a year to prepare for the exam.

V. Vivekan, a senior consultant with Extel Academy, said they were stressing on the importance of understanding the pattern of the examination. “For students who have just started preparing, we ask them to analyse the exam and plan better to have more focussed targets,” he said.

Focus on Biology

The mantra that most coaching centres and instructors have for these students is to concentrate on Biology as Botany and Zoology together have 90 marks in the paper. With every right response having a weightage of four marks and minus one for a wrong answer, this seems to be the preferred strategy among students as well.

With both State board and CBSE students making a beeline in equal numbers to coaching centres, the centres have been handing out tailor-made study material, as well as having separate batches for the streams in the initial months of coaching.

Kamalika Thirunavukarasu, a Class XII State board student, said that she was preparing with an extra focus on Biology, followed by Chemistry and then, Physics. “While the topics are mostly the same in CBSE and State board textbooks, the CBSE assessment pattern is different. We have realised that a strong foundation in Class XI portions is extremely important to help us crack exams such as the NEET,” she said.

Mobile apps

Apart from study material, a few companies have also started offering mobile apps to students so they can take practice tests at home. “Most of us in Class XII now are able to attend coaching classes only during the weekends since we have to keep up with the daily class portions as well. The coaching classes we are a part of also have mobile apps. We get daily questions and practice papers to which we can devote some time on a daily basis,” said S. Srinivas, a Class XII student.

The school education department recently announced that it will be outsourcing a chunk of the operations for the proposed competitive examination coaching centres for students from government-aided and government schools. Around 100 of these coaching centres will be opened in government schools across the State.

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