Strategy for Medical Science Optional
Khushaal Yadav, Rank 28, CSE – 2014
At the outset, let me warn the readers that I am no authority on Medical Sciences or CSE. Blindly aping could be potentially disastrous !
Having said that, I feel that some of my experiences and resources could be helpful to other aspirants. These would be instrumental in reducing the information asymmetry and consequently a great deal of anxiety.
My decision to take up Med. Sc was not well thought out.
No readymade material, No coaching, No test series.
It was mostly one of “exclusion“. After having exhausted Pub Ad, Pali, and similar other worthy subjects I thought it was better to deal with the devil I know. Having seniors at AIIMS who had written mains with MedSc and scored decently decisively tilted me towards MedSc.
An added comfort was my study group. My close friends had all gone for MedSc. It was rewarding to have a bunch of friends sharing the same anxities and concerns( and of course study material). Thanks to Navdeep, Lokesh, Devansh, Vijit for being there!!
UNDER-GRAD years as a scaffold-
I was no genius, and was in no mood to work hard during my college years. That meant my understanding of Medicine came from last night cramming and was heavily peppered with Mnemonics. I managed to do ‘Okay’ in my scores after all sorts of hacks and cracks. Understandably, I was not very keen on Medical Sciences. If anything, I knew it was not going to be my strong area.
A strong base during college years can be a great asset!!
I decided I need to do moderately well in Med.Sc. Excellence has to come in another life. Coupled with a good GS, Interview, Essay I could manage to stay afloat.
1. STICK TO THE SYLLABUS– Medicine is mind boggling in its depth and range. The only way to manage the syllabus is to shut your eyes & ears to any thing outside the prescribed syllabus by the UPSC.
2. BANKING ON QUESTIONS – I went through the question banks and looked for trends and HOT TOPICs. After rigorous efforts a series of frequency tables was made (one per subject) . I then prepared for these topics depending on their relative importance( as per the frequency charts).
Here are the SCANNED COPIES. (So that you can go full blast straight away!!)
3. PATTERN PLEASURE or PAIN ??
Earlier a pattern was discernible ( uptil 2013 Mains) in Med Sc. One could leave entire subjects, intelligently selecting combinations. This was because leaving questions 1 and 5 rest all were from same subject. Add to this the luxury of choice and Voila!!
However, UPSC tried to mix things up in 2014 Mains MedSc. and now there were sub-questions from different subjects in a Question.
First get the questions in the list/tables.
Then other topics from the syllabus.
This is a blog post by Mr. Sarvesh Bhure, IAS
Another Informative post by Dr. Shaleen
I did not exactly go for books. I had access to quality revision notes for some topics ( Prepared from the above mentioned books) . For others I had images of tables and flowcharts. But, books are the source.
I personally, find it inconvenient to use books for revision.
Brief, to the point, specific!!
Draw diagrams wherever relevant.
DONOT attempt the question you don’t know. If you have time, attempt it later after all the questions you know are taken care of. I got carried away and wasted time writing nonsense to questions I didn’t know. I cost me. I had to attempt 60 marker in last 7 minutes. And I couldn’t attempt another 10 marker.
Med Sc. can be a rewarding Optional provided you have the necessary background, study resources, friend circle and perseverance.
I managed to score 279. You can do better!!