Tips for Pharmacy Entrance Exams
When Prof. ML Schroff started the 3-year B.Pharma course in Banaras Hindu University in 1932, the curriculum was a combination of pharmaceutical and analytical chemistry and pharmacy. It prepared the graduates to work as specialists in pharmaceutical companies’ quality control and standardisation of drugs. Eight decades later, pharmacy education in India has grown leaps and bounds. The enactment of the Pharmacy Act in 1948 provided a statutory backbone for the development of the pharma industry and, along with it, pharmaceutical education. Now, pharmaceutical education has been gaining immense popularity among students of science streams.
In India, the academic courses for pharmacy start from Diploma and lead up to a Ph. D in pharmacy, the most preferred course being B.Pharma. B.Pharma is a four-year course offered by many institutes in India that are approved by the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) and AICTE apart from state regulatory boards. These accredited institutes are better at providing education, career opportunities and infrastructure. The entry into the course is via state-level common entrance exams or AIPMT. This article will guide you to successfully clear the entrance exams and find your name in the merit lists.
Before you begin the preparation, however, you should consider making a list of pharmacy colleges in Bangalore or any other city of your liking and check their accreditation status, courses offered and curriculum. This will help you mentally prepare for what is coming next. For a smooth sailing preparation and successful qualification, candidates may follow the tips mentioned below.
- Know the Syllabus
You cannot start preparing if you do not understand the requirements of the exam. To familiarise yourself with the requirements, carefully go through the contents of the syllabus. It may vary from state to state or institute to institute, but there will always be some common concepts. Be clear about the concepts asked and get conceptual clarity by the end of the preparation process. Set your priorities based on the marks allotted, and the preparation should follow them.
- Keep the Marking Scheme in Mind
Before starting the preparation, analyse the past question papers to familiarise yourself with its marking scheme. Identify the sections that are easy for you to score and start with those. Starting with this will boost your confidence. Starting with a difficult section will lower your morale and demotivate you. Since all sections carry different marks, do not waste time in sections you are not very confident in and are less scoring. As there is negative marking in this exam, it is essential to learn the art of skipping questions. Attempting all questions will lower your score if the number of wrongs is more than correct answers.
- Revise Multiple Times
There is no limit to revision. No matter how much you prepare, it is all in vain if you do not revise. Make sure to revise enough times to be clear with the concepts and topics. A clear understanding of the subjects is required to clear the exam, and mere committing to memory is not going to do the trick. Set your target to finish the syllabus at least a month or two months before the exam date and dedicate the last couple of months for revision alone.
- Practice Mock Tests
Mock tests are often considered the key to success. Along with revision, candidates must appear for as many mocks as possible. Regularly taking mock tests will help you identify weak spots in your preparation and help you rectify your mistakes. Solve old papers as well. Taking the test in exam-like conditions will boost your confidence and help you better prepare for the day.
- Refer Proper Books and Reference Materials
A good book list is always helpful. There will be a lot of different people offering different books but make sure you choose the right books for you. NCERTs are always helpful, and your prime focus should be on them. Any other reference materials used should be easily understandable and cover as many concepts and questions as possible. Avoid referring to too many materials for the same topic, leading to confusion and misinterpretation.
- Giving the Exam
This is what it all boils down to. You have worked really hard for so long but what you do during the exam matters the most. Do not be overconfident with your preparation, yet be confident enough in your abilities. Remain calm and focused. Keep track of time and solve questions accordingly. Do not waste time-solving lengthy problems or dwelling on their confusion. You can always revisit the questions towards the end when you have time. Wasting time now will only leave you with less time for easy questions, which you may get wrong due to the time crunch.
By following simple steps, one can ensure successful qualification in the pharmacy entrance exam and get admitted into the college of their choice.