CSIR Topper Rank 7 Gurpreet Kaur Shares Her Preparation Strategy
Voice of Biotecnika – Episode No: 37
Hello Everyone, and Welcome Back to another interesting episode of Voice of Biotecnika – India’s 1st Life Science Podcast. Today, We are immensely proud and happy to announce that one of our very bright student, Miss Gurpreet Kaur has cleared CSIR NET Dec 2018 Life Science exam with AIR 7th Rank and has attained her JRF position. Via this tremendous achievement, She has proved that – If you believe in victory, then victory will believe in you. So let’s explore the journey of this very hardworking and talented Biotecnika Student and understand her strategies on How she managed to crack CSIR NET Exam with AIR 7.
In conversation with Gurpreet Kaur CSIR Topper Rank 7 JRF in Life Science – A Biotecnika Student.
Q. Tell us something about yourself? What is your ambition in life? Why did you choose this field?
I have done masters in microbiology from Punjabi culture University. And thereafter, I have worked as a research fellow for a few years. I have a very keen interest in the field of life sciences, and my ambition in life is to help and inspire other students in this field by sharing my knowledge with them.
Q. When did you begin your preparations for CSIR NET competitive exams?
I started my preparation for CSI or net exam in late 2017. And I joined the Noida coaching center of Biotecnika in May 2018. And in June 2018, I cleared CSIR NET-LS. And in December 2018, after taking coaching for six months, I was able to clear JRF with AIR 7.
Q. How many hours daily you were spending on studies?
In the starting – first two to three months, I used to spend around 12 hours in studies. And but in the last two months, that is in October, November & December also I used to spend a good 14 to 15 hours daily on the studies.
Q. Was it like very tough with Classes?
The classes were very good. Biotecnika teachers, all of them were very, very helpful. And we used to do a lot of revisions in the classes. And there were even some topics for which we didn’t even know -I didn’t even have to study from some other books, the classes whatever was was taught in the classes for those topics. It was enough and the classes were very helpful.
Q. What are the other exams you are applying for?
Along with CSIR NET, I have cleared GATE Life Sciences exam also. And although I was preparing exclusively for CSIR NET, with that subject knowledge, I was able to clear GATE as well. And I have also cracked the Ph.D. entrance exam of the national institute of criminology and forensic science, Delhi.
Q. Since its a vast subject I would like to ask What is your style of preparations? How do you remember the facts?
My style of preparations was focused on multiple revisions, I used to do a lot of revisions. And I used to practice questions a lot. And I also used to conduct a self-exam for myself in every week in which you will it in which I used to solve all the previous question papers of CSIR NET, and also the mock exams of Biotecnika. They also offered great help to me and which, which were part of my strategy for preparing the exam and multiple revisions have helped me to remember all the fact because the syllabus is very vast. And the more you revise, the more facts you are going to retain. So that was my strategy.
Q. Any notes making tips you would like to share?
I think everybody has their own unique style of making notes. For me, I used to make I used to have a mix of notes. For a few topics, I used to make handwritten notes and for a few other topics, especially wherever figures were involved. I used to type my notes in Microsoft world. And I used to take a printout of those notes along with the figures and starting from them.
Q. CSIR-NET cut-off seems to have increased this year, how was the paper according to you?
The exam in December was a little bit tough than the previous ones. I had although I had done a lot of practice by solving the question papers – last year question papers during my preparation. Still, I’ve found it difficult to manage time during the exam. And because we had to go through all the questions of Part C because many of those questions were actually very tough, but because I had covered 10 units while studying, so I was able to solve 25 questions, but overall, the level of the exam was a bit on the tough side.
Q. How did you prepare for the General Aptitude test?
I took the online classes of Biotecnika for general aptitude, which was held once in a week. And after that I used to practice questions of general aptitude, Though I didn’t use to spend that my time as I spent on the other topics, but still some amount of time I used to alot on general aptitude and solving the previous year question papers from the general aptitude section also helped me to gain confidence for this part.
Q. How important is aptitude and chemistry in the exam?
The weightage of general aptitude part in CSIR NET is 15% and the rest of the subject life science – it has a weightage of 85%. So, my major focus was on the subject knowledge only, but still, I devoted some amount of time on general aptitude because if we are able to solve at least five questions of general attitude, then it can help us gain those extra marks to stand out and to clear this exam.
Q. A computer-based test is much different than a paper-pen exam. What is your opinion? How should one prioritize through the paper displayed on the screen?
When I took the CSIR exam in December 2018, so it was in pen and paper format. But I also took the GATE exam which was a computer-based test. So computer-based test is a little bit different from the pen and paper format – the strategy of attempting the exam is a little bit different, especially while selecting the questions. So while selecting questions in computer-based tests the option of the mark for review comes in very handy. And also we are provided with the draft sheets on which we can always write which questions we want to attempt and then go back to that those questions and read them thoroughly and then attempt those questions.
Q. How do you think classes In Biotecnika Noida were beneficial?
The classes in Biotecnika Noida are very good. Teachers were very helpful and knowledgeable and preparing for the exam with other fellow students created a sense of competition within me, which inspired me to act to excel and study more and work very hard to clear this exam.
Q. Did you take any professional help for your preparations?
I didn’t specifically take any professional help. For my preparations, the only help I took was coaching from Biotecnika. And, of course, the help and support of my family and especially my husband was always there and it always encouraged me to study harder and clear this exam.
Q. Did mock tests and study materials help your preparations?
Mock Test helped me a lot. And through the marks of the mock test, I used to get very authentic feedback about my level of preparation, and which gave me a chance to improve myself. And Biotecnika study materials were a very good source of revision for me. And whenever I used to complete one unit I used to solve all the questions all the empty queues given at the end of the study material books, and which was a very good practice session for me.
Q. Do you need to study reference journals and articles? Which reference books have you gone through?
Yes, I did study from reference books. But as I told you earlier, there were few topics for which I didn’t go through reference books, whatever was taught in the class I felt that it was enough. Like for example, in ecology, evolution, and genetics, the whatever we were taught in the class I studied and I didn’t go through any reference book for these topics, but for some other topics like biochemistry, developmental biology, cell signaling and Immunology along with plant physiology, also I did go through the reference books of these topics. And for biochemistry, I went through Lehninger Developmental Biology, I followed Gilbert and so on.
Q. There are many research books and ample materials to study from, how should one prioritize?
So if you wish to study any topic from a reference book, then you should choose that reference book from which you personally are able to understand very well because he CSIR NET is about your understanding, it checks, how strong are your concepts? So choose one book for one topic and study that topic very well. From that one book only.
Q. What are the key areas one should choose, for last minute preparations?
Though I’m not the last minute preparation, kind of a person. But still, my advice will be to study those topics only, which you have already done earlier. Revise those topics don’t go for the new topics. I think that will be the best for CSIR NET exam.
Q. Any recommendations and advice you would like to share?
My advice for my fellow students is to work hard and work smart for clearing any national level competitive examination. You have to work smart. I think it is even more important than working hard.
Q. As a successful NET qualifier, what are your future plans?
My ambition is to help and inspire other students by sharing the knowledge of Life Sciences with them. And so I’ll be working towards it. Thank you.
Entire Biotecnika Team Wishes Gurpreet Kaur All the very best for her future endeavors.