How to prepare for NEET exams: Strategies that work

The National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) which was earlier known as the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT), is conducted every year by the National Testing Agency (NTA). It is the qualifying examination for admission in MBBS and BDS courses in Medical and Dental Colleges across India. Students prepare for the NEET examination diligently for years to get admissions to their dream colleges. In the past few years, the exam has become all the more competitive with cutoffs rising every year. Thus, it becomes necessary to use proven strategies suggested by experts to achieve success in the NEET exam. Here are some strategies that can help students in their preparation for the NEET examination.


The most crucial step of preparing for any competitive exam is to gain information regarding the exam itself. A general overview of the NEET exam is as follows:

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates should pass in Higher Secondary Level or any equivalent examination in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English subjects individually. Students appearing as general category candidates should score 50% aggregate or more in Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Furthermore, there is a lower age limit of 17 years and upper age limit of 25 years for general category candidates.

The pattern of the examination

NEET UG exam consists of 180 questions from Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, that have to be attempted in 3 hours. According to the marking scheme, 4 marks are awarded for every correct response and there is a deduction of 1 mark for every incorrect response.


Knowledge of syllabus

NEET syllabus is very vast and having a good knowledge of the syllabus in terms of chapters and their weightage in the question paper is very important. An analysis of previous year’s question papers gives a fair idea of the most important concepts.

Appropriate study material

Referring to the correct study material helps in taking out the maximum output of efforts. NCERT textbooks should be thoroughly studied for NEET preparation. The candidates can also use other textbooks and practice books after consulting their teachers and mentors.

Books commonly referred to by students preparing for the NEET exam are mentioned below:


  • Concepts of Physics by H.C. Verma 
  • Objective Physics by D.C. Pandey 
  • Fundamental Physics by Pradeep


  • Pradeep’s New Course Chemistry
  • Elementary Problems in Organic Chemistry for NEET/AIIMS 
  • Concise Inorganic Chemistry by J.D. Lee


  • Trueman’s Objective Biology for NEET 
  • Pradeep’s A Textbook of Biology


Study Schedule

Students should make a proper study map that covers all chapters and leaves time for revision. Aspirants are advised to make a timetable according to priorities and class schedules. They should devote proper time to all three subjects. Students must set realistic short-term and long-term targets for themselves to track their preparation. Following a proper schedule helps in remaining consistent and motivated throughout the preparation.

Method of Studying

Students should make proper notes of whatever they are taught in classes or they learn through self-preparation. Maintaining a separate notebook containing important formulas, keywords, and points to remember would be beneficial during revision. Aspirants can also make use of mnemonics, flashcards, diagrams, etc to understand and retain the concepts. More time should be devoted to difficult concepts which have greater weightage in the exam.


Revision of notes and important questions

Once they have studied their entire syllabus students should make a revision plan wherein they should reread their notes and practice all the important questions. Students should devote time to chapters based on their weightage in previous years’ question papers.

Attempting Mock Tests

The best method to gauge the level of preparation is attempting mock tests and solving the previous year’s question papers like NEET PYQP 2019 in a set duration of 3 hours. Mock tests give a fair idea of the variety of questions asked and help in learning time management in the NEET examination. This also develops an exam-taking aptitude in aspirants which would help them in dealing with the stress during the NEET examination. 

Analyzing Mock Tests 

After solving mock test papers, students should analyze their results. Students should keep a record of the marks scored in mock tests while keeping in mind that mock tests are slightly difficult than the original question paper. They should make a list of their weak areas and work on them to improve the level of their preparation. They should focus on the incorrect questions that resulted in a deduction of their marks due to negative marking. 


Eat a balanced diet

Competitive examinations like NEET require a lot of stamina as students have to study for long durations of time at a stretch. To obtain the required energy and stay healthy, students should eat a well-balanced diet and never skip meals. A diet rich in iron and vitamin B and vitamin K helps in improving memory. 

Proper Rest and breaks

To derive maximum efficiency during studying hours, students must have at least 6-7 hours of sleep daily. Students should take regular study breaks after an interval of every 3 hours. They are advised to utilize study breaks to eat something healthy like nuts, talk to a friend, or do a bit of exercise. Aspirants must also devote time to one hobby that helps them in relieving stress and refreshes their minds. 


Students must exercise daily to reduce stress and maintain good health. They can do swimming, walking or running to freshen up their minds and release feel-good hormones. Meditation and yoga are very useful in managing anxiety and improving memory and concentration power.

Positive Attitude

During the preparation, there would be several occasions where things would get difficult and one would want to give up. One must always maintain a positive attitude and believe that one can do it. Students must recognize the reason why they want to excel in the NEET exam and think of that whenever they feel demotivated. Students must remember they are not alone in this journey and should talk about their problems with family and teachers.

NEET is a highly competitive examination and can only be aced by strategizing and working hard consistently. Thus, students must follow these tips to achieve their target of performing exceptionally well in the NEET examination.