It is undoubtedly true that the NEET PG exam takes a toll on aspirants. The volume of the syllabus, competition, time, and dedication to studies can all affect their physical and mental health.
Experiencing study burnout is a common phenomenon among candidates preparing for competitive exams like NEET PG. Study burnout occurs when individuals feel a significant detachment from their studies and require a break, yet they may find it difficult to take one. However, it’s crucial to determine whether you simply need some rest or if you are genuinely experiencing mental exhaustion.
A common misconception amongst parents and NEET PG aspirants is that learning fatigue solely stems from excessive studying, but the truth is – there can be different factors. These include studying for long hours without breaks, excessive stress about mock test results, competition, starting the preparation late, and then getting overwhelmed by the vast amount of remaining portion, among others. Even the signs and symptoms of study overload can vary from person to person. Some may feel lethargic and avoid studying altogether, while others struggle to maintain focus. Some individuals may also experience panic and climb the negative thoughts or overthinking train.
But don’t let this small speed breaker hinder your journey. Continue reading to discover valuable tips for getting back on track and overcoming burnout.
1. Acknowledge and accept burnout
The first step towards recovery is admitting and embracing your mental exhaustion. By recognizing and acknowledging the signs of burnout, such as fatigue, decreased motivation, and feelings of being overburdened, NEET PG aspirants can validate their own experiences and understand that mental weariness is a normal response to the demanding nature of exam prep.
Accepting the current situation will help medical PG aspirants to shift their mindset from self-blame to self-compassion, allowing them to prioritize self-care and seek the necessary support. They can take a small break giving their mind a breather from the monotony of studies and time to refresh.
2. Reflect and reevaluate the journey
During your break, take the opportunity to look back at the path traveled. Assess what worked and what didn’t. What mistakes have you made during your NEET PG preparation? What caused the burnout and how to avoid it in the future? Which subjects and topics have you been struggling with? Introspecting these questions will assist you to avoid mistakes in the future. You can refer to PrepDNA to see the areas that you need to put more effort into. Alongside, keep an eye on EffortDNA to find out which subjects you have been ignoring. Reflection on all the above things will help you create a better study plan, prioritize things, make informed decisions, and adopt a more balanced approach going forward.
3. Incorporate variety into your study routine
Breaking monotony can be a great way to break the mind’s fatigue. If you’re feeling tired of following the same routine and studying similar topics, switch them up. Injecting variety into your study routine will keep your mind stimulated. Include interactive study materials such as video lectures on Pre-PG, group studies with your peers, etc. to break the redundancy of traditional textbook methods.
A change of scenery can be a great mood booster too. This will break the repetition and refresh your mind. Instead of confining yourself to one location, explore different study environments. Visit libraries, coffee shops, parks, or quiet outdoor spaces. The change in atmosphere can foster creativity, provide a fresh perspective, and renew your enthusiasm for studying.
4. Practice regular mock tests and MCQs
Mock tests provide a simulated exam environment, allowing aspirants to gauge their knowledge, identify areas of improvement, and familiarize themselves with the exam format. Not practicing enough practice MCQs can contribute to burnout. Lack of understanding of the test conditions leads to decreased confidence but heightened stress and anxiety adding to the overall burden of exam preparation.
Mock tests also serve as effective revision tools. They help NEET PG aspirants to assess their preparation level for various topics, identify weak areas, and prioritize their study efforts accordingly. Thus, practice regularly with Pre-PG’s free daily tests. Along with trying out the questions from the various portions you have gone through, ensure to clear all the revision buckets regularly. The targeted approach of revisiting the previously answered wrong questions and getting them right during the revision phase will reduce your uncertainty levels to a great extent.
5. Volunteer or shadow in healthcare settings
Engaging in clinical observations offers many benefits to MBBS doctors suffering from burnout. It provides a break from the intense academic pressure of exam preparation. Aspirants can step away from their textbooks and engage in meaningful, hands-on experiences. Getting these experiences also allows medical PG aspirants to reconnect with the core purpose of their medical career aspirations and witness firsthand the impact they can have on patients’ lives. The bonus is that it helps improve their clinical knowledge. At the end of each day, test your clinical understanding by solving the clinical-based MCQs. You can easily do it by enabling the “clinical questions” filters in the Pre-PG.
Furthermore, volunteering or shadowing offers valuable opportunities for networking and mentorship. Seniors or mentors can offer valuable insights, share their own experiences, and provide advice on managing mental breakdowns and maintaining a healthy work-life balance which assists NEET PG entrants to continue medical PG journey with renewed motivation.
6. Break down complex concepts
Sometimes, burnout can be exacerbated by the overwhelming nature of certain topics or complex concepts. Break down difficult topics into smaller, more manageable subtopics. Study each subtopic thoroughly before moving on to the next one. By tackling one piece at a time, you’ll gradually gain a deeper understanding of the subject as a whole. Go over the 15,000+ clinical flashcards on our platform during your downtime to embed the fundamentals strongly in your mind.
Life filled with challenges and obstacles when faced with courage, can lead to countless opportunities. The NEET PG exam, being a pivotal milestone, demands unwavering dedication and focus, which can sometimes result in mental strain. However, it is crucial to strike a balance between work, study, and rest. Despite the temptation to continue studying when exhausted, it is essential to listen to your body and mind, recognizing the signs of fatigue to prevent overexertion.
If necessary, take a day of rest, resisting the urge to engage in NEET PG prep. Instead, invest that time in rejuvenating activities like sleeping, watching movies, spending time with friends, or taking a peaceful walk in nature. Once refreshed get back to grind in full swing. By adhering to the strategies, we have compiled above, you can approach your medical PG preparation in an organized and effective manner, mitigating the risk of burnout. Best of luck and subscribe to Pre-PG to enhance your resilience and exam-taking abilities.