Published: 03rd November 2021
NEET 2021 topper Karthika Nair on getting a perfect 720/720: I never thought I would get all the questions right!
Karthika G Nair, a Mumbai resident, scored the maximum possible score of 720 in the medical entrance exam. This is what she had to say
They say practice makes perfect. That adage sits perfectly valid in Karthika G Nair's case. The Mumbai teenager, who has roots in Kerala, has been practising mock test after mock test for over two years and it has finally brought her the perfect score of 720 out of 720 in the NEET medical entrance examination. Her reward? A spot to study at the most prestigious medical college in the country — AIIMS Delhi. The daughter of Gangadharan K and Sreevidya TV, Karthika passed out of DAV Public School, Panvel in Navi Mumbai. We caught up with her to find out what drives her towards healthcare and what further plans she has in store for herself. Excerpts from the interview:
At the time of the exam, did you really think that you would be able to achieve that perfect score?
When I had come out of the exam hall, I knew then itself that I would get into a good college but I wasn't sure of the score. I never thought I would get all of them correct. It was a great moment for me when I tallied my answers with the answer key when it was released.
What was your prep like?
I used to study at night so I was like an owl really. But even though I stayed up till late, I always ensured that I got at least 7-8 hours of sleep daily. I would often sleep till 10 in the morning. But I believe that everyone has a different routine and it is fine as long as you are sleeping enough every day. My preparation really began when I started Class XI. I fully relied on the NCERT textbooks and attempted a lot of mock tests to prepare myself.
You must be itching to return to your hobbies not that this is over?
Although most of my time was spent studying, I did get my fair share of free time as well for my hobbies. I love singing, catching up with friends and reading. I love reading crime thrillers and I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie's works.
What kind of support did you get from your parents, teachers and peers?
The support from my parents has been instrumental. They were always there for me at home. They never let me get pressurised and they let me study the way I wanted to. They would plan out different strategies for me and help analyse the test scores too. I was always free to clear my doubts with my teachers over the phone. Even with friends, I used to have group discussions.
And did the pandemic affect your study plans?
The challenge in one way was that online study all of a sudden was quite difficult. The flipside was that we got a lot of time to ourselves as we didn't have to travel anywhere. That saved a lot of time and it was a great benefit.
Did you enrol in a coaching centre? What would you recommend to students attempting the exam in the future?
I had enrolled at the Aakash Institute. I used their coaching modules and test series for preparation. I think having a mentor is very crucial. That person can guide you in the right direction. One must practice a lot of mock tests and previous year questions to be ready for the entrance exam. You need to be consistent in your performance and a lot of dedication and hardwork is required.
When did you first think of becoming a doctor and what pushed you towards it?
I had always been attracted to this profession ever since my childhood. I had a huge respect for this line of work and that is what pushed me into pursuing this career. Of course, biology is my favourite subject. I am specifically keen towards Zoology. Within that, my favourite part is human physiology.