Zainab Shabbir LTMC topper

I have been involved in academic activities. I did study whenever I got the time and made note of my backlog.

Zainab Shabbir

Lokmanya Tilak Medical College, Sion

I YEAR Topper

1.Congratulations on achieving such an amazing feat. Tell us a bit about yourself. Please also tell us your individual marks in each subject.

I am Zainab Shabbir a second/Second student of LTMMC. I’ve scored 156,152,171 in Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry respectively out of 200.


2.So, when all of this is new and the rest of us are still busy figuring the head and tail of the subject,how did you tackle and master the syllabus?

The key to coping with the syllabus is studying regularly, concentrating in class and taking notes whenever mandatory.


3.Did you have a set schedule, a time table that you stuck to? What were the daily hours that you put in self study ?

I don’t have a stringent time table. I just try to cover what is taught every day. In case I have certain backlog, I try to cover the previous topics before we have a lecture on the subsequent topics with respect to a particular chapter the next day.


4.Is there any particular way in which you study or any special notes that you make? Maybe a different approach than what students normally do?

Yes, I am an avid note taker. I try to keep my notes as concise as possible once I have understood the concept in order to revise the key/volatile points. I feel that understanding the concept behind things is very important


5.Do you have any tips on the Do’s and Don’ts of it? How do you manage to keep yourself motivated when studies start taking a toll on you? Are there any ‘distractions’ that actually help you in the process?

There’s always distractions. It’s okay to occasionally indulge in fun activities. But it’s also important to overcome the backlog and be regular. Also, it helps to have a set goal that motivates you to study. Not too much, just enough to handle while you still partake in activities that divert your mind for a while.


6.Also how important do you think is attending lectures in college? Considering half of the students are either busy on their phones or sleeping, does it really help?

 It depends from student to student, really. You know whose teaching you like eventually. Also, there’s always those teachers whose lectures you can’t afford to miss.

 I try to keep my notes as concise as possible once I have understood the concept in order to revise the key/volatile points. 

7.Was there any help that you acquired while preparing for the exams? Like any visual aids any professional guidance? Or those little tit bits that the professors tell us but none other than the toppers pay attention to? Please share with us.

Yes, knowing the ‘tit-bits’ does benefit and give you an edge. Apart from that, visual aids are definitely required for practicals and dissection. Professional guidance merely included getting doubts solved by teachers. In case you miss certain important lectures, you can watch online lectures by teachers. No personal experience though.


8.How vital is the Question Bank during exams? Does it come highly recommended or you advice thorough reading of the text and having confound knowledge of the subject?

Thorough reading and gaining knowledge is important. Question bank is just an aid to form an answer, which you are supposed to refer to just prior to the exams. It also helps you to prioritise in terms of what you have to read for the examination


9.Could you suggest a method of studying or kind of discipline that should be followed during exam time?

It’s very important to study and then mentally formulate answers. You need to know what the teachers are expecting in your answer-headings, flowcharts, diagrams, etc. It’s great if you write them down if you have the time and they are very important. Also, you should only study what’s important because time is limited.


10.What do you do to keep yourself kinda stress free? Go for a swim, go for a walk or just wiggle under the blanket and fall asleep or what?

Personally, I am not very athletic. I do walk a little. Also, a proper sleep is very important for me.


11.Are you involved in any extracurricular activities, be it sports, cultural or academics? How do you manage it along with your routine academics?

I have been involved in academic activities. I did study whenever I got the time and made note of my backlog. I tried to cover it up subsequently. It’s manageable, if you can manage to not procrastinate.


12.Could you give some important pointers on Exam writing skills? And also how should one prepare for a practical exam? Any special tips for the people of your college who would be reading this?

Anatomy-Draw diagrams and try to explain things through diagrams as time is limited and it’s difficult to finish papers. For practicals, just study in accordance to the different topics i.e. hard parts, soft parts, Xray and living anatomy, etc.


Physiology– Include flowcharts, diagrams wherever possible.


Practicals– Everything else is manageable. Just do clinical examination well.


Biochemistry-Follow your textbook and practical book


13.What is the one major thing that you would like to change in today’s curriculum?

Change the focus from ‘exam-based’ to ‘knowledge-based’


14.So, do you have any parting thoughts? Like disclosing that secret mantra that you chanted or that special brand of energy drink you savored? Just kidding. Seriously though. Anything at all?

Just keep working, don’t let anything let you down, don’t compare yourself, try to overcome your own limitations and better yourself, that’s what’s most important. All the best.


Interviewed by- Prajwal Shetty

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