Riya Barar Mimer mc topper

     The trick is to enjoy what you’re learning.

Riya Barar

MIMER Medical College

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.

My name is Riya Barar. I am a student of M.I.M.E.R. Medical College. I am someone who is extremely passionate about what I’m studying. I chose this profession because there was nothing else in world I saw myself enjoying as much as this. Turns out, I made the right decision. I also make an effort to try new things, I pick up a canvas and paints occasionally, I learnt to play the Ukulele and above all, I am avid reader because books allow me to experience things, unlike any other.

Individual marks in first year-

Anatomy- 140/200

Physiology- 156/200

Biochemistry- 156/200

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 trick is to enjoy what you’re learning. I was so excited to finally be in medical school that I found myself reading some small part of my textbook every other day, if not every day.

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?

Whenever I’ve tried to make some elaborate schedule, it has never worked out. I have given up hope on it ever working out. Short term goals are achievable, plan the day or the week at most.

Hours of study vary. I personally was never one to count hours, quality over quantity, right?

Some days we feel more motivated to study while other times, the drive is lesser.

While it’s good to study at your own pace, it’s also important to not get too comfortable, because that would mean that you aren’t pushing yourself enough or aren’t working hard enough.

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

After I’ve read a certain topic, I always find it very helpful to discuss it with my peers. While engaging in such a discussion, we tend to revise, come up with and clear doubts and also be more “viva prepared’. As for theory exams, I’ve always made my own notes for subjects like Physiology and Pathology.

5.Do you have 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?

A certain level of stress is good for you, because it keeps you motivated, that’s eustress. It’s important to not let that turn into distress, which more often than not, compromises one’s ability to work. The Do’s are- always push yourself to keep up with lectures. By that I mean, finish chapters as they are being covered in college. It’s hard to do this, which is why you should make it your goal. Don’t forget to give yourself a well-deserved break.

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

Certain teachers teach very well, it’s important to identify these individuals and to pay close attention to their lectures. Having an outline and a vague understanding of a topic is always helpful before you start studying. Other times, well, let’s just say I’ve been known to doze in class.

7.Was there any help you required 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.

Teachers give away a lot of frequently asked or their favorite exams questions while they teach. When I didn’t have teachers at my disposal, I turned to youtube, its filled with easier ways to understand concepts which we may find challenging. We have the internet at our disposal all the time, remember to use it!

The best motivation is the one that comes from within. A love for what you do and a fierce passion  to learn.

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?

If you rely entirely on question banks, it’s possible to pass with decent marks. That’s the difference between someone who does well and someone who scores average marks. I preach studying to gain knowledge and referring to question banks closer to the exams so we can format our information accordingly.

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

I prefer finishing maximum study work in the morning. I recommend people to choose the hours during which they find themselves most productive.

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

During exams, since we find ourselves indoors most of the time, it’s better to get some fresh air during free time and a short nap never hurt anyone!

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 am one of the editors of ‘The Grey Matter’, the official newsletter of M.I.M.E.R. Medical College. I am always enthusiastic to participate in seminars, symposiums, quizzes and always involve myself in any and all literary and sports activities. I see all opportunities as ways to gain more knowledge, whether academic or non-academic and as methods of interacting with more people and in the process, develop as a person myself. So, I do my bit every day and don’t let my work pile up, most of the time. The famous pancake analogy sums what I’ve tried to say in so many words. “You get 10 pancakes every day that you have to eat, if you don’t finish each day’s share. You’ll have a lot of pancakes piled up after a couple of weeks.”

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?

Exam writing skills 101-

Make your own notes

1.Use flow charts

2.Use diagrams

3.Decent handwriting

4.Use everything that is visually stimulating

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

 I would want more regular testing. Maybe earning points via small tests and activities throughout the year.

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?

After coming to medical school, I’ve realized that I am only as good as I allow myself to be. If I don’t think I can do something, I never will. And if I think I can, then nothing is impossible.All in all, this may sound like a lot, but the best motivation is the one that comes from within. A love for what you do and a fierce passion  to lear.


Interviewed By-Dharmin Doshi & Shivani Indrekar


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