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In-Depth Jobs


Issue no 8, 21-27 May 2022

 

Tackling Neet-Ug

How to Deal With Biology

 

Prateek Singh

 

With increasing interest of the students in the medical field, there has been a drastic change in the way students are now approaching the NEET-UG examinations. Until a few years ago, a score of around 320 out of 360 in Biology combined with an average score of around 120-150 in Chemistry and Physics was considered a sage score that would guarantee admission to a government medical college. But, the scenario has changed now with aspirants scoring as high as cent percent in Biology. Therefore, it has become all the more important to have a flawless command over Biology.

 

Question Paper Pattern

Since 2021, Biology paper has been split into two sections; Botany and Zoology. Therefore, in total, four subjects have to be dealt with - Botany, Zoology, Chemistry and Physics. Each subject comprises 50 questions divided into two sections - Section A and Section B. Section A comprises 35 questions and Section B comprises 15 questions out of which a candidate is required to attempt 10 questions. Hence in the paper out of a total of 200 questions, 180 questions need to be attempted in 3 hrs 20 min (200 Minutes).

 

Chapters in Botany & Zoology

NCERT textbooks are considered the best resource for Biology. But, one thing that has to be kept in mind is that the NCERT textbooks do not segregate the subject into separate Botany and Zoology sections. Hence, sometimes it becomes difficult for a student to decipher which chapter falls into which section. However, if you were to take my advice, then you should not worry about it at all. In the general sense, it won't affect your preparation since there are many chapters which have combined concepts from Botany and Zoology and questions can be asked from those chapters in any section.

 

Chapters in Botany Section:

·         Plant Kingdom

·         Morphology of Flowering Plants

·         Anatomy of Flowering Plants

·         Cell: the Unit of Life

·         Transport in Plants

·         Respiration in Plants

·         Mineral Nutrition

·         Photosynthesis in Higher Plants

·         Plant Growth and Development

·         Sexual Reproduction in Flowering Plants

·         Organisms and Population

·         Ecosystem

·         Environmental Issues

Chapters in Zoology Section:

·         Animal Kingdom

·         Structural Organization in Animals

·         Digestion and Absorption

·         Breathing and Exchange of Gases

·         Body Fluids and Circulation

·         Excretory Products and their Elimination

·         Locomotion and Movement

·         Neural Control and Coordination

·         Chemical Control and Integration

·         Human Reproduction & Reproductive Health

·         Human Health and Diseases

 

The remaining chapters in the NCERT Biology textbook fall under topics that have mixed concepts of both Botany and Zoology. These chapters hold equal importance as you can expect questions from these chapters in any section (Zoology, Botany or both). For example, consider the chapter 'Evolution', THE NCERT textbook discusses about the evolution of plants as well as human beings in the same chapter. So, if there is a question on plant evolution, it will figure in Botany section. Similarly, if there is a question about human evolution, it will figure in the Zoology section. Also, there are some topics which cannot be separated distinctively into Botany or Zoology. Nevertheless, those topics should not be ignored as it will depend on the experts setting the question paper to place the question related to those topics in either of the two sections (Botany/Zoology). The crux of the above discussion is that an aspirant should prepare for all the topics covered in the NCERT textbook, overlooking the fact that there is no clear segregation of topics. They should be thorough with each and every chapter and should be confident to solve the questions asked about any topic. The purpose of the examination is to check your knowledge and problem-solving skills and you should be well prepared to tackle each and every question confidently.

 

Importance of NCERT Biology Textbook

I am sure that all NEET-UG aspirants must have come across the phrase that 'NCERT is the Bible' and it is in reality an apt glorification of the textbook because almost 95 to 99 percent of the topics are adequately covered. A miniscule amount of questions may be asked of which the detailed answers may not be available in NCERT textbook, but those topics will definitely be derived/deduced from topics that are mentioned in the NCERT textbook. The trick is to give priority to the major chunk of questions while not worrying too much about the questions that may unnecessarily consume your time. After thoroughly preparing for the major chunk of questions, you can put some extra effort in deciphering the intricacies of the complicated questions and finding solution to those as they may fetch you a 'little extra marks.' Always remember that 'a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.' Have a thorough reading and understanding of the concepts mentioned in the text book, memorise all the important dates, contributions of scientists and biologists, practice recreating the diagrams, flowcharts, tables and every illustration in the text book. Very often statement-based questions are also asked, so to prepare those, you should read each and every line of the text book and understand threadbare the concepts explained instead of simply memorising them.

 

Preparation Tips for Remaining Two Months

 

Biology is the easiest subject for majority of the NEET aspirants but then also it's a subject which requires a lot of memorisation and understanding of the concepts. It is a very volatile subject too as there a lot of terms which are similar and confusing, so here are some pro tips which will help you up your NEET game.

·         Make it a habit to read line by line at least three chapters of Biology every day. As the days will pass, you will notice that not only now you can read the same chapter much faster but also you are able to understand the concepts much better

·         After reading any chapter, go through all the diagrams, tables and flowcharts and learn them thoroughly. You should also go through the text given beneath any diagram or flowchart because sometimes they have some points not mentioned in the paragraph.

·         Practice mock tests and know your weaknesses and prepare them first.

·         Read each chapter in a single go. It might be possible that you detect some missing links. If you detect any concept/argument that you have not deciphered so far, don't waste too much time in trying to unravel the topic on your own. Instead, immediately contact your teacher/guide/peer who could help you on understanding the portion with clarity.

·         You should be very clear about the time you are going to devote to the Biology section in the examination. If you were to take my advice then you should be able to solve your Botany and Zoology section in 1 hour along with your OMR sheet filled for these sections. Do not hurry too much or do not be too late; you can give 5-10 minutes extra also but not more than that because you will be now losing your time for Physics and Chemistry.

·         Solve previous year papers from the year 2015 onwards because the pattern of questions keeps on changing and you should not waste your time in solving obsolete questions. Focus more on the 2020 and 2021 question papers because the paper is expected to be similar to it.

·         Solve a Biology full syllabus test in 1 hour every 3-4 days and keep tracking you performance and focus more and eliminate your weak topics. It's a strategy that I followed and it yielded me great results; hope it'll be helpful for you too

·         Most Important Tip 1: Organize all the dates mentioned in your NCERT textbooks at one place and also all the names of Scientists and their contributions and also all the full forms of terms. It is very important because from these three things only 5-6 questions are surely expected to be there in your paper.

·         Most Important Tip 2: You should solve all the questions given at the end of every chapter in your Biology NCERT textbook and also the NCERT Exemplar textbook. It’s not necessary that you should buy the NCERT Exemplar, simply download the pdf for free and solve the questions. As it doesn't have much questions you can finish the entire book in 2-3 days.

 

Best Resources for Biology Preparation

Since there are hundreds of books available in the market but you should just stick to basics and you need to understand your preparation needs and get your resources accordingly instead of wasting a lot of money on books and mobile applications and yielding nothing form it. As per my suggestion you should focus on these mentioned below, apart from that you can also have your own choice of resources:

·         Class 11th and 12th Biology NCERT textbook (must have).

·         Class 11th and 12th Biology NCERT Exemplar textbook (can buy the book or download the pdf for free)

·         Previous year papers of NEET (earlier AIPMT) from the year 2015 onwards.

·         15-20 full syllabus mock test papers for your assessment.

·         Any NCERT based chapter wise MCQ textbook or module

 

Weight Each Chapter of Biology Holds

It's very important to know how many questions are generally expected from each chapter so that you can focus more on the important chapters. On the basis of previous 5 years paper analysis here I am providing you the average chapter-wise distribution of questions as per my knowledge and experience:

 

CHAPTER NUMBER NAME OF QUESTIONS EXPECTED

The Living World 1

Biological Classification 4-5

Plant Kingdom 2-3

Animal Kingdom 2-3

Morphology of Flowering Plants 3

Anatomy of Flowering Plants 2-3

Structural Organisation in Animals 4 Cell:

The Unit of Life 2-3

Biomolecules 4-5 Cell

Cycle and Cell Division 2

Transport in Plants 2-3

Mineral Nutrition 2

 

CHAPTER NUMBER NAME OF QUESTIONS EXPECTED

Photosynthesis in Higher Plants 3

Respiration in Plants 2

Plant Growth and Development 2-3

Digestion and Absorption 1-2

Breathing and Exchange of Gases 1-2

Body Fluids and Circulation 2

Excretory Products and Their Elimination 1-2

Locomotion and Movement 2

Neural Control and Coordination 2

Chemical Coordination and Integration 1-2

Reproduction in organisms 1

Sexual Reproduction in flowering plants 3-4

Human Reproduction 3-4

Reproductive Health 2

Principles of inheritance and variation 4-5

Molecular basis of inheritance 4-5

Evolution 4

Human Health and diseases 3

Strategies for Enhancement in Food Production 2

Microbes in Human Welfare 2

Biotechnology: Principles and Processes 3

Biotechnology and its Applications 3

Organisms and Populations 3-4

Ecosystem 2

Biodiversity and Conservation 2

Environmental Issues 2

 

Mistakes to Avoid

Since Biology is the easiest among all the subjects so it becomes necessary to score as many marks as you can and the scope for error is quite low. So you must avoid these mistakes:

·         Not solving enough mock test papers. You should solve a full syllabus test every 4-5 days and keep eliminating your weak topics

·         Not focussing thoroughly on NCERT

·         Not reading the question properly before solving.

·         Not having proper understanding of some important and conceptual chapters such as Genetics and Ecology

·         Not devoting enough and proper time to the subject. Many students devote most of their time to Physics and Chemistry and focus less on Biology. Make it a habit of devoting 4 hours minimum compulsorily to Biology and preferably in the morning when the mind is free and you are likely to learn and remember more.

These have been my views on how you should prepare Biology in these last two months. Remember, there is not any exact way of doing things, you might find your own way of preparing but some of the tips and strategies mentioned are worth trying. All the very best to the future doctors of this country.

 

(The author is a NEET-UG Coach. He can be reached at prateeksinghtalks@ gmail.com).

Views expressed are personal. Forthcoming two issues of Employment News will cover preparation of Physics and Chemistry for NEET-UG.