1. When should one start preparing for PG entrance exams? How many months and hours of serious preparation did you put in?
Dr. Vishnu Vinayakumar: In my opinion, an ideal student should be oriented to PG entrance exam pattern and the kind of questions they ask from the UG days itself. It will be better if he can try solving MCQs from various exams along with theory preparation itself. But it should not be done at the expense of losing edge over theory knowledge.
Its better to read Standard books like Ganong, Robbins during the UG days itself because most MCQs are based on standard textbooks. But if you find it difficult to follow standard text books, you can read other books. Make sure, you have got the concept rooted in your brain.
While reading standard textbooks, its better to make a note out of it. Because in books like bailey, things are scattered in various places. If you can bring it together in a note, it will be helpful for your theory as well as entrance preparations.
Even while preparing for practicals you can maintain few of the notes which are likely to be asked in the future exams. For eg. Histopathology notes and record. With so many image based questions being asked these days practicals notes are also important. Students can maintain the photos of histopatho slides and instruments so that it is useful in the future.
Having said that, as I was not an ideal student I have not done any of these! But I read standard textbooks, whenever possible.