It is not an easy task for anyone to stay consistent and determined during the gap year as it is not less than a traumatic era. Thoughts of failure, a career at risk, emotional breakdowns, the feeling of being useless and being a constant embarrassment invade our mind. When in reality, all these thoughts don’t even matter in the end and occur naturally as an outcome of failure.
My journey of gap year:
The gap year wasn’t an easy year for me. That year that broke me apart but also simultaneously pushed me to be the better version of myself.
After holding a distinction in Fsc, I got overconfident to some extent. At the same time I was also aiming for Aga Khan University and KEMU. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into any of these but I was able to score a place in Sahiwal Medical College. I found myself unable to make peace with that so I decided to take a gap year.
The Reason Why I Couldn’t Score Enough?
MDCAT(medical entry test) requires your hard work, practice, time, self study and better learning skills. However, I was a more academically dependent person since Matric and was unable to catch the pace required for MDCAT. I learned that it is essential to reinforce topics and practice self study, which were habits that I lacked in my first attempt.
Here are a few ways I was able to motivate myself to get back on my feet and utilise my gap year:
Determination is the most important factor to utilise your gap year and to keep up your hard work and consistency. You should not ignore self motivation and triggers in your brain which enable you to work hard and make the very most of your year. Every emotional baggage and self doubt should be kept aside during gap year as they act as a distraction and are temporary components that subside after you get a good result.
It is important to realise that facing failure is crucial to attaining success. I often faced shame and failure when I couldn’t get into the place where I wanted to be, but I tried my best to let this failure propel me to work harder.
Good support system:
The only thing which kept me going throughout this gap year was commendable family support. I had never been this close to my family. And I believe that each and every one of you require the same support system, and a group of friends that encourage you likewise. Try to make the environment around yourself positive and focus on yourself solely with the help of family members and friends who back you up.
Never settle for less:
I decided to take a gap year with the mindset of not giving up, putting in all of my work and aiming for the stars. I was ready to never settle for less and to not give up under any circumstances.
Further activities to utilise your gap year:
You can think of your gap year as a recreational break for you to reflect on yourself. Own yourself, know yourself a bit more, explore your strengths and talents.
It is advisable to do internships at different NGOS, internships at different hospitals, debating, reading self help books, attending workshops, pursuing outdoor games to polish your character. Groom your personality and make yourself resilient for the next year.
Now Let's Link It To My MDCAT Journey..
I started my preparation exactly three months before MDCAT and majorly focused on self-study and lacking concepts.
In my opinion, self-study is the major factor one can focus on. It improves your concepts and your learning skills.
Tips for Biology:
Read the federal and PTB(Punjab texbook) course books as much as you can. Biology is all about memorizing and recalling. The more you remember, the better it will be for you.
Tips for Physics:
Read PTB and KPK books for Physics. Every table of the respective topic should be done either from the KPK, federal or PTB books. And just read once, but thoroughly from your respective federal course book.
Practice Physics MCQs from KIPS and STARS practice books.
Practice Organic Chemistry from the PTB course book. Clear your concepts for Chemistry. Inorganic chemistry is again, more of a memorisation game except for anomalies (mostly asked questions).
For English And Logical Reasoning:
These are the easiest portions of MDCAT. Just give an hour to both of these subjects on alternative days, but be consistent. Practice books of KIPS are more than enough for both of these sections.
MDCAT Experience Of 2021:
What I perceived was, that this time MDCAT was more about cramming and memorisation and less conceptual, there were repeated questions from their question bank.
The more you go through the same topic from different books, the better it would be. Just don’t keep yourself restricted to the mentioned topics, do the related topics as well.
In the end revise as much as you can. Prepare a schedule accordingly. A few days before your exam, you should have completed the revision at least thrice.
After all this hectic but a worth living gap year you can prove that you can achieve anything you aim at. Because of the gap year I proudly say that “I am currently a 1st year medical student at KEMU( King Edward Medical University)”. So don’t be afraid to follow your dreams. Just take the risk and work hard for it, to direct all your hard work into reality.