Top Tips for Image-Based Questions on the NEET-PG

Top Tips for Image-Based Questions on the NEET-PG

July 18, 2019 - Kaplan Test Prep

Transitioning from paper to computer-based entrance exams has greatly facilitated the delivery of image-based questions in the medical post-graduate entrance examinations. This shift has also led to a greater exchange of image-based clinical discussions in multiple forums, apps, online tutorials and social media pages.

The recent increase of such questions in NEET-PG papers in particular, indicates that the examination boards have also taken a great interest in image questions. They can be illustrations of medical concepts or organisms and real-time photographs including X-rays, CT, MRI, surgical instruments, specimens or slides.

Kaplan’s free NEET-PG Question Bank is now available with selected medical image-based questions! Try it today.

Here are a few preparation tips you can use for tackling image-based questions:

  1. Learn information visually: When reading medical concepts, ideas or microorganisms, picture it in your mind. During revision, try to recall the information as images. You can also look up similar images or watch related videos, if you have the time. Pictures can reinforce what you have learnt and can lead to longer retention of the concepts.
  2. Identify the high-yield topics: Look at previous exam questions and mark the subject chapters the image questions were from. During revision, identify the high-yield topics in those chapters and pay close attention to the images.
  3. Always follow a method to analyze and deconstruct image questions: For example, what type of color of stain is given in the slide image, think where the stain is applied, and then look at granular details of the organism in the stain. The method is to identify grossly, then think and recall the concept, and finally to look closely in order to narrow down the information you recalled. List down the possibilities in your mind before looking at the options.
  4. Go through Images from standard texts: Usually, the image-based questions might have images similar to the illustrations in standard reference texts - like Harrison’s for medicine, Bailey and Love for surgery, and Robbins for pathology. If you have a pdf version of standard books, you can filter and browse through all the images.
  5. Dermatology and radiology are two subjects that can provide a great variety of image-based questions: When revising dermatology, understand the disease presentation and how the pictures of differential diagnosis differ from the disease. For radiology, read the question stem to note if it mentions the procedure as diagnostic or therapeutic, and then look at the image to note the modality used, section or area, and narrow down the possibilities.
  6. Practice regularly: During internship, look at ECG in case files and get in the habit of making guesses and differential diagnoses. Look up inter-connected subject areas when you encounter a new patient case or during revision of high-yield topics. For example, look at the images under anatomy, medicine, pathology and/or surgery for a specific topic. This will help strengthen your concept comprehension and facilitate retention.

Above all, don’t forget to be consistent with your preparation methods so you can be confident on test day!

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