It is always confusing for students preparing for their Post Graduate (PG) medical entrance exams like AIIMS PG, AIPGMEE, NEET-PG, JIPMER, PGI, CMC, MAHE etc about which books to use. As these PG entrance exams are based on Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) classic medical textbooks are not too much of use to students as MCQ books are needed for orientation to exam pattern and also for quick revisions which are not possible to do from classic textbooks due to the limited time available to students. In this review article, I am mentioning most commonly used MCQ books by medical students to crack these entrance exams along with my personal opinion on which one is the best.
Also before I start with the review of the books I would like to tell you a simple method to decide how much time should a student give to each subject for the subject-wise reading. I am writing about this because I have got many queries from students about how much time should be given to each subject. So Number of Day for a subject = Weightage (Marks) of the subject in NEET-PG/ AIPGMEE. This is a very approximate method of knowing the days and it mainly applies to subjects like Medicine, Surgery, PSM, Pharmacology etc i.e. subjects having high weightage. For example, Radiotherapy and Radiodiagnosis both have 6 marks each weightage in AIPGMEE but it is easy to finish it off within 2-3 days each. Also, Forensic Medicine has weightage of 10 marks but it is easy to finish it off in 4-5 days. A student who is good at a particular subject will take the lower number of days to read it from MCQs books. So the final decision should be made by the student only about how many days he/ she wants to read a particular subject. A detailed breakup of subjects for AIPGMEE 2016 can be found here and for NEET-PG here.
- 1 Anatomy, Bio-Chemistry & Physiology
- 2 Forensic Medicine & Toxicology
- 3 Pathology
- 4 Pharmacology
- 5 Microbiology
- 6 Short Subjects
- 7 Preventive & Social Medicine (PSM)
- 8 Paediatrics
- 9 Obstetrics & Gynecology
- 10 General Surgery
- 11 Internal Medicine
- 12 Multiple Volumes Books
- 13 DM/ Post-Doctoral Entrance Exam Books
Anatomy, Bio-Chemistry & Physiology
ACROSS: A Complete Review of Short Subjects (Vol-2) has always been counted as the best book for pre-clinical subjects like Anatomy, Bio-Chemistry & Physiology and is used by most students for many years. (updated with a link to 2014 edition)
Self Assessment & Review of Basic Subjects (Anatomy & Forensic Medicine) by Arvind Arora (Recommended). I have compared recent editions of Arvind Arora books with Across and Amit Ashish. I think Arvind Arora new editions are best books to prepare for any subjects. The feature I liked most about them is that it now gives notes (description-explanation) on every topic before starting of MCQs. This makes it a very good option for students who do not have time to go through textbooks. Also, notes given in these books are much better and effective to read when compared to Across. So I would recommend all students to read this book instead of classic Across. Also, these books are easier to revise compared to ACROSS.
Self Assessment and Review of Biochemistry by Rebecca James Perumcheril is the newest addition to this list. I have not read this book yet but including it as an alternative option for students.
Smart Study Series: Anatomy by Anu Khera
Smart Study Series: Physiology by Vivek Nalgirkar
Forensic Medicine & Toxicology
Forensic Medicine & Toxicology (FMT) is one of the easiest subjects in medical entrance exams with a lot of marks weightage.
Smart Study Series: Forensic Medicine and Toxicology by Dr. Gaurav Aggarwal
Self Assessment & Review of Basic Subjects (Anatomy & Forensic Medicine) by Arvind Arora (Recommended). This book is described in the above section.
Pathology is subject with one of the most marks weightage in PG exams.
Review of Pathology and Genetics by Gobind Rai Garg & Sparsh Gupta (Recommended).
A very good book but Arvind Arora is better than it.
Smart Study Series: Pathology by Charanjeet Ahluwalia
Self Assessment and Review of Pharmacology by Arvind Arora (Recommended).
Review of Pharmacology by Gobind Rai Garg & Sparsh Gupta (Recommended)
This book is counted as the best book for preparation of Pharmacology by many students and is highly recommended.
Smart Study Series: Pharmacology by Bhaskar Krishnamurthy & Kamal KV
Smart Study Series: Microbiology by Ankit Gupta & Prafulla Songara published by Elsevier Health Sciences
This includes subjects like Dermatology, Psychiatry, ENT, Ophthalmology, Radiology, Radiotherapy, Nuclear Medicine Orthopaedics & Anaesthesia. These subjects do not have any separate book and come in a combined book with different subjects according to the publication house. So I am giving a few books names, some of which have already been mentioned in the above list.
Across: A Complete Review of Short Subjects Volume – 1, Dermatology (Skin and Venereal Diseases), Anaesthesia, Radiotherapy, Nuclear Medicine, Radiodiagnosis, Psychiatry, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics by Saumya Shukla, Anurag Shukla.
Smart Study Series Radiology by Narender Rohilla
Smart Study Series: Psychiatry by Mohan Sunil Kumar
Smart Study Series: Anesthesiology by Lalit K. Raiger & Rakesh Kapoor
Self Assessment & Review ENT by Sakshi Arora (Recommended). Alternative to Arvind Arora book. But very good. Prefer it Self Assessment and Review of Short Subjects Vol 2 (Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics & ENT) by Arvind Arora is not bought by you.
Smart Study Series: ENT and Head & Neck Surgery by Dr. Shibu George
Smart Study Series: Orthopedics by Narender Rohilla
Review of Ophthalmology by Ruchi Rai
Only recently I noticed this book on Flipkart and noticed very good reviews given by students. I have not had a look at this book but looking at so many good recommendations I would advise students to check it out once to see if they find it better than other books of Ophthalmology.
Smart Study Series: Ophthalmology by Dr. Lovekesh & Dr. Narender Rohilla
Preventive & Social Medicine (PSM)
Counted as the most boring subject by students but is very very important as just by reading this subject many questions from Microbiology & Medicine can be answered.
Smart Study Series: Community Medicine by Deepak B Saxena
Has many common topics with medicine.
As mentioned above, this book also has Paediatrics section.
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Special emphasis should be given on Gynecology as it has less portion to cover compared to Obstetrics and has almost equal weightage.
As mentioned above this book also has Obstetrics & Gynecology section.
Smart Study Series: Obstetrics & Gynecology by Punit Bhojani
This is one subject for which the answer varies on different textbooks and so in various MCQ books as treatment mode depends on the surgeon’s knowledge and experience. So it is necessary to get the latest edition of the book to keep our knowledge up to date.
As mentioned above this book also has surgery section.
The most important subject in all PG medical entrance exams. Preparing for this subject properly would enhance knowledge of student to answer questions from other subjects as well.
Medicine book by Mudit Khanna is the best book for medicine MCQs.
Multiple Volumes Books
Platinum Notes has 3 volumes one for preclinical sciences, Medical Sciences and Surgical Sciences. It gives a short version of the theory, so it can be considered by students who are short on time and want to cover many subjects from a single source. But still, I would recommend students to prefer subject wise books as they have much detailed description of all subjects and topics.
Platinum Notes – Preclinical Sciences Volume 1 by Ashfaq Ul Hassan
It includes subjects Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Forensic Medicine, Microbiology, Pathology, Pharmacology, and Social and Preventive Medicine.
Platinum Notes – Medical Sciences Volume 2 by Ashfaq Ul Hassan
It includes subjects Medicine, Dermatology, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Radiology.
Platinum Notes – Surgical Sciences Volume 3 by Ashfaq Ul Hassan
Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Orthopedics, Ophthalmology, ENT, and Anesthesiology.
Roams Review of All Medical Subjects by Reetu Agrawal & V. D Agrawal
This book includes all the subjects and gives the description in a point-wise manner. As a subjective opinion, I don’t like or recommend these kinds of books. So students should go through this book and Platinum Notes themselves to see which one suits their needs better.
DNB CET Review for Primary & Post Diploma Volumes 1, 2 & 3 by Ishad Aggarwal, Gaurav Bharat & Aditi Bharat published by Kalam Books.
DNB CET review has papers of previous year’s DNB primary and Post-diploma papers. It has papers given at the start and then answers of the MCQs are discussed individually. It is a good book if you are specifically preparing for DNB but I would recommend reading subject-wise books which give part of theory as well instead of these kinds of books which are only MCQ oriented.
DNB CET Review for Primary & Post Diploma Volumes 1 by Ishad Aggarwal, Gaurav Bharat & Aditi Bharat
DNB CET Review for Primary & Post Diploma Volumes 2 by Ishad Aggarwal, Gaurav Bharat & Aditi Bharat
DNB CET Review for Primary & Post Diploma Volumes 3 by Ishad Aggarwal, Gaurav Bharat & Aditi Bharat
Sure Success Magic by B. Ramgopal
Jaypee’s Triple-A (A Treatise for NEET-Volumes 1 & 2) Review of All India, AIIMS, All States Examination by Taruna Mehra, Apurba Sastry Sakshi Arora
DM/ Post-Doctoral Entrance Exam Books
1500 MCQs For DM, Post Doctoral & Post Graduation Entrance Exam by Man Mohan Mehndiratta
This book was given to me by Kothari publishers as a review copy. The book is published by Tree Life Media which is a division of Kothari Medical. The book title itself says that the book is meant for DM/ Post Doctoral and Postgraduation Entrance exams. The content of the book is such that it is not useful at all for NEET-PG exam. Topics are specialty and super-specialty, so they are meant for exams above those. Sections are of clinical medicine, endocrinology, hematology, infectious disease, oncology, respiratory system, rheumatology, cardiology, gastroenterology, nephrology, and neurology. Book content is MCQ at the start and then descriptions of individual MCQs at the end of the section. Explanations are very small and not much useful. I always prefer books which have a theory given at the start with tables, diagrams and charts for better understanding and remembrance than the books which have only a small paragraph for each MCQs which does not even clarify the basics of the question and the correct answer. As Pharmacology is my specialty I read MCQs and answers in it with detail and I found it to be underwhelming. Some MCQs were not very clear, descriptive or useful, had incomplete options or spelling mistakes and the descriptions given in it were just ordinary. This would only help students who are good at mugging up the MCQs and not for those who like to understand the topic. I think this book is not of much use and students can skip it.
I am going to publish reviews of as many of these books as I could in the near future.
If I have missed any important book please comment below. You can recommend us the books which you want us to review as well.
Updated on 17-03-2019
First Published on 27/02/2014