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An E-mail from NBE that shook my world !!

On 3rd Oct 2014 i received a strange looking email in my inbox. At first it looked like to be from a terrorist organization but after rubbing my eyes a bit i realized it carried the words “NBE” in the sender information. I realized quickly that this may be even worse than what I initially thought it to be. So before opening the email I voluntarily reached for my fingernails and started biting them expecting the worst.The email contained the following things..

To my Surprise the email said that my appraisal exam is 10 days from today which meant really really bad news. I thought yearly appraisals were to be conducted at our own institutes ?? so what the hell is this.?? Now iam supposed to go to Hyderabad for my appraisal which means its a centralized exam.

Yes folks, Now NBE is going to conduct Yearly appraisals for you which means you will have to study regularly.  So what are these appraisals ? how should you prepare for them? How will it help you ? Here is some valuable info regarding the same.

What are appraisals?

Appraisals are a way of evaluating you and your institute. These are common in industrial setups and IT sector companies, but the same has been adapted by NBE to keep a check on our academic performance. Previously these appraisals were held at the home institute itself and were a yearly phenomenon. Both theory and practicals were either held on the same day or consecutive days.

Now however from this year the system seems to have been changed by NBE. The principal reason being that they are charging extra 10k from you guys as appraisal fees. So this means they will take money from you only to examine you and your performance.

 But there are some good things that you should take from this :

  1. You will get a standard question paper according to your curriculum. There will be a year wise distribution of topics.
  2. You will be made to study regularly and if not regularly atleast a month before the appraisal exam.
  3. You will compete with not only your collegues but also students from your region which will improve your academic skills overall .
  4. When compared to MD/MS where exam is held only once at the end of the course, these appraisals are a huge plus point for DNBs.
  5. Most of the students become dyslexic and forget writing subjective answers by the end of their 3 year course. This is one of the principal reasons for failing. Our quality of handwriting and speed of writing is inversely proportion to the years we study. In our attempt to write neatly our handwriting turns outs to be  “curvy” which may appear sexy to us but all examiner sees is filth. Some of us are not even able to finish the paper on time , so these exams may help you with your writing speed.
  6. The feedback – the worst part. There will be a detailed evaluation of your paper 2-3 weeks after the exam and its usually face to face with the examiner so you will know about your shortcomings instantly. The examiner will discuss all questions and tell you what books to read from. The feedback session is the most important session according to me as they are providing a detailed analysis of our performance in the following manner
  7.  you will get grades instead of marks but they will clearly indicate where you stand and give you a moral boost : 
  8. The practical exam will be held at your institute 2-3 weeks after the evaluation of the theory paper.

When are appraisals held?

Usually from September to November depending on your region so start preparing from august,you never know when the bomb may drop on you. This year North region appraisal got over in September. South region appraisal is going on at the moment, other regions are not yet over till now.

How to prepare for these appraisals?

These appraisals were not so important till now, but suddenly NBE is being professional about it. So one needs to study hard. Especially those who have joined new. This might be included in the final exam marks, though not sure about this but i would still say that one should take them seriously specially the first years as you dont know what may happen in the future. By the time you guys pass out , these appraisals "might" be something more important than they are at present. As i said its an evaluation, so they might consider your appraisal marks just in case your marginally failing in the final exam and may pass you with grace marks if your appraisal performance has been good. Iam not sure about this but the first years should take it seriously . For the rest it might not make much of a difference.

Do the previous year question papers from your branch for your appraisal, this is the most important step in preparing for your appraisal or final exam. The recent questions are the most important ones,specially the ones after 2005-2006.

Though it looks a bit tough for first years to do all this as soon as they enter the concerned branch but keep in mind that this is for your own benefit. If your doing what is required there is a high probability you will pass the final exam in first attempt easily. These yearly appraisals do look a bit tough to the onlooker but if you look on the long run, the future of DNB postgraduates looks really bright. 

Dr. Jateen Ukrani

DNB Resident, Dept of Psychiatry

VIMHANS Hospital,Vijayawada

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