How to study for MCI/FMGE Exam?

Medical Council of India Screening Test, also known as Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE), is a licensure examination conducted by the National Board of Examinations (NBE) in India. 

The test is one of the mandatory requirements for an Indian citizen who has a medical degree from a college outside India to practice medicine in the country. The screening test was introduced in 2002 as a qualifying examination for Indian students obtaining their medical degrees from countries other than India, such as countries belonging to the former Soviet Union, Eastern European countries, China, Nepal, Philippines, and Caribbean countries. 

Indian doctors holding basic medical degrees from any country or even from India have to take the MCI screening test now also known as NEXT Exam according to new rules passed by the Indian Government.

Foreign Medical Graduates have made a misconception that MCI Screening Test is a hard nut to crack. So, in this blog we are going to discuss frequently asked questions about MCI Exam and I’m sure by the end of this post you doubts will be vanished in thin air 🙂

Q. Why MCI passing % is low for foreign medical graduates?


It depends on the student. You need to understand what are the types of students that come to abroad for studying MBBS. Usually, they are of two types.

First, there are students who wants to run away from India, run away from the situations, run away from NEET & AIIMS exams. These are the students who wants to achieve everything in life by a shortcut method. These are the students who have the habit of procrastination. They continue with their habit in abroad too and that’s why they miss the wonderful opportunity of preparing for their FMGE Exam also known as MCI EXAM during their course duration.

Now, there are second type of students who have a clear vision and goal in mind. They toil hard from the Day 1 and clear the MCI Exam. These are the students who are highly motivated and dedicated towards their goals. 

I can assure you if a student is following our guidance and tips and tricks from day 1 without getting trapped into any bad habits, success is bound to come his/her way.

Q. Which foreign country/college has the highest MCI passing percentage?


First, I want to burst some misconceptions here. Some students have sent us images from the internet showing the passing percentage from a particular college. I want to say that the data that you see on Internet is FAKE. It is a marketing gimmick by a university to attract more number of students. 

It does not matter from which country you are going to study. For example, if I tell 2 students have been graduated from a university and they appeared in MCI screening exam and one of them passed the screening test so the passing percentage becomes 50%. At the same time, if 100 students have graduated from the university and the same number of students have appeared in the MCI screening test but only 10 passed out of them then the passing percentage becomes 10%. There is no passing percentage data available on the official MCI website. So, please don’t fall prey to such things. 

By the way, we already discussed about the best country to study MBBS Abroad in our LIVE Seminar. If you have not checked it yet, please click here

Every university follows the same pattern of teaching with same syllabus as all the universities follow European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). The number of hours is same for all the subjects, so the syllabus. The thing which differs in each university is the infrastructure, quality of education,experienced staff with English speaking IELTS certified teachers. 

There has been also a ranking myth about a university which is very prevalant among the students. I want to tell you, it is very easy to rank a website on Google. If you see a university getting ranked on Google or it shows ‘X’ university has a better WHO ranking than ‘Y’ university. Don’t believe it, it is FAKE. To be very frank, it is just a matter of some bucks to rank any university on Google. You just think if a university has to do it’s marketing on a huge scale, what would be the standards of that university? Let me ask you a question, have you even seen an ad of Ferrari? No, right? Why? Because Ferrari does not need to market itself due to the quality of cars they produce. The same thing goes for any specific university. Good universities does not need to market themselves as the admission seats are already filled in the good universities.

Q. Which books and videos should a student study each year to easily pass MCI in the first attempt?


For the students who are going to start the first year, their classes will begin from September 1st. Some of them have applied for the admissions while some others have recently got their passport according to the information we received. For such students who have already made their mind of joining a foreign university, they have 3 months in hands i.e. June, July, August. 

Basically in the first year after coming to Ukraine, you must read Anatomy, Histology. If MCI coaching will be given to you in the first year then you must also read Physiology and Biochemistry. So, in these 3 months i.e. June, July, August, you must first start with basics of Anatomy like reading the terminologies, Latin names. You must utilize these 3 months to read Anatomy. How to do it? Let’s discuss.

ANATOMY

  • To clear your basics for Anatomy, I would suggest you to read Handbook of Anatomy by B.D. Chaurasia. It is a small book if you reading 10-15 pages a day, you can easily finish the book in a period of one month. 

  • After reading handbook of Anatomy by B.D. Chaurasia, start with 4 volumes of Anatomy by B.D. Chaurasia. You can start with the upper and lower limbs which is very easy to understand and start with and important at the same time. 

If a student is preparing for the MCI Exam from the first year and wants to be ahead of everyone, they can read review books along with the textbook. The review book that I like the most for Anatomy is Review Book of Anatomy by Arvind Arora.  If a student wants to give an extra ace to their Anatomy, he/she can also read Review book of Anatomy by Rajesh Kaushal. This review book is lengthy but with little more efforts it will surely help you to develop key concepts in Anatomy.





NOTE:  Always read review books after reading your textbooks completely. Never read review books before textbooks. Review books are for your self-aasesment so kindly use it like one. It can never replace your textbooks. Reading a chapter from review book after reading it from textbooks prepares you well for MCI Screening test from the very beginning. We’re advising all our students to bring the review books along with the textbooks in the first year. 

HISTOLOGY


To read Histology in the first year, you must read Textbook of Histology by Inderbir Singh. You must study Histology in the first year, without having the knowledge of embryology you cannot pass the MCI and USMLE Exam. A student who has profound knowledge of embryology easily clears any competitive exam like USMLE, PLAB, MCI. Also, a student gets a lot of help in understanding clinical subjects like Physiology and Obstetrics & Gynaecology.


PHYSIOLOGY


There are 2-3 renowned authors for Physiology. But, according to me the book which I love the most is Textbook of Physiology by K. Sembulingum. The language used in this book is very easy to understand. The chapters are given in the alphabetical order making it more student-friendly.


Some students ask me, can they read Guyton & Hall for Physiology? There is nothing wrong in reading it but the language used is very hard as it is a book written and published by a foreign author. Also, the book is very lengthy and the fonts used in the book are small making it little difficult for a medical student to read it with ease. 

A student can use Review book of Physiology by Dr. Arvind Arora or Review book of Physiology by Soumen Manna after reading the textbook. If you don’t wanna use the review book of Physiology by Dr. Arvind Arora, you can also use PHYBIAN by Dr. Vivek Jain. As the name suggests, it is a combined review book for Physiology, Biochemistry, Anatomy, Forensic Medicine. It is the most recommended review books for the medical students preparing for the MCI screening test.





If you are combining the study material, you get from the college, lecture notes, practical experience along with the Textbook of Physiology by K. Sembulingum, the concepts that will be developed, you will never forget it in your entire life. For the students who wants to prepare for USMLE, you can combine the knowledge gained from the book along with the Kaplan’s Physiology videos.

                               BIOCHEMISTRY 


If you want to read a book by foreign author, you can read Harper’s Illustrated Biochemistry. But while studying in Ukraine, I use to have two classes a week for Biochemistry so I used Biochemistry by Satyanarayan. The reason I used Biochemistry by Satyanarayan because the I liked the way it is very well-written with well-crafted diagrams and illustrations and well-explained tables and charts. Also, the language used is very to understand. A student can use Review book of Physiology & Biochemistry by Dr. Arvind Arora. It is a combined review book with Physiology. You can also use Review of Biochemistry by Rebecca James. It is one of the most widely used review book by the Indian students preparing for MCI and PG Exams.



PATHOLOGY


I personally used Textbook of Pathology by Harsh Mohan. But, in the recent time, I have seen my juniors preferring Robbins Basic Pathology. The reason so because most of my juniors are preparing for USMLE so they preferred Robbins Basic Pathology. USMLE Step 1 is all about clinicals and pathology. Pathology covers a major chunk of weightage. And you can nowhere find better explanation  of Pathology other than Robbins. But, if a student is preparing for MCI screening test then Textbook of Pathology by Harsh Mohan would be the best.



You can use Review of Pathology by Govind Rai Garg and Sparsh Gupta. It is one of the most widely used review book by the Indian students preparing for MCI and PG Exams almost for the last 10+ years. A student can also use Review book of Pathology by Devesh Mishra because the students in the recent past have started using it.



PHARMACOLOGY


Initially I used Textbook of Pharmacology by K.D. Tripathi. No doubt, I was not able to complete Pharmacology from there. But, it is one of the best textbook out there for Pharmacology. You can also use Pharmacology by Lippincott. I personally used it while preparing for USMLE Exam. You can use Review of Pharmacology by Govind Rai Garg and Sparsh Gupta. It is one of the best selling review book for Pharmacology.




MICROBIOLOGY


A student can use Textbook of Microbiology by Ananthanarayan. Also, you can use Review of Microbiology by Rachana Chaurasia. Neither I was able to read the textbook nor the review book completely because Microbiology was one of the toughest subjects for me. But, when I started preparing for USMLE Step 1 exam, I took help of SketchyMicro and UWorld.




I cannot complete this answer without mentioning Dr. Najeeb. He is one of the most renowned professor for the medical students all over the world. Dr. Najeeb is giving his lifetime video subscription only @10$. Please don’t miss this wonderful opportunity. No matter you are preparing for MCI Screening Test or USMLE Exam, you must watch Dr. Najeeb’s videos during the first three years of your medical study. Try to finish his video lectures from Anatomy, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Physiology, Pathology, Pharmacology. By the way, he gives the best Neuroanatomy video lectures. You can also watch Dr. White’s Neuroanatomy videos from Kaplan Video series. Don’t tell this to anyone 😀

Q. When is the right time to start the coaching for the MCI screening test?


It is a very good question which is mostly frequently asked by our students and juniors. I have seen students of first year taking class for Internal Medicine. Later, they come to me and ask, Bhaiya, why I’m not understanding anything? You must understand being a first year student, you cannot understand medicine because your basics are not clear. There is no specific time to start coaching. If you need it, you can join. If you don’t need it, don’t join. 

If you are reading your textbooks well, following review books well, watching medical videos but still you are not satisfied with your MCI Screening test preparation and you feel the need to join one then in most of the Ukrainian universities MCI Coaching comes every year. If MCI coaching is available in your university being a first year student, you must wisely choose your subjects like Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry for MCI Screening Test Coaching. Once you are a second year student, you can choose subjects like Microbiology, Pathophysiology, Pathomorphology for MCI Screening Test Coaching. These subjects are taught in the third year in Ukraine but if you are preparing for USMLE Step 1 exam and want to be little early with your preparation, then you can surely start these subjects in the second year for MCI Screening Test Coaching.

Joining selective subject coaching from the beginning will help you to evaluate the level of questions asked in the MCI Screening Test exam, the pattern of the paper, recent trends, previous years questions, success rate, PG preparation. It also develops a discipline in you to sit for long number of hours and do self-study. Self-study was one of the main reason for my success in MCI screening test in the first attempt. 

I have seen students buying FMGE Solutions by Deepak Marwah in the first year. You don’t do this mistake. Buy it once you have passed out from the third year and once you possess ample of clinical knowledge to deal with the clinical questions asked in the book. If you are reading from the review books that are already mentioned in the above answer that would be more than enough as it has a lot more questions than FMGE Solutions by Deepak Marwah. 


Q. Which is the best coaching center for the MCI Screening Test?


Most of the teachers are same in all the coaching centers. No teacher is good or bad. They are all specialist of their field. If a teacher is teaching you Physiology that means he/she is a Physiologist. It depends on you how well you absorb the information and for that to happen you must study hard from the Day 1. 

Some famous coaching institutes for MCI coaching in India are MIST, AFMG, DIAMS for FMGE. DAMS is followed by the students for PG exam preparation. Most of my friends joined MIST. It is one of the renowned coaching institute for MCI with a high success ratio.

Q. Do we have negative marking in MCI screening test?


For the time being, there is no negative marking in the MCI screening test. A student must score 150/300 to pass the test. Let’s say even if they bring negative marking in the future then also only 1/4th marks will be deducted. Let’s take an illustration. I scored 220/300. I made mistakes in 80 questions. Keeping that in mind, 1/4th of 80 becomes 20. So, if negative marking was present during my time, my score would have been 200 instead of 220. But, if I would have left those 100 questions (300-200) with a fear of negative marking, my scores would have been much lower.

Q. How is MCI screening test as compared to NEET-  UG exam?


Many parents have asked us if our child cannot get a seat through NEET-UG in India then how can he/she clear MCI screening test in the future? Every parent and students must understand NEET-UG is a competitive exam. It is not a piece of cake to grab a seat in India considering the fact the number of seats for the government medical colleges are less than the number of increasing applicants every year.  To get a seat in India through NEET-UG, a student must get a good rank on the other hand MCI screening test is a mere screening test which a student just needs to qualify with a score of 150/300. So, we cannot compare the two exams because the parameters are different for both the exams. Have you not seen students qualifying NEET-UG? You have seen, right?

Q. How many attempts an average or below average student need to pass MCI screening test who did not study anything for 6 years?


There are no limits on the number of MCI attempts. On an average, the students who did not qualify in the first attempt, 90% of them qualified in the second attempt and the remaining 10% qualified in the third attempt.

Q. What a student can do in India if he/she has not qualified the MCI screening test?


It is a bitter truth. But, if you have decided to study MBBS abroad especially in Ukraine, you have no other option other than studying if you want to pass MCI Exam. Without passing MCI screening test, you have no future in India. According to me, if a student has qualified NEET-UG then he/she can easily clear MCI screening test. The passing percentage of MCI test is surely going to go higher in the coming 5-6 years because now only those students will come who has qualified NEET-UG exam.

If you are a student and reading this article, I want to say while reading if anywhere you felt medicine is too much for you and you cannot clear MCI exam and carry the burden of being a doctor then don’t come to abroad. Follow what your heart says. By doing this, you will give yourself a new life and also the MCI screening test passing percentage won’t go down. Just think, why to spend Rs 22-30 lacs when you don’t even want to become a doctor in the first place?

Also, I want to convey this to parents if your child does not want to become a doctor wants to do something else, please don’t indulge them into this profession. I have seen many of my friends who came here by force and peer-pressure. They never wanted to become a doctor. After coming here, they started following their passion, what they truly loved. On the other hand, if your child wants to study MBBS abroad then don’t neglect their wish because of a misconception that students studying medicine abroad are good for nothing and have no future. I am an example of what a foreign medical graduate can do and there are many more! Please show some faith in them and trust me, they will surely make you proud one day 🙂

Q. What advice can I give to my juniors?


Read the books that I mentioned in my answer above. Read your textbooks first then go for the review books. Choose proper subjects in respective years while preparing for the MCI screening test. I cannot guarantee your success 100% but 99% I can assure, you will qualify MCI screening test, you will do internship in India, you will get a job with a decent salary in India. For the on campus preparation and guidance of the students, our whole team of Inspiring Mindz is working hard to ensure your success right from the admission process to university selection which are top-most in Ukraine, providing video materials to our students so that you don’t face any difficulty starting from the 1st year until 6th year. Even academically, our team will be there to support you on board. 

So, that was all for this article. I hope, most of your queries were solved while reading this article. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends. For any future queries, you can contact us at inspiringmindzofficial@gmail.com

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