How to prepare for GPAT exam?

GPAT or Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test is conducted to facilitate admission into the M. Pharm course and to award fellowship to the eligible pharmacy graduates. In this article I will give you the detailed analysis of the GPAT and some basic tips and tricks to crack GPAT with very good percentile score. As I am also from the pharmacy profession and had qualified the GPAT with 95 percentile so I think I can guide the aspirants best regarding the GPAT exam.

Till 2009, Pharmacy was included in the GATE syllabus and the same was used to give admission and scholarship to the qualified pharmacy graduates but as the no. of aspiring candidates increased the GATE organising committee raised its hands and expressed its inability to conduct GATE for pharmacy graduates from the year 2010.
This sudden withdrawal of pharmacy from the GATE had put the future of pharmacy students in an uncertainty. For safeguarding the rights and future of the pharmacy graduates, AICTE constituted the National Monitoring Committee (NMC) which was given the responsibility of conducting the similar exam like GATE for the pharmacy graduates. Till now the NMC has given the responsibility of the same to the Maharaja Saiyajirao University of Baroda, Vadodra. The name for the exam was decided as Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT).

Pattern of the GPAT exam

Till 2009, the pattern of the exam was a mixture of objective, fill in the blanks and match the following types of questions. But from the year 2010 the pattern of the GPAT exam was totally changed to objective type. The numbers of objective questions vary from year to year. There is also one third negative marking for every wrong answer given. So candidate should carefully attempt the questions and should not try to attempt the tough questions in the greed of scoring more marks. There is no negative marking for unattempted questions so candidates can leave the tough questions. Candidates have to select one answer from the four options and have to mark the answer on an optical response sheet.

Books for the GPAT exam

Careful selection of the right book is the first and most important step for the preparation of GPAT exam. At present market is flooded with the lots of books which boast of covering the whole syllabus of GPAT but only for few of them are up to the deal. For ideal preparation, one should first go through the text books thoroughly and then should have a good objective book to get familiar with the pattern of the examination.
Basically the whole syllabus of the GPAT can be divided into the four main subjects, i.e. Pharmacology, Pharmacognosy, Pharmaceutical chemistry and Pharmaceutics. Each subject has its own weightage in the GPAT and should be studied from a thorough and good book. Below I am giving you the name of standard books one must follow while preparing for the GPAT-
1) Pharmacology-
KD Triphati is the best book for Pharmacology and if a student has studied it thoroughly, then he doesn't have to look for any other book for Pharmacology. All the questions asked in the GPAT are of the level of KD Tripathi.

2) Pharmacognosy-
C.K. Kokate is the most easy and comprehensive textbook for Pharmacognosy. It covers almost all the syllabus of Pharmacognosy of GPAT.

3) Pharmaceutics-
No single book can provide you the full syllabus of GPAT for Pharmaceutics. You have to study different books for different topics.
  • Biopharmaceutics part should be studied from the Brahamankar.
  • Sterilisation and Parenteral portions are best given in the Remington and should be studied from there.
  • Formulation part should be studied from the book of Lachman as formulation is best explained in this book.

4) Pharmaceutical Chemistry-
Like Pharmaceutics, you have to follow different books for the different topics of Pharmaceutical Chemistry.
  • Basic organic chemistry is best given in the Morrison Boyd and you should study it from there.
  • Spectroscopy is explained in detail in the YR Sharma and Pavia. One should refer one of the two books for spectroscopy.
  • Medicinal Chemistry should be studied from the Foye's textbook of Medicinal Chemistry but for classification part you must refer S.N. Pandey's textbook of Medicinal Chemistry.
  • Analysis part should be studied from the Vogel's or Chatwal's textbook of analysis.

Beside from these books, you should also refer Indian Pharmacopoeia for the study of microbiology and to refer other basic topics for the preparation of GPAT.

For objective questions, one can refer either Piyush's or Inaamdar's textbooks for GPAT preparation. Both of the books are different in style and are extremely helpful for the preparation of GPAT.

Basic tips for the GPAT exam

After detailed analysis of the previous year's question papers, I found that there are certain areas or important topics for GPAT from where you will always find a question and if a student can master these topics then he can definitely score better. Here is the detail of my analysis-
  • Remember all the schedules of the drugs thoroughly because you will definitely get a question on the schedules of the drugs.
  • There will definitely be 3-4 questions on the families of the herbal drugs and the questions asked on the most common or useful herbal drugs. So you can learn them easily from the CK Kokate.
  • Every year now the frequency of the numerical is increasing in the GPAT examination. Basically most of the pharmacy students have a fear of attempting the numerical problems. But for scoring good marks in the GPAT it is mandatory to attempt these numerical problems. In GPAT there are limited types of numerical problems. Most of the numericals are asked from biopharmaceutics, allegation method, depression in freezing point and dose on the basis of body weight and age.
  • Every year there is a definite question on the receptors and one should study this topic from the KD Tripathi or Foye's Medicinal Chemistry.
  • Every year there are 6-8 questions on the spectroscopy and mainly questions come from Mass spectrometry, UV, IR and NMR spectroscopy.
  • Make a separate note of all the classification of the drugs from KD Tripathi. You will definitely find questions on the classifications of the drugs.
  • There will be definitely questions on the amino acid precursors of the basic chemical constituents of the herbal drugs. So you should study them before appearing in the GPAT.

Above tricks given will help you to qualify the GPAT exam but for the high percentile you have to go through all the basic textbooks thoroughly.

Best practices while appearing in the GPAT exam

To qualify the GPAT exam is not that much difficult if one approaches the exam with calm mind and analytical attitude. Remember one thing that no one can answer all the questions of the question paper. The main key to success in the GPAT is to believe on your strength and answer the questions with utmost accuracy because in negative marking, each wrong answer can cost you dearly.
After getting the question paper, first read the instructions carefully and then read the question paper thoroughly in the next 15 minutes. Don't be hasty in answering the questions; first make a tick on the questions on which you are 100 % sure and then, attempt those questions with utmost care.
After attempting those questions, take a deep breath and go through the question paper again and find that is there any other question which you can attempt? Here self-control is the most important thing as most of the students loose there self-control at this period of time. This result in more wrong attemptations and which ultimately lead to lower ranking in the GPAT. Whenever I used to loose self-control in such situation, I used to remind myself that actual merit will go much lower than my expectation and it helped me a lot in not attempting the unnecessary questions.

So in the last I would like to conclude with that this article is only a small attempt to show you the right direction to crack the GPAT exam with flying colours. The real thing required for cracking this prestigious exam is your hard work and no short cut can substitute it. So believe in yourself and start preparing for GPAT with full zeal and I am sure one day success will be your queen. All the best for your future.
If still you have any query or doubt regarding GPAT then you can make a comment below. I will definitely try my best to solve your queries.

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Guest Author: smita30 Apr 2012

Your writing relaxed me a lot. Thanks for the detailed explanation.

Guest Author: sonal10 Jun 2013

im a 2nd yr student of pharmacy i want to start my gpat prepartion from this yr please guide how i start my prepartion

Guest Author: alka srivastava01 Sep 2013

How should I balance my college study and GPAT? I am a regular student, so I have a problem in managing both.

Guest Author: chinmayi25 Oct 2014

I am good in academics. I have knowledge and not a bookworm, so may be daet over confidence made me to become lazy in studying gpat books but now I am totally messed up with college works,projects,etc now only 3-4 months left for Gpat exam now how can I prepare in this short duration of time with other college stuffs

Guest Author: soujanya23 Nov 2014

How to prepare analysis for GPAT?

Guest Author: daina28 Dec 2014

I am in 2nd year and I want to know that whether is it necessary to join classes for gpat? at what would be the correct tym to join.?

Guest Author: Tanushri18 Jan 2015

I am 3rd year student and have started to prepare now. Please guide me for how to start!

Guest Author: kuldeep04 Oct 2015

I am a 2nd yr student of pharmacy and I want to know the right time for GPAT preparation. I have already bought the Piyush's publication book for GPAT and preparing for the exam from this book. Is this a good book for GPAT preparation?

Guest Author: shaik30 Nov 2015

I am at the end of the 1st semester in 3rd year. How should I start my GPAT preparation and what books should I refer to?

Guest Author: Dinshad11 Feb 2017

I am a 2nd year B Pharm student. How should I start my preparation for GPAT?

Guest Author: Prafultiwari05 Mar 2017

This article on how to prepare for GPAT exam is the best I have read. The book recommendation portion was best and very helpful.

Guest Author: Lakshmi07 May 2017

How to make a key points on introduction parts of alkaloids and carbohydrates? When I am studying extraction of alkaloids there is confusion. We must memorize all the points or is there any other way?

Guest Author: Akanksha19 Jun 2017

I am doing two year B.Pharm and I want to prepare for GPAT. How should I begin my preparation? Please suggest.

Guest Author: Akanksha30 Jul 2017

I am in 2nd year BPharm now. How should I start preparing? Can you suggest coaching classes for GPAT?

Guest Author: zuber lathiwale07 Dec 2017

Hello sir
My name is Zuber. Firstly, Thanks for tips. I m B-Pharm pass out student (2016-17), and now I am working in Torrent Pharma. I want to give GPAT exam in this academic year, but only 1 month is remaining. I have not studied that much, but I have the confidence that I will prepare for GPAT. But there is small issue. How I start the study and which subject I have to give most priority? Please suggest me.

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