National Eligibility cum Entrance Test is an all-India level exam for undergraduate medical courses. It is conducted once a year by the National Testing Agency (NTA). This exam conducting body is a government agency that organises standardised assessments like NET, CUCET, NEET-UG, JEE, etc., whereas the NBE (National Board of Examinations) conducts the exam for postgraduate medical and diploma courses. NBE is also an autonomous government agency like NTA.

The undergraduate medical entrance exam has scrapped the previous other pre-medical assessments in India. Thus, NEET UG is the only gateway for all desired medical/AYUSH/dental courses. Even students who pursue their education abroad have to clear this exam to get seats in Indian medical colleges. The syllabus for this entrance assessment is solely based on NCERT to establish uniformity.

Highlights of the Exam

Every year lakhs of aspiring candidates register for this exam. This year, around 18 lakh candidates have registered, and thus, one can expect a high level of competition. The following are some important dates associated with this UG exam.

  • The exam has been organised for 17 July (Sunday) from around 2 pm to 5.20 pm.
  • The admit card for the same was released on the official website of NTA on 12 July.
  • The result and counselling dates are soon to be announced.

Any candidate who has completed or will complete 17 years of age during the time of admissions is eligible to apply. Also, they recently scrapped the upper age limit for this exam. Thus, one can give any number of attempts. All one should do is to clear the cut-off and top the merit list to get into their desired medical institutions. This process of getting medical admissions will happen via a series of counselling processes.

Subjects to Prepare

Students who have taken science subjects like Biotechnology/Biology, Physics and Chemistry as their major in Class 12 or equivalent exams are only eligible to apply. Also, the exam syllabus comprises only these 4 subjects – Zoology, Chemistry, Botany and Physics. The syllabus is usually based on the Classes 11 and 12 NCERT units, and the same is officially notified by the NMC (National Medical Commission).

Pattern of the test

This is an offline MCQ test that happens for a 200-minute duration. Candidates have to answer 180 MCQs out of the given 200 MCQs. Let’s see more about the exam pattern and marking scheme.

  • Each correct MCQ carries four marks. Thus, 180 MCQs give a grand total of 720 marks. Also, every incorrect answer will cost a negative mark, and unattempted questions carry no marks.
  • The questions in each subject are classified into two sections (A and B). Section A has 35 compulsory MCQs, whereas Section B has 15 MCQs, out of which 10 has to be attempted. Thus, one has to answer 45 MCQs under every subject.

There has not been much change in the pattern or syllabus over the years. The only highlight this year is that the exam duration has been increased from 180 minutes to 200 minutes. Thus, the NEET 2022 question paper will give ample time for students to think and answer. Furthermore, students can also choose their medium of question paper while filling out the application form. The question papers are made available in 13 languages.

What Happens after the Exam?

The NTA will soon release the official answer key on their website, after which results are to be announced. The same organisation also releases the cut-off marks for each category and the final merit list of candidates based on their rankings. This is followed by a series of counselling rounds – rounds 1, 2, mop-up and stray vacancy round. These are the stages one has to cross in order to get a seat in their dream medical college.