Pros and Cons of NEET
From 2019 onwards, NEET is conducted by newly constituted NTA (National Testing Agency). It was earlier conducted by CBSE. NEET has now replaced AIPMT, all state level medical entrance exams and those conducted by various private medical colleges. Admission in medical/dental colleges of different states and private institutions offering MBBS or BDS courses is now done based on NEET merit list. In this post, we will discuss about NEET and its pros and cons in detail.
History of NEET: The AIPMT-NEET Saga
NEET was conducted for the first time in the year 2013. It received strong opposition from states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat etc and private medical colleges. On 18 July 2013, the apex court called it unconstitutional and scrapped it.
In 2014, AIPMT once again replaced NEET. But, its pattern was changed. Earlier AIPMT included two stages- Prelims and Mains exam. From 2014 onwards, it became a single stage medical entrance exam. Questions were reduced from 200 to 180. In 2015, Supreme Court ordered CBSE to re-conduct AIPMT when reports about large scale use of unfair means in examination were proved in the court. It was a dark phase but it showed the path ahead.
In 2016, Supreme Court reversed its earlier decision and gave a historic verdict in favour of NEET. It scrapped AIPMT and ordered CBSE to conduct NEET as a single medical entrance exam at the national level. Some states were allowed to conduct their own medical entrance exam for one more year. From 2017 onwards, for taking admission into MBBS or BDS course, in government or private medical colleges, NEET was made mandatory.
In 2018, government set up National Testing Agency (NTA) to conduct NEET and other similar entrance exams, earlier conducted by CBSE to ease its workload and bring transparency.
Pros of NEET Exam
There are several pros of the NEET Exam after AIPMT was replaced. This common exam now has become easier in terms of the earlier versions where a student had to write different medical entrance tests. The advantages you can get if you’re writing this exam are given below –
1. No effect on reservations
NEET rankings are conducted based on the exam scores a student secures, so it has no effect on the reservation policies. If or when it is mandated by their state governments, the states themselves could apply their old reservation system. However, the rankings would still be based on NEET scores and not reservations.
Also, as of 2019, the NTA prepares the merit list for NEET as well as conducts the examination. This means that they do not interfere in state affairs. When we talk about the state quota seats and its admissions, the counselling for it is done by the state boards themselves. So a candidate from one state may always take admission under the state quota. But only if they have certification or proof of residence.
2. Full transparency
State-based and independent exams were chock full of scams and leaks. In states that have many medical institutes, it’s common to see deep connections and general corruption enabling the potential of seats being stolen from those who rightfully secured it. NEET is the solution to a better system that establishes fairness and transparency. It is with NEET that a candidate may secure a seat in a medical college solely with their NEET score. If conducted in an online format, then it would help reduce the issues surrounding exams substantially since additional transparency is provided.
3. Reduced pressure on aspirants
The purpose of NEET exams was to reduce the overall burden that most AIPMT Prelims aspirants carried. Multiple exam papers, answering 200 questions in 3 hours, multiple exam patterns and syllabi, along with the aforementioned seat blocking were problematic.
With NEET, there’s now only a single, common entrance exam that provides question papers with minimal patterns and structures. It also provides more time for students, since it reduced the number of questions to 180, making the time limit for the questions as 1 question per minute. With NEET now as the common examination, candidates that pass NEET-UG would be free to apply to public institutes under AIIMS. This was not possible until after the NMC Act 2019 that was passed in September 2019.
4. Equal opportunity
The other benefit of NEET is that it gives everyone an equal chance to win a seat in a medical college. A candidate’s chances of securing a seat in a college they desire is entirely dependent on what rank they secure. Since ranks are calculated based on their scores only, NEET ensures that their skill and knowledge is what gets them through, and not anything else.
Socially speaking, it’s also made to be one of the most accessible exams in the country. About 10 regional languages are supported by NEET, so any candidate whose language medium is not English won’t have to worry much about it, which is a big contrast to AIPMT.
NEET also plans for state boards to adopt a CBSE-like syllabus, which may help reduce the amount of criticism NEET may receive from those who feel it’s unfair.
5. Saves budget and time
Replacing multiple exams that are usually conducted by various institutions with just a common entrance exam is an advantage that plays to both sides; on one hand, it saves a lot of budget for institutions as well as candidates who face financial issues. On the other hand, it helps the candidates themselves save a lot of time and energy for one exam instead of numerous ones.
6. Similar to the AIPMT structure
Not only are both the syllabus and paper structure similar between AIPMT and NEET, but the 15% All-India Quota percentage is also the same for both exams. Since the old structure is retained, it has helped the candidates avoid getting confused about changing entrance exam patterns.
Now that the good stuff is out of the way, it’s time we get into the cons.
Cons of NEET Exam
With a lot of good, comes a little bad. The same holds true for the NEET Exam. Below are the disadvantages of the NEET Exam which a student might face while attempting it –
1. High risk factor
When we talk about risk, we’re talking about failure. Even though candidates don’t have to prepare for multiple exams, the upside to that is that they had a higher chance of success, since the performance was based on an aggregate of scores. Since NEET exams are single exams, failing it would mean the candidate loses a full year, and cannot perform again until the next exam.
This also means that the candidate must win against thousands of other candidates in order to secure a seat. Not only is it a lot of competition to deal with, but it also adds additional space for error and additional academic and social pressure.
2. CBSE Syllabus
The CBSE syllabus may seem normal for those coming from either a national-level education background, but candidates with state-level education background will find it much more difficult. Although NEET strives to maintain equality for all candidates, equity in this context is a challenge that has yet to be answered.
3. Not cost-friendly
Although the point about the budget has been made above, it doesn’t necessarily apply to students who hail from rural areas, and India consists of many of them. They feel as if NEET caters to the middle and upper-class families due to the high monetary cost it demands in order to prepare for it. In order to allow for additional inclusivity, the central government would have to find ways to cut costs down.
In summary, we could say that the academic advantage to NEET is that it’s an economical and faithful way to test a candidate’s skills and knowledge on medicine and dentistry, with the disadvantage being that it’s much harder for state-based candidates to swallow.
They may be rather simple points about a national-level exam, but over the years, we’ve seen remarkable results from it. NEET is here to stay for a long time.
Should Scholars drop a year to prepare again?
The feeling of “I want to be a doctor” is generally very strong in many individuals leading to the conclusion of dropping a year for preparation. The number of candidates that drop a year to prepare for NEET is greater than those dropping a year for engineering entrance tests.
Nevertheless, let us understand some pros and cons of dropping a year for NEET preparation.
- Biggest advantage is one complete year can be fully devoted for NEET preparation, hence time to cover the vast NEET Syllabus.
- The possibility of cracking NEET is higher if one decides earlier, thus having a better mind frame to prepare for board exams as well.
- Many reattempt NEET as now, there is no limit on the number of attempts.
- One can only build up on concepts, solidifying and concreting them with the surplus time.
- Last and most important one, the goal of becoming successful medical professionals will be met
- Missing out one year and not staying in sync with their peers is the prime fear of students who decide dropping a year
- One year of self-studies is not easy as it requires complete dedication and focus
- Pressure to succeed the next year is greater as one year is dropped
How to decide if you require dropping a year?
Aforementioned were few pointers, there is a probability of differing motives and views. You can simply chalk out pros vs. cons if there is a dilemma, the column having greater points, could be your verdict.
Stick this sheet on your door if you choose to drop it as it can be a source of inspiration year long.
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