If you are appearing for NEET 2019, chances are, that you have been bombarded with different news every day. So if you are a little confused on exactly what is going on, you can put all your dounts to rest here.

So to clear up those doubts of yours, as to what is all the hullabaloo about NEET 2019, what has finally changed, and what has not, this one is for you. Here, we will try to explain to you exactly what has changed, and what has not. We will also go one step further and explain the why behind it all.

Lets start from the latest piece of information, and then go backwards. This way, if you want to just know the latest news then you can catch that and go back to your preparations. However if you want to know about it all, then please feel free to read this whole article completely. We would also like to hear your feedback on it all in comments.


The conclusion on changes in NEET 2019

As of today, at the time of writing this article, the following are final changes in NEET 2019.

Change Now Earlier
Exam conducting body NTA (National Testing Agency) CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education)
Official website nta.ac.in cbseneet.nic.in
Aadhaar card for registration Not mandatory Was mandatory
Eligibility NIOS students are expected to be eligible for NEET 2019 (read more) NIOS students were ineligible for NEET exam
Students with additional biology are expected to be eligible for NEET 2019 (read more) Students with additional biology were ineligible for NEET exam

As you can see, these are such changes which will not impact on the type of exam. From a student’s perspective, there is nothing to be bothered about. All you have to do, is visit the new official website for official notifications and to apply online / get admit card / check result.

But what happened to all that news about NEET being online and twice a year?! Be patient, we are coming that. Read on to know all the changes that were promised, announced, and then rolled back.

Promised changes in NEET 2019

First let me tell all that was supposed to happen, and maybe in the future they will be implemented in NEET 2020.

Mode of exam

NEET was supposed to be held in online mode, as computer based test. So basically what was promised was that NEET exam will be held all over India in a single mode that is CBT. Candidates would have had to appear for exam at a center, where they would have been assigned computers, then they would have logged on and marked answers on that computer.

Exam frequency

NTA was supposed to conduct NEET 2019 twice a year. This was a change which students received with open arms. They were excited to get 2 chances to appear in exam. The first NTA NEET 2019 was to be in February, and the second was to be in May.

NEET would have been held in eight sessions

Further, not only was NEET exam to be held twice a year, but in 8 sessions every time. So there would have been 16 sessions in a year for candidate to appear in exam.

Best of 2 scores would have led to admission

If NEET was held twice a year, then candidate could have appeared in any one exam, or could have appeared both times. Only best of the two scores would have been used for MBBS / BDS admission.

TPCs for NEET 2019 Online Test

If the exam was held online, then NTA would have initiated online mock tests at test practice centres and on its online app. Now it should be kept in mind that NTA has not categorically said that it will not give NEET mock tests at TPCs (which are currently running for JEE Main and UGC NET), but it is being assumed that since NEET is not an online paper any more, it will not happen.

So what went wrong? Why were these changes not implemented? Read on to find out.

Why is NTA not implementing any change in NEET 2019?

The only official explanation that MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development) has given for rolling back changes is that “The change in the NEET exam pattern (as against the statement made on 7th July 2018) which will now be a single exam in pen-and-paper mode and in the same number of languages as has been conducted last year, is on the request of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, who wanted the same pattern followed last year to be maintained”.

In short, MHRD has rolled back changes in NEET 2019 on request of MOHFW.

However, many reasons have been cited in news reports. The top 3 reasons why no changes were implemented in NEET 2019 are:

  1. If NEET is held twice a year, then class 12 students will have to appear for exams continuously for 2-3 months (as they have board exams also).
  2. If NEET is held online, then rural students will be at a disadvantage. Rural and also semi-urban students who do not have easy access to technology will be appearing for a CBT for a first time which may adversely impact their performance despite having knowledge of subject.
  3. If NEET is held in 16 sessions, then NTA would have to create a huge pool of questions, which would bring down the novelty of the exam and lead to being easy-to-be-copied by coaching centres.

Befuddled? Wondering how a crucial thing such as a national level medical entrance exam could have undergone so many complications in a single year? Read on to know the chain of events that happened.

NEET 2019 History

Before you understand what happened in NEET, let me tell you how NTA happened.

Nov 10, 2017: Union Cabinet approves the creation of National Testing Agency (NTA). The Government gives a thumbs up to form a new body exclusively for holding entrance exams for higher education. At this stage, it says, that NTA will start by conducting all the exams that CBSE has been holding (except board exams).

Jul 07, 2018: The historic day when MHRD Minister Prakash Javadekar holds a press conference that NTA has been formed and that it will hold JEE Main, NEET, UGC NET, CMAT, GPAT from the year 2019. This was the day that it was made clear that NEET 2019 will be held twice a year in online mode. Schedule for NEET 2019 Feb and May exams were also announced.

Aug 21, 2018: MHRD announces that MOHFW has asked them to hold NEET 2019 in the same pattern as last time. Thus, all the changes in NEET were unceremoniously rolled back.

What does this mean for future of NEET in India and medical aspirants?

The short gist of the long story is that NEET 2019 aspirants, that is those students who wish to get MBBS/BDS admission in academic session 2019-20 should prepare for an offline paper, that will be once a year. So basically all that happened in 2018 will happen in 2019.

However, those who are preparing for NEET 2020, that is class 11 students, should simultaneously prepare for online exams. MHRD may, in consultation with concerned bodies, hold an online exam twice a year from 2020.

Rethinking Medical Entrance Exams In India, since 2006

12 years ago, AIPMT (All India Pre Medical Test) was one of the few national level entrance exams. In the year 2006 AIPMT was completely merit based and did not even have reservations. That year reservation for OBC was introduced under pressure from MHRD.

In 2010, AIPMT pattern was changed to a two-tier AIPMT prelims and AIPMT mains exam. Whereas preliminary exam was qualifying in nature, mains was used to determine merit for admission.

The year 2013 saw the first NEET exam. Instead of a two tier AIPMT, now there was to be a single tier National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET UG).

On Jul 18, 2013, Supreme Court scrapped NEET in favor of 115 petitions.

However in 2014, once again the name of exam was changed to AIPMT, however pattern was retained.

On April 28, 2016, Supreme Court decided that there will be single medical entrance exam in India, scrapping all other medical entrance exams. Just 2 days prior to AIPMT it was decided to hold it as NEET phase 1 exam. Such aspirants who could not appear in it were given a chance to appear in NEET phase 2.

NEET 2019 Exam Pattern

Now, NEET is held as a single medical entrance exam in India with 45 questions in physics, 45 questions in chemistry, 90 questions in biology. The maximum marks that one can score in it is 720. There is also negative marking for incorrect answer. Syllabus is as recommended by MCI, comprising of topics taught in classes 11 and 12.

NEET 2019 Exam Pattern NEET 2019

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