The decision of multiple languages as a medium of taking the test is a significant move to promote India's medical education even outside the border.
By Nitin Vijay,
The medical profession is always considered sacrosanct and rewarding, but making an entry as a doctor into this profession is not a cakewalk. Each year, almost 15 lakh students appear in NEET-UG, the only exam for admission in MBBS, BDS, BAMS, BUMS, BHMS, and other medical programmes in the country. This year (2021), due to the effects of pandemics on the study of Class 12 students, the national medical entrance exam, NEET, is going to be held in a new format.
NEET 2021 is scheduled for September 12, and like previous years, the National Testing Agency (NTA) will be responsible for conducting it with two major changes. Firstly, in the light of the reduction in the syllabus by various School Education Boards, for the very first time, all of the four subjects viz., Physics, Chemistry, Botany, and Zoology will have two sections – A and B. Section A will consist of 35 questions (all compulsory), while Section B will comprise 15 questions, but students will have to answer only 10 questions. Secondly, the exam will be conducted in thirteen languages.
There are both pros and cons of NTA’s decision for providing choice in Section B, i.e., attempting any 10 questions out of the 15. Since in many schools, students couldn’t be taught some topics they will have the option to skip questions they have not studied. So, those who have not thoroughly studied the syllabus will be happy with this decision. But, on the other side of the coin, options may cause problems.
Unarguably, students will have to read 200 questions, instead of 180 questions in the same time duration. It means 20 more questions will have to be read by them at the stipulated time. Thereby, students not excellent at time management will face problems while choosing any 10 questions out of 15. Though it will not be much difficult in Botany and Zoology papers, for many, opting for numerical in Physics and Chemistry papers can be more challenging.
To overcome these evident challenges, students should be very prompt and decisive about choosing the 10 questions; there must be no room for confusion. Revision of 15+ papers of previous years can be very effective in this regard because the best method of revision is studying difficult topics through solving questions. During revisions, books should be used only when one faces problems in answering particular questions.
The decision of multiple languages as a medium of taking the test is a significant move to promote India’s medical education even outside the border. The decision of conducting the NEET in 13 languages is intended for inclusion and better participation of the marginalised groups. This way, candidates not good at English or Hindi language will also have the opportunity to exhibit their real potential. Hence, both of the changes in the NEET 2021 exam pattern have legitimate reasons and they are expected to elevate the competition to a significant level.
(The author is Founder & Managing Director, Motion Education Pvt. Ltd. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)