National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) is a highly competitive medical entrance exam taken by a large number of medical aspirants every year. Around 66,000 MBBS seats and 27,000 BDS seats in government and private colleges across the country are filled through NEET. This year, NEET will be conducted by the newly-formed National Testing Agency (NTA) on May 5. Here are some important things that every medical aspirant should know about NEET 2019 –

Increase in the number of candidates

This year, a record number of candidates will appear for NEET. As per NTA, 15.19 lakh candidates have registered for NEET 2019, which is around two lakh more than last year. In 2018, 13.26 lakh candidates had registered for the exam. NEET 2019 application process ended on December 7, 2018. One of the reasons why NEET exam registrations went up this year is that the Supreme Court allowed candidates above 25 years of age to register for the exam.

No age restriction (for now)

A day before the last date to register for NEET 2019, the Supreme Court allowed students above 25 years of age to appear for the exam. As per the SC order, the last date to register for the exam was extended by a week (to 7th December 2018). However, it was an interim order and the Court made it clear that the final admission will be based on the outcome of the case. It must be noted that CBSE had placed an age restriction for taking NEET, which was challenged in court by the affected students.

Exam to be conducted once

Earlier, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) had announced that NEET will be held twice a year. However, upon recommendations of Health Ministry, the decision was rolled back. The Ministry also did away with the decision to conduct the exam in computer-based mode amid concerns that it will place the candidates from rural areas at a disadvantage. So, NEET 2019 will only be conducted once, in pen and paper mode.

Exam to be conducted in the afternoon

NEET 2019 will be conducted from 2 pm to 5 pm. It’s a general belief that most students feel more attentive and fresh during the morning time. Therefore, the decision to conduct the exam in the afternoon has left them feeling perplexed. It is important for students to prepare themselves for the afternoon exam by practising mock tests during the afternoon. NEET coaching centres provide various mock tests that prove to be of great help.

With over 15 lakh candidates appearing for the exam, the competition for MBBS and BDS seats is expected to be more difficult this year. However, with the right preparation, you can crack the NEET exam and realize your dream of becoming a doctor.

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