Updated: August 27, 2021 4:06:29 pm
The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2021 for admission to undergraduate medical courses is scheduled to be held on September 12. The test, for which over 16 lakh students have registered, was earlier scheduled for August 1, but had to be postponed because of the surge in coronavirus infections during the second wave.
A section of students are now demanding a further postponement of the test citing various reasons. They shared their concerns on social networking websites through various hashtags such as #postponeNEET, #shiftNEETUG among many others. Academicians, however, believe that the exam date is suitable given the current circumstances.
Unfamiliar with new NEET-UG pattern
G Kishore from Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor, who is appearing for NEET-UG this year, is worried about his performance in the medical entrance exam because of the changed exam pattern.
“This year, the exam pattern has been changed and aspirants need to attempt 180 out of the total 200 questions. While this may appear to be a boon for students, it is a disadvantage. Reading and comprehending the additional 20 questions will take time but the duration of the exam remains to be 180 minutes. Besides, NTA’s Abhyaas app does not have mock tests available as per the new pattern. Amid the confusion of board exams and different entrances, students are yet to get well-versed with the new pattern,” said the 17-year old, who got 933/1000 marks in Board of Intermediate Education Andhra Pradesh (BIEAP) class 12.
Kishore added that NTA released the new pattern OMR on August 20. He claimed students are finding it difficult to adapt to the pattern on such a short notice.
Multiple exams in the first two weeks of September
Kartikey, another NEET-UG aspirant from Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, is a private category CBSE student. Since the central board is also conducting the improvement exams from August 15 to September 15, he will be appearing for both math and biology papers scheduled to be held on September 6 and September 13, respectively.
“Multiple exams are scheduled to be held in the first two weeks of September. ICAR AIEEA-UG 2021 will be held on September 7, 8, 9 and 17. The Uttar Pradesh Common Entrance Test (UPCET) will be conducted from September 5 and 6, 2021 across the state. CBSE is also conducting exams in the same month,” he added.
During the pandemic students who were lodged in cities preparing for the test had shifted back to their native places. “These students are facing issues with the choices of centres that they had submitted earlier as per the circumstance. If someone’s centre is in different cities for two exams, it is practically impossible for them to travel within 24-36 hours and give their best,” he added.
indianexpress.com tried reaching out to NTA for a comment, but none of the officials responded to the calls.
‘Injustice with NEET aspirants compared to JEE aspirants’
Students are also repeatedly claiming that the authorities have not considered the impact of the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak on NEET aspirants’ psychology and preparation.
Kishore said that JEE Main aspirants have got a total of four attempts this year, whereas NEET aspirants have only one attempt. “The syllabus of the medical entrance exam is exhaustive. The UG medical courses are also of longer duration. Amid coronavirus, around 16 lakh students will be appearing for the offline medical entrance exam, but there has been no consideration towards us. With exams scheduled before and after NEET-UG, aspirants are going to face tremendous psychological pressure. It will impact their performance in the exam,” he added.
Exams should not be postponed: Experts
While students think that the entrance exam should be postponed by at least a month, academicians believe that the exam date is suitable given the current circumstances.
Saurabh Kumar, Director Academics, Vidyamandir Classes, said that the exam should not be postponed further. “The exam was earlier scheduled to be held on August 1 but it has been delayed by more than a month. As per medical experts, the third wave of the coronavirus outbreak is expected to hit the country around September-end or October. There is already a shortage of doctors in the country, missing out on even one batch of upcoming doctors will deeply impact the healthcare sector in the long run,” he said.
MD Habeeb, NEET academic head, Narayana Group, dismissed aspirants’ demands and said that students must know the value of one academic year.
“September 12 is an apt date to conduct the exam. Genuine students who prepare throughout the year are aware of the fact that a 6-week postponement has given enough time to revise. Students should know that if the exam is further postponed, then it will impact the whole academic cycle. The results will be declared by November and counselling will be conducted in December. In such a scenario, students will not be able to begin their classes before 2022,” he added.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.