NEET 2018 NEWS
NATIONAL LEVEL OFFLINE TEST
The journey of NEET as country’s biggest medical entrance exam has never been easy. It has been surrounded by controversies right from its introduction, has faced a lot of backlash from state boards, but still has been surviving. And now, when the things were looking to stabilize, a big change has been announced by the Union education minister Prakash Javadekar, confirming NTA to hold NEET 2019.
The government has been bringing a lot of changes in the country’s education system, and NTA is one of the biggest changes in these. With conducting body being changed from CBSE to NTA, candidates are anxious about what changes will happen if NTA actually starts to conduct this test.
In the following article, we will discuss how NTA can impact NEET, the official schedule of NTA NEET and what this new conducting body means for you. Stay with us and we assure you some better clarity on this new change. Here we go: -
As a precursor to our discussion, let us have a brief introduction to NEET and NTA, before moving on to the impacts that this huge change will bring with itself: -
NEET, as you all must know, is elaborated as National Eligibility cum Entrance Test. It is national level entrances test for admission in MBBS and BDS courses offered by all the medical colleges of the country, except AIIMS and JIPMER. NEET was introduced as a replacement to AIPMT in 2012. However, due to various controversies, the test was revoked and was re-introduced in 2016. Till last time, NEET was being conducted by CBSE.
NTA, on the other hand, might seem like a new concept but has its roots dating back to 1986. National Testing Agency was a concept introduced to standardize the process of entrance tests so that the institutes conducting those tests can be relieved of additional burdens. NTA was formally given approval from the cabinet last year, and might just be holding its first exam in December this year.
NTA, in the first phase, will be conducting the exams being conducted by CBSE, which include JEE, NEET, UGC NET, CTET and exam for Navodaya Vidyalayas. Later on, it will take over other exams like CAT and GATE too. NTA, being a unanimous and central agency, is expected to streamline the process of entrance tests even further.
|JEE Main Exam||UGC NET Exam||CTET Exam|
|Availability of Application Forms||October 1 – 31, 2018|
|NEET 2019 Exam Dates (Feb.)||February 3 – 7, 2019|
(8 different sittings)
|Declaration of Results||1st week of March 2019|
|Availability of Application Forms||2nd week of March 2019|
|NEET 2019 Exam Dates (May)||May 12 – 26, 2019|
(8 different sittings)
|Declaration of Results||1st week of June 2019|
We have talked a little about the fact that NTA is introduced not only to make the testing process efficient but also to relieve the academic institutions from the additional burden. To understand this, take a look at the scenario of CBSE. Central Board for Secondary Education is the largest educational board in the country, and for that matter, it has huge responsibility of managing primary to secondary education of the country. It constantly needs to update the curriculum, introduce best practices, conduct board exams in smooth manner along with many other duties.
But, not only CBSE fulfills its duties related to school education, but it also manages additional 4 million students by conducting entrance tests. Some of the biggest entrance tests of the country like JEE, NEET and UGC NET are conducted by CBSE, all of which have an audience of around a million each. This puts immense pressure on CBSE and decreases the efficiency of the exams.
With NTA bring created only for test-taking purposes, it will dedicate all its efforts to this sole task only, which will naturally improve the testing process. And further, it will relieve CBSE too, which would be able to focus on school education in a better manner. This probably sums up the biggest reason why NTA is being introduced, although there are some other obvious reasons as well.
Read About NTA to conduct JEE Main (January & April)
Since NTA is a kind of major rejig in test-taking process of the country, some key changes are definitely expected. While the expectations are mostly positive, there can be some drawbacks too, especially in short term.
Let us take a look at how NTA is expected to impact NEET, from both positive and negative viewpoints: -
Here are some benefits that we expect NTA to bring: -
NEET to be conducted twice a year
One major announcement about NTA also included that this agency will be conducted the tests twice a year (February & May). We have instances when NEET has conducted twice in a year, which is always a better scenario for the students. Not only the students will have one more additional chance to improve, but the students which are not able to perform on that particular day will also get one more fair chance. This will help institutes to have a better pool of candidates for them, which is again, a major benefit four country’s education system.
Usage of normalization and percentile basis
NTA is also expected to introduce normalization, along with percentile basis of result. We all know that due to the high candidate base, many of the entrance tests are conducted in more than one sessions. And due to this, many candidates complain about varying levels of difficulty in two sessions of exams. As a measure to avoid this, NTA is expected to release a percentile based normalization system, which will completely eliminate the impact of the difference in difficulty levels between two sessions of exams. This system is already used by IIMs for their Common Admission Test and has proved quite successful.
Completely Online Examination
With NTA being introduced to improve the efficiency and infrastructure related to the entrance tests, it will be a computer-based test. Having online mode means lesser time wasting in filling OMR sheets, lesser chances of leakage, complete elimination of printing issues and faster results. And moreover, changing your answer in online-only mode is very easy, which is always a benefit for the students. Further, with movements like ‘Digital India’ being promoted so widely, why wouldn’t the government like the tests to be digital?
A more diverse and neutral question paper
It has been widely noticed that question paper of NEET is mostly based from NCERT books. While there is no specific reason specified for this by the conducting body, many people blame CBSE for keeping its paper more towards NCERT. While we don’t know whether this is the truth or not, but since the new NTA is a completely autonomous body, the inclination towards NCERT or any particular board will get eliminated. Therefore, we might just see a very neutral and unbiased paper, which will test the concepts in a much better manner.
While NTA is going to bring a lot of positive changes, but there are certainly some issues with NTA too. Take a look at what problem NTA might just bring or has already brought in the system: -
Lack of Clarity over NTA – Now clarified
The biggest problem (so far) with NTA is that almost zero clarity has been provided on this topic by MoHRD or the government itself. We have been hearing that it has been established, it has a budget of 25 crores and all such things, but the specific changes have still not been announced. Further, now there is some news that NTA is going to conduct its first exam in December this year. So as of now, there is a time of less than 6 months to its first exam, but still NTA does not even have an official website.
No clear timeline, no modus operandi and virtually nothing have been made specifically about this body, which is so far, is its biggest issue.
Switching to online mode certainly poses a great infrastructural challenge in front of NTA. Handling such a huge audience is certainly not easy, and it is still doubtful whether NTA will be able to handle the exam in the first place. Well, as a counter-point to this argument, some people have argued that even IBPS conducts exams with such a huge audience successfully over the online mode.
However, the difference between structures of exams like IBPS and NEET huge and certainly cannot be ignored. NTA will certainly have to put in a lot of efforts to pull off this humongous task of conducting such a huge exam in online mode. Although one potential benefit can be that NEET will have more number of examination centers to occupy such a large candidate base.
It’s never easy for first timers
Well, one obvious fact is that it is never easy to conduct such a huge and important exam. Although we hope that there are no technical glitches or any such problems, it is natural that every organization grows over time. While one of country’s best engineering institute, IIT Kanpur, has been given the responsibility to set up the body at the first place, but we can still expect some surprises while the test gets conducted for the first time (by NTA). Again, we hope that nothing surprising happens, but the candidates should be ready for it from their side.
Amidst all this confusion, candidates should focus more on their concepts than these changes. One thing that they should not forget is that whether the test is conducted by CBSE or NTA, whether it is offline or online, or whether it is for 720 marks or 1000, if you have got your concepts right, no one can prevent you from succeeding. So keep preparing hard and hope for the best. Good Luck!
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