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 is about to come and is expected to create some confusion around this test again.
From the next time onwards, NEET 2019 will be organized by NTA or the National testing Agency. The government has been bringing a lot of changes in country’s education system, and NTA is one of the biggest changes in these. With organizing body being changed from CBSE to NTA, aspirants are anxious about what changes will happen if NTA actually starts to organize this test.
As per the latest updates, a releasement has been made by the authorities, accepting that the Testing Agency will indeed hold the examination. Stay with us and we assure you some better clarity on this new change. Today, we will discuss how NTA can impact NEET, and what this new organizing body means for you. 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. However, due to different controversies, the test was revoked and was re-introduced in 2016. Till last time, NEET was being organized by CBSE. It is national level entrances test for admission in MBBS and BDS courses provided by all the medical colleges of the country, except AIIMS and JIPMER. NEET was introduced as a replacement to AIPMT in 2012.
NTA, on the other hand, might seem like a new concept but has its roots dating back to 1986. NTA was formally given approval from the cabinet last year, and might just be holding its first exam in December this year. National Testing Agency was a concept introduced to standardize the procedure of entrance tests so that the institutes organizing those tests can be relieved from additional burdens.
NTA, in the first phase, will be organizing the exams being organized by CBSE, which comprise JEE, NEET, UGC NET, CTET and exam for Navodaya Vidyalayas. NTA, being a unanimous and central agency, is expected to streamline the procedure of entrance tests even further. Later on, it will take over other exams like CAT and GATE too.
We have talked a little about the fact that NTA is introduced not only to make the testing procedure efficient but also to relieve the academic institutions from the additional burden. It constantly required to update the curriculum, introduce best exercises, organize board exams in smooth attitude along with many other duties. Central Board for Secondary Education is the largest educational board in the country, and for that matter, it has the huge responsibility of managing primary to secondary education of the country. To understand this, take a look at the scenario of CBSE.
But, not only CBSE fulfills its duties concerned to school education, but it also manages additional 4 million students by organizing entrance tests. Some of the biggest entrance tests of the country like JEE, NEET and UGC NET are organized 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 procedure. This probably sums up the biggest reason why NTA is being introduced, although there are some other obvious reasons as well. And further, it will relieve CBSE too, which would be able to focus on school education in a better attitude.
Since NTA is a kind of major rejig in the test-taking procedure 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 organized twice a year
One major releasement about NTA also comprised that this agency will be organized the tests twice in a year. 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. We have instances when NEET has organized twice in a year, which is always a better scenario for the students. Here is a piece of official data to support this: - This will help institutes to have a better pool of aspirants 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 the result. We all know that due to the high aspirant base, many of the entrance tests are organized in more than one sessions. This system is already used by IIMs for their Common Admission Test and has proved quite successful. As a measure to avoid this, NTA is expected to announce a percentile based normalization system, which will completely eliminate the impact of the difference in difficulty levels between two sessions of exams. And due to this, many aspirants complain about varying levels of difficulty in two sessions of exams.
Completely Online Examinations
With NTA being introduced to improve the efficiency and infrastructure concerned to the entrance tests, there is a high chance that it might select the online-only method for NEET. Having online method means lesser time wasting in filling OMR sheets, lesser chances of leakage, complete elimination of printing issues and faster results. If we skip the infrastructural challenges, all other attributes of online testing favor this method. Further, with movements like ‘Digital India’ being promoted so widely, why wouldn’t the government like the tests to be digital? And moreover, changing your response in the online-only method is very easy, which is always a benefit for the students.
A more diverse and neutral question paper
It has been widely noticed that question paper of NEET is mostly based from NCERT books. Therefore, we might just see a very neutral and unbiased paper, which will test the concepts in a much better attitude. While there is no specific reason specified for this by the organizing 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.
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
The biggest problem (so far) with NTA is that nearly zero clarity has been offered on this topic by MoHRD or the government itself. We have been hearing that it has been founded, it has a budget of 25 crores and all such things, but the specific changes have still not been released. Further, now there is some news that NTA is going to organize 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 method certainly poses a great infrastructural challenge in front of NTA. Well, as a counter-point to this argument, some people have argued that even IBPS organizes exams with such a huge audience successfully over the online mode. 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.
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 organizing such a huge exam in online mode. Although one potential benefit can be that NEET will have the number of examination centers to occupy such a large aspirant base.
It’s never easy for first timers
Well, one obvious fact is that it is never easy to organize such a huge and important exam. Again, we hope that nothing surprising happens, but the aspirants should be willing for it from their side. 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 organized for the first time (by NTA).
Amidst all this confusion, aspirants should focus more on their concepts than these changes. One thing that they should not forget is that whether the test is organized 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!