Do you dream of becoming a doctor? Then starting the preparations early on will give you a head-start. The only way to get into medical school in India is through the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), which makes you eligible for admission to MBBS courses in government and private colleges.
What is NEET
The National Testing Agency (NTA) holds NEET for admission to medical colleges across India. Clearing this common and uniform entrance exam makes you eligible for 5-year MBBS, BDS, AYUSH (BAMS) and BVSc & AH (Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry) courses. Separate entrance tests were earlier conducted for admission to AIIMS and JIPMER, Puducherry, but your NEET score is now the only key to medical school.
Eligibility for NEET
You need to be between 17 and 25 years and have Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Biotechnology as subjects in Class XI-XII. You also need a minimum of 50% aggregate in the Class XII board exams.
NEET: At a glance
- Type of questions: MCQ
- Exam papers: Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology
- Total marks: 720
- Pattern: The exam pattern has changed from 2021. There are now 2 sections for each subject: Section A (35 questions) and Section B (15 questions — you need to attempt 10)
- Mode of exam: It’s a pen-and-paper test, to be answered in OMR sheet
- Time: 3 hours
NEET used to be held in May every year. But the exam was rescheduled for 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. NEET-UG 2021 was held on September 12.
How to calculate your NEET score
As per the marking scheme, 4 marks are awarded for each correct answer and 1 mark deducted for each wrong answer. Candidates can refer to the NEET-UG 2021 answer key once it is uploaded by NTA.
Apply the following formula to know your score:
NEET score = total correct answers x 4 – total incorrect answers x 1.
Counselling after NEET results
The Medical Counselling Committee (MCC), on behalf of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), conducts the counselling process for admission to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH, BVSc and AH courses.
Look up the counselling process here. You need to pay your NEET-UG counselling registration fee online.
The process has been split into two phases:
Central quota: In the counselling by MCC, 15% of seats are filled for admission to all deemed/central universities, ESIC/AFMS institutes, and all AIIMS and JIPMER colleges. Seats are allotted on the basis of the All India Quota (AIQ) and the counselling by MCC is conducted in three rounds.
State quota: The remaining 85% seats are under the state quota. Counselling for these seats is conducted by different state entities. For instance, the Directorate of Medical Education, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal, organises NEET counselling in West Bengal.
Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) candidates can also participate in the NEET-UG counselling in the general category.
States that have scrapped NEET
The Tamil Nadu government recently passed a bill to exempt state-based students from NEET for admission to MBBS colleges in Tamil Nadu. The Maharashtra government, too, has plans to scrap NEET as the compulsory medical entrance exam for students to get a seat in private or government medical colleges in Maharashtra.
Top medical colleges in West Bengal
- Medical College Kolkata
- Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (IPGMER), Kolkata
- R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata
- Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College, Kolkata
- Calcutta National Medical College (CNMC), Kolkata
- Burdwan Medical College, Burdwan
- Bankura Sammilani Medical College, Bankura
- North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, Sushrutanagar
- College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital, Kolkata
- Malda Medical College and Hospital, Malda
- Midnapore Medical College, Midnapore
- Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital, Murshidabad