The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2022 will be longer-ever NEET as the National Testing Agency (NTA) has extended the duration from it being a three-hour exam to a three-hour 20 minutes test this year. The option of having 20 extra minutes will be a “game-changer,” claim experts.
NEET was designed to be a test of accuracy. The exam was high pressured because students were given only one minute to answer each question. In this scenario getting 20 minutes extra without increasing the number of questions, changes the basic fiber of the question paper and this could prove to be great relaxation for students.
Not just time, this year, the NTA has decided to set up as many as 14 exam centers outside India. Thus giving students of Indian origin and foreign nationals a chance to take the Indian medical entrance test. Further, the upper age limit of the exam has also been removed and anyone who has cleared class 12 with physics, chemistry, mathematics, and biology will be able to contest for the exam.
This will increase the competition by manifolds as the number of students is expected to rise as well as those who have practiced in NEET by attempting the previous year’s paper will get an edge.
Saurabh Kumar, academic director, Vidyamandir Classes told News18.com, “All the changes introduced will make NEET 2022 highly competitive for existing students. The change of time duration from NEET being a 3 hour to a 3 hour 20 minutes exam is a game-changer. While there is no clarity yet if the 20 minutes will be for reading question papers or attempting exams. In both cases, students can expect to change their exam strategy.”
He further added, “Students who have practiced for the 3-hours duration and have a speed can expect to have leverage and can score high marks this year.”
These relaxations offered in NEET are the government’s way out for students affected by the Ukraine-Russia war, said Kumar as both lifting of age and increase in time will allow these students a chance to get absorbed in the medical colleges across India again, if they end up performing better in the exam. Making NEET a low stake exam and allowing second chances at it will also curb the high foreign influx of medical aspirants.
Increasing exam duration is based on feedback from students, believes Anurag Tiwari, National Academic Director (Medical) at Aakash Education (AESL). “During NEET 2021 NTA had increased the number of questions that is 180 to 200 and the time duration was 3 hours only. In any case, students must read all the 200 questions and answer 180 questions within 3 hours which are very tight schedule. Students need more time to at least read the questions hence, NTA has increased the exam duration to allow the same. Now students will be having 20 minutes extra to read each question and attempt all the 180 questions.”