Mastering NEET: A Comprehensive Guide to Medical and Dental Admissions

Jul 06, 2023

The National Medical Council Act 2019 introduced a new approach to transforming the medical education landscape with the NEET exam. The National Eligibility cum Entrance Examination or NEET is the common entrance examination for admissions in undergraduate medical and dental courses. NEET focuses primarily on combining all the medical entrance exams into one, thereby providing a unified exam for all medical institutions, including AIIMS and JIPMER.

Significance of NEET in the Indian Medical and dental education system

The significance of NEET for the Indian medical and dental education system points to the equal opportunity for candidates. Learners who can qualify for the NEET exam could find the chance to study in any medical institute in India according to their preferences. In addition, learners could also avoid the confusion of preparation for different syllabus, exam patterns and formats.  

Overview of NEET

Background of NEET and its implementation by the National Testing Agency (NTA)

The National Testing Agency or NTA introduced NEET with the objective of creating a ‘one nation, one test’ policy for medical and dental education. It was first introduced in 2012 and was supposed to be held across the country in 2013. However, the NEET exam was cancelled on the basis of 115 petitions by the Supreme Court, implying that the Medical Council of India cannot interfere in admission processes of medical colleges. Eventually, the NEET exam was back in April 2016. 

Eligibility criteria for NEET

Another crucial piece of information about the NEET exam is the eligibility criteria for the exam. Candidates should fulfil the required parameters of age, nationality and academic qualification. Only Indian citizens are eligible for the NEET exam. Candidates should be at least 17 years of age at the year of admission. In addition, candidates should have passed class 12th exams with 50% in subjects such as biology, physics, chemistry and English.  The minimum mark requirement for candidates from the SC/ST/OBC category has been reduced to 40%. 

Scope of undergraduate medical and dental courses covered by NEET

The primary objective of the NEET exam revolves around streamlining the process for admission in BDS and MBBS training courses. The scope of NEET exam for admission in undergraduate medical and dental courses in India points includes 99,313 seats for MBBS aspirants and 27,868 BDS aspirants. In addition, the exam also guarantees admission to around 52,720 AYUSH hospital seats and 525 veterinary science seats. 

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Structure and Format of NEET

Candidates preparing for NEET exam must also know the following important details regarding the structure and format of the exam. 

  • Examination Pattern and Duration

The NEET exam follows a multiple-choice question pattern with a total of 200 questions, out of which candidates have to answer 180 questions. The duration of the exam is 3 hours and 20 minutes. 

  • Subjects and topics covered in the NEET syllabus

The NEET syllabus covers three subjects such as physics, chemistry and biology. You can explore different topics in each subject from the Class 11 and Class 12 syllabus. For example, physics syllabus for NEET includes topics like kinematics, electrostatics, thermodynamics, mechanics and nuclear physics. 

On the other hand, the chemistry syllabus covers concepts from physical chemistry, organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry. The syllabus for biology in NEET includes plant physiology, structural organization in plants and animals, human physiology, cell structure and function and genetics and human welfare.

  • Marking scheme and question distribution

The marking scheme for NEET exam allocates 4 marks for every correct response and deducts one mark for wrong answers. Candidates can find a total of 200 questions in the NEET exam, with 50 questions in physics and chemistry, each alongside 100 questions in the biology section. The 100 questions in biology would be divided equally among zoology and botany. 

  • Mode of examination and availability of regional language

The NEET exam is a pen and paper-based exam where students have to mark their responses on an OMR sheet. Candidates can avail the exam question paper in English and Hindi as well as many other regional languages. The regional languages available for NEET exam include Odia, Assamese, Bengali, Tamil, Marathi, Urdu, Punjabi, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Gujarati. 

Preparation Strategies for NEET

Candidates are more likely to encounter confusion regarding their preparations for NEET exam. Here are some strategies recommended by experts to prepare for NEET.

  • Understanding the importance of a structured study plan

The first thing you need to prepare effectively for NEET exam is a structured study plan. It should outline the details of the timeline for your NEET exam preparations and the topics you should cover. A structured study plan will help you achieve accountability for your preparations.  

  • Recommended resources and study materials

Once you have created an organized study plan, you should look for the resources such as books and training courses. The NCERT Class 11 and Class 12 books for physics, chemistry and biology can serve as excellent learning materials to begin your preparations for NEET.   

  • Time management tips for effective preparation

No matter how much you organize your study plan or choose the best learning resources, you should pay attention to time management. You should complete the NEET syllabus within a specific deadline according to your study plan. 

  • Importance of regular practice and mock tests

You should pay attention to regular practising and mock tests to test your skills and learn from your mistakes. Most important of all, mock tests can help candidates familiarize themselves with the format of the exam and manage their time during the exam.

  • Balancing academics with physical and mental Well-being

One of the most crucial factors in the preparations for NEET exam would point to the necessity of balancing academics with physical and mental well-being. Candidates should pay attention to their diet and follow the ideal routines for taking rest and relaxation from the preparations. Take a walk in the park with your family members or friends, visit a nearby café and have your favourite pastry or watch a movie with your family. Make sure that you take care of your mental health and well-being at all times during your preparations for NEET.

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Tips for Excelling in NEET

Candidates aspiring for NEET also look for trusted and effective pointers to achieve success in the exam. You should pay attention to the following aspects for excellence in NEET results.

  • Focus on strong foundational concepts and understanding

An in-depth understanding of foundational concepts serves as a promising advantage for every candidate during the exam. A strong understanding of the foundational concepts can help candidates in answering all questions with confidence. 

  • Developing effective problem-solving and critical-thinking skills

The next important set of skills required for excelling in the NEET exam includes problem-solving and critical thinking skills. You would need these skills for answering questions in physics and chemistry sections of the exam. On top of it, critical thinking skills also help you in finding the best methods for solving problems.

  • Importance of self-discipline and consistency in study routine

Candidates should also recognize the significance of self-discipline alongside consistency in their study routine. You should maintain accountability to the study plan for drawing the best results from the platform. 

  • Seeking guidance from mentors, teachers and coaching institutes

The guidance of mentors, teachers and coaching institutes can shape the methods you follow for answering questions in the NEET exam. On top of it, you can rely on them for the best training resources and study materials to improve your preparations. 

  • Building confidence through revision and self-assessment

You should prepare for the NEET exam with a consistent focus on revision and self-assessment. The preparations of a candidate can become better with continuous reflection on their skills and learning progress. Revision helps candidates strengthen their command over the topics they learn, while self-assessment gives them an opportunity for improvement.

Exam Day Strategies

The success of a candidate in NEET exam also depends on how they prepare for the exam day. You should keep the following pointers in mind for having a good exam day. 

  • Dos and don’ts for the day of the exam 

Candidates should make sure that they follow the important recommendations on the exam day. The dos on the exam day include maintaining your focus on the exam and reading the examination instructions in detail. Candidates should also follow the NEET dress code as specified by the NTA. 

It is important that candidates don’t discuss the question paper with other candidates in the examination hall. In addition, you should ensure that you don’t rush into answering questions unless you want to risk negative marks. Prior to entering the exam hall, candidates should not participate in any discouraging discussions.   

  • Tips for managing time and prioritizing questions

The best practices for managing time in NEET exam start with an evaluation of the question paper. You should check the question paper to find out the difficulty of questions and classify them into different categories. Always attempt the easy questions first and circle the questions you would want to solve later. 

  • Maintaining composure and managing exam anxiety

The difficulty of questions can be one of the most unsettling factors for NEET exam candidates. On the contrary, you should maintain a calm mind at all times during the exam to avoid any negative consequences. As you solve the easier questions and mark the answers, you can gain confidence and overcome exam anxiety. 

  • Utilizing the exam interface and reading instructions carefully

On the day of exam, you should avoid all types of mistakes by using the exam interface carefully with a detailed reading of exam instructions. The exam instructions can help you avoid unwanted complications in the exam or the risks of your paper being disqualified.

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Post-NEET: Admission Process and Counseling

The important considerations in the steps for admission process and counselling after NEET are also crucial pieces of information for candidates. Here are the important pieces of information you must know about admission process and counselling in NEET. 

  • Announcement of NEET results and cutoff marks

The MCC releases the results of NEET and the cutoff marks. The cutoff marks for NEET exam vary according to the difficulty of the question paper and performance of candidates nationwide.

  • State and centralised counselling procedures

The centralized counselling procedure starts with the announcement of results. NTA conducts the counselling process in three different rounds. Centralized counselling procedures by the Medical Counselling Committee and deemed central universities and other central medical institutions fill up 15% of All India Quota or AIQ seats. The state counselling process is administered by the concerned state counselling bodies for admission to 85% of the state quota seats.  

  • Seat allotment and document verification

The MCC releases the NEET seat allotment result according to the institutions selected by candidates and availability of seats. Candidates should also notice the requirements of documents for NEET counselling 2023 for verification. Candidates would need the original copies and attested copies of documents such as NEET Admit Card, result/rank letter, Class 10 and Class 12 mark sheet and certificate and NEET seat allotment letter. The document verification process also requires proof of identity, such as an Aadhar card and 8 passport-size photographs, same as the one used on the application form.  

  • Importance of understanding the counselling schedule and deadlines

The counselling schedule and deadlines of NEET exam can help selected candidates in avoiding last-minute troubles with admission. Once the results have been announced, candidates should wait for the official announcement for counselling registration.  


The post offered brief insights into the basic details of NEET exam and its significance in the Indian medical and dental education system. It also offered valuable inputs on preparation for the NEET exam, best practices for achieving success and maintaining composure on exam day. 

Aspiring medical and dental students should use this guide to overcome their doubts regarding NEET and pursue preparations for a career in healthcare. The significance of NEET for medical and dental undergraduate course aspirants is visible in the opportunity to prepare with concentration. 

Without multiple exams for admission into different medical institutions, candidates can find a straightforward way to their future careers with NEET exam.

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Article Posted in: Exam Preparation Guidance

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