NEET 2019 to be held in pen-paper mode and recent changes in the pattern

The National Testing Agency (NTA) is making preparations to conduct NEET 2019 on May 5, 2019 in offline mode. Against its earlier decision to conduct NEET twice a year in online mode under the National Testing Agency (NTA), the MHRD is deciding to conduct the national level medical entrance exam only once in 2019.

The National Testing Agency is conducting NEET 2019 on behalf of the ministry of health and family welfare with syllabus, questions pattern and marking scheme same as that of previous year. Apparently, the decision to host NEET 2019 once a year was made following the request of the ministry of health and family welfare where it indicated that the online mode would not be advantageous for students in rural sector.”Since every student in India does not have adequate access to a computer, the online mode would limit their chances of cracking NEET. It would also put them under stress if they were to sit in front of computer screen for three hours at stretch,” explains Joshi.

Online VS Offline mode

” Admittedly, conducting NEET exams in the online mode would have made it more streamlined. Even the OMR—Optical Mark Recognition — sheet where darkening of the bubble takes time, and in the offline mode is irreversible, the students have a better chance of scoring in the online mode since she/he can change the selected options any time in course of the exam. The online mode can also be conducted multiple times but in the offline mode, there would be logistical concerns. Time to declare results and transparency in terms of making answer sheets available to students s is considerably less –taking about a week– in online mode vis-à-vis the offline system where scanning of answer sheets and then making it available to students can take around 20 days. There are also issues related to human limitations in the offline mode, be it error in terms of allotting exam centres or scanning of answer sheets. But in the online mode, such errors get minimised,” says Joshi.

Nevertheless, students who are comfortable with the online mode can take their exams in the offline mode.

Preparation strategy

Mr. Joshi’s  advice to NEET 2019 aspirants is pragmatic, asking them to focus on books taught for the XI-XII boards. “They should also be thorough with previous year’s NEET question papers, specially first-timers to come to grips with the exam pattern. Practice is the key as it would teach students time management skills and to remain calm in the face of exams. It will also help them to diagnose their strengths and areas of improvement to devise their own preparation plan rather than looking for a readymade success formula from outside sources. There is no ‘one size fit all formula’ for students. All they need to do is introspect since experts can only give generic advices,” he adds.