With the introduction of the new National Medical Commission (NMC)’s National Exit Test Regulations 2023 for the NExT exam, candidates remain divided as the new exam increases more scrutiny on their academic credentials.
NExT, which will begin with the batch qualifying in 2024, will also see undergraduate MBBS students attending the two-step exam. The exam will be conducted once before and after the internship. As per the regulations, candidates must clear NExT (steps 1 and 2) within 10 years of joining the MBBS course.
“Medical exams in India are usually not uniform as various medical institutes conduct tests in different months. It could create a lot of confusion for candidates who will now have to appear for the exam twice a year. Regardless, the syllabus remains the same and we have to adapt to it,” stated Gaurish Soni, an MBBS student in Pune, who also runs a YouTube channel called 'Kunchlo'.
Calls for changes in NExT have already gained ground on social media platforms. While some have highlighted issues with the 50% passing criteria, others are seeking a normalisation of the NExt score for admission into PG.
“The pattern is the same but there are some loopholes with regards to the passing criteria which is over 50% and there’s no clarity on negative marking as well. Some clarity on normalisation of NExT score is also important for candidates to feel more confident about the exam,” said another candidate, an MBBS student in Solapur.
As per the official information shared by the National Medical Commission, A NExT step 2 supplementary exam will also be conducted twice a year for candidates who have failed in one or more of the seven subjects and are required to repeat the subjects. However, if a candidate has failed in more than three subjects, they will have to appear in all seven subjects again.
According to Aarushi Narwani, NEET PG 2023 topper, NExT will also give candidates a chance to better prepare themselves for exams as it won’t be amid their internships.
“Since the exams are divided between the internships wherein both step 1 and 2 will be conducted before and after the same, I think it will be great for candidates who won’t have to stress about both things simultaneously. Step 2 will also assess a candidate’s performance in his/her internship which will only lead to quality doctors in the future,” stated Narwani.
Almost 1 lakh students will be appearing for the mock test on July 10. The test will be conducted by AIIMS Delhi. Centres will be established across India for the computer-based test (CBT).
Students in the open and OBC categories must pay Rs 2,000 in registration fees, and Rs 1,000 in fees for students in the SC, ST, and EWS categories, and there is no registration cost for students in the PwBD category.