NEET 2021: Change in Exam Pattern, Students Write to NTA seeking Clarity
New Delhi: Introducing changes in the exam pattern this year, the National Testing Agency (NTA) has now provided internal choice in the question paper. Now, each subject will be divided into two sections, and in the second section, students will have to answer 10 questions out of a total of 15 questions.
However, with the introduction of internal choice, confusion regarding the negative marking and time-duration has made students write to NTA seeking clarity regarding these issues.
Medical Dialogues had recently reported that after the release of dates for NEET UG 2021, NTA finally invited online applications for the examination, which has been scheduled to be conducted on 12 September 2021. The NEET 2021 shall consist of one Question Paper containing 180 Multiple Choice Questions from Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (Botany and Zoology).
However, modifying the question pattern, NTA has introduced internal choice and has divided each subject into two different sections. The revised Test pattern of NEET (UG)-2021 comprises of two Sections. Each subject will consist of two sections. Section A will consist of 35 Questions and Section B will have 15 questions, out of these 15 Questions, candidates can choose to attempt any 10 Questions.
"So, the total number of questions and utilization of time will remain the same," NTA clarified in the Information Bulletin.
The Bulletin further mentions that the Question Paper will be based on the given syllabus, which is available at the NMC website.
Clarifying the reason for introducing internal choice in the question paper, NTA in the Information Bulletin has stated, "Furthermore, to rationalize the decision of reduction in the syllabus by various School Education Boards, the NTA has taken the decision to provide choice in Section "B" for each of the 4 (four) subjects."
As per the bulletin:
I. Each question carries 04 (four) marks and, for each correct answer candidate will get 04 (four) marks.
II. For each incorrect answer, 01(one) mark will be deducted from the total score.
III. To answer a question, the candidate has to find, for each question, the correct answer/ best option.
IV. However, after the process of the challenge of key, if more than one option is found to be correct then all/any
one of the multiple correct/best options marked will be given four marks (+4).
Any incorrect option marked will be given minus one mark (-1).
Unanswered/Unattempted questions will be given no marks. In case, a question is dropped/ ignored, all candidates will be given four marks (+4) irrespective of the fact whether the question has been attempted or not attempted by the candidate.
Previously, students were provided with 180 objective type questions from physics, chemistry and biology (botany and zoology). For each correct answer, students were awarded with 4 marks and one mark used to be deducted for each wrong answer.
As per the latest media report by the Hindustan Times, although the new provision of internal choice has been brought to provide students with some relief, confusions are there regarding the negative marking in Section B of each subject, which provides internal choice.
Concerned over the change in the exam pattern, the parent of a NEET-UG aspirant told the daily, "When NTA says students can attempt any 10 out of 15, will students be marked in the negative for a wrong answer? Also, if a student chooses to attempt all 15 questions, will the NTA choose only the correct answers for the final marks or choose the first 10 answers only? Such questions are running in all our minds."
"Instead of a 180-mark paper, we will now be attempting a 200 mark paper. This automatically means we should get more time to appear for the exam, but NTA has clarified that we will get three hours only. How is this fair?" asked an aspirant.
Pointing out the need of providing students with a 15-minutes time for reading the questions, another parent insisted, "We also insist that NTA inform all exam centers to ensure that students are given 15-minute reading time of the question papers before the exam begins so that they are in a good head-space to attempt the three-hour test."
The daily adds that seeking clarity over these issues, students and parents have written several letters and emails to NTA. They have also demanded the release of the mock test papers for the students so that they get to understand the new pattern before appearing for the exam.
To view the Information Bulletin, click on the link below.