The NEET results this year revealed that the cut-off to qualify for a medical seat has been decreased from 131 in 2017 to 119 this year for students belonging to the unreserved category. It also decreased from 107 to 96 for students belonging to the OBC, SC and ST categories.
A spike in the overall number of students who have cleared the exam means that the competition for these seats has also intensified. A lower cut-off rate may also indicate that students who have scored a lesser percentage of marks are also eligible for a medical seat.
The test consists of 180 questions, out of which there are 45 questions each in physics and chemistry, and 90 questions in biology. Correct answers are awarded four marks and incorrect ones invite a negative mark. As a result, a person who scored 119 this year would have got 33% of the questions right.
Speaking to TNM, Swaminathan K, the founder and CEO of Aspire Edu-Ventures, said that the competition is only set to increase, as students have scored more marks this year when compared to the last.
“Last year, someone who got the 98th or the 99th percentile were students who had marks in the range of 550 to 590. But this year, the same 98th or 99th percentile have scored above 600. The number of students who have scored more marks has considerably increased. So, the competition is tough. Every 0.5% percentile or 0.10% is going to make the difference between a good government college versus a private college,” he said.
He adds that the competition has increased as students had more time to prepare for this year’s exam, as compared to last year.
Though the overall cut-off rate has come down, with such a large number of students who have qualified, the competition is expected to go up.
“From the feedback we received, a lot of students have performed well and especially those in reserved categories have secured good marks. The cut-off for Tamil Nadu medical admissions, however, is only expected to rise,” educationist Jayaprakash Gandhi told the Times of India.
In 2017, over 4,300 students who scored 180 or less were able to get admission into a medical college, though they mostly got admitted to private college. This meant that the fees were still considerably high. This year, although more students are eligible to get a seat, the number of students who will actually secure an MBBS seat is yet to be determined.
A little over 13 lakh students had appeared for the exam was held on May 6, of which 7,14,563 students have cleared.