The NEET paper was more challenging than the older versions of AIPMT, say test-takers. Some praised the decision of a single entrance test for all the medical aspirants of the country, saying that it, in a way, unified the different states on the lines of higher education. Others backed NEET on
the grounds of a single day litmus test eliminating the hassle taking multiple exams.
“It also helped in a big way by discouraging any malpractices like allotting seats to students in a wrong way in private colleges. However, many didn’t approve of the idea of replacing the AIPMT with NEET. With the scrapping of state PMTs, the ability and talent of an aspirant will be determined by just one examination. Also, this time, it was a one-stage exam. AIPMT 2012 candidates, while writing the preliminary exam got an idea of what the pattern of questions was going to be like in the final exam. This way, when they wrote the final stage exam, they certainly performed better,” says Ekansh Gupta, a first-year MBBS student at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, who got all-
India rank 15 in NEET 2013.
Gupta, however, does not think that NEET really helped to replace multiple entrance tests with one exam. “There were separate entrance exams for admission into/through Manipal University, COMED-Karnataka, CPMT, EAMCET, JIPMER, CMC Vellore, and CMC Ludhiana, to name a few. Going back to AIPMT is a good idea,” adds Gupta.
According to Sneha Mohan, who took AIPMT 2012 but is currently an MBBS student at AIIMS, says, “A single-entrance exam for all medical colleges would decrease the confusion regarding varying syllabi across states and the stress of having to write over 10 exams in the course of two months. Also, it unifies the selection criteria across all colleges with a transparent ranking system. Students don’t have to choose between two or three exams that often get scheduled for the same day and deserving students have a fair chance at attending counselling for all colleges.”
However, from the po.int of view of many students, a single exam means added pressure of performing well in a single test and not having another option to fall back on.
“I wouldn’t have made it into AIIMS if the admission was based on my AIPMT rank. There is a high level of variability in the ranks across the various tests depending on day to day mindset, anxiety levels and health of the individual,” adds Mohan, who was ranked 41 in AIPMT and 16 in the AIIMS entrance exam, besides qualifying at JIPMER, AFMC and CMC Vellore.