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What is NExT Examination?
The National Exit Test (NExT) shall form the basis of Certifying the eligibility of the medical graduate to register to practice the modern system of medicine in India and therefore serve as a Licentiate Examination and Determining the eligibility and ranking for the purpose of admission of those desirous of pursuing further Postgraduate Medical Education in the country in broad medical specialities and therefore serve as an entrance Examination for admission to courses of Postgraduate Medical Education
The National Exit Test is now the licentiate exam as well as the national medical postgraduate exam that is mandatory for the students/MBBS aspirants to pass in order to get a “Dr” tag with their name. National Exit Test (NEXT) will replace the NEET-PG & MCI Screening Exam (FMGE) Foreign Medical Graduate Exam. Check NEXT question paper pattern; Syllabus.
Said exam was introduced by the National Medical Commission or Central government of India in the National Medical Commission Bill 2019. The NExT exam shall be implemented and rolled out in the year 2024 and shall act as a replacement for the FMGE Exam as well as the NEET-PG Exam. More on the same shall be clear as you read ahead!
The cut-off for the NEXT-1 test will be 50%. As a result, if you score 50% (NOT percentage) on NEXT-1, you will be regarded to have passed the exam and will be entitled to begin your internship. The NEXT-1 score will be used to allocate PG places following the internship. For the purposes of PG Entrance ranking, the NEXT-1 exam score will be valid for three years. As a result, after completing your internship, you can apply for PG with the same NEXT-1 score within three years after taking the NEXT-1 exam. As a result, NEXT-1 will serve as both a qualifying and a competitive test.
NMC, National Exit Test Regulations, 2023
|Sr. No.||Event||Date of Exam / Commencement||Date of Result/ Completion|
|1.||NExT Step I||May/November||1st week June/December|
|2.||III MBBS /FINAL MBBS PART 2 Practical/Clinical University Examination||1st Week June/December||3rd Week June / December|
|3.||Internship||1stJanuary/July||31st December/30th June following year|
|4.||NExT Step 2 Regular||3rd Week June/ Dec||4th week of June/Dec|
|5.||NExT Step 2 Supplementary||1st week Sep/March||3rd week Sep/March|
|6.||Post Graduate Admission||May-June (Counselling)||30th June|
|7.||Postgraduate Course||1st July/ 1st week January||————–|
The NExT Step 1 will be a comprehensive computer-based examination based on high-quality Multiple- Choice Questions (MCQs) ensuring objectivity and following nation-wide delivery and conduction with robust fidelity in a secure manner. The MCQ items would address higher domains of knowledge aligned to competencies expected of an Indian Medical Graduate or a graduate practicing modern system of medicine especially in India.
- Distribution of Items and knowledge level of QuestionsTo ensure assessment of higher domains of medical learning, a majority of items shall test higher level comprehension, analytical skills clinical problem-solving that are aligned to competencies.NExT Step 1 format is intended to discourage rote learning by medical students.Case vignettes / clinical case scenarios shall be the overwhelming Pattern of examination.MCQ items in all subjects shall be distributed approximately as follows:
- Problems-solving and analytical skill types 60-70%
- Comprehension type 20-30%
- Recall type 05-15%
However, variations in the distribution may be expected.
- The level of Knowledge related to the acquisition of competencies shall be approximately:
- Must Know 60%
- Nice to Know 30%
- May Know 10%
- Papers and Distribution of Subjects
- The NExT Step 1 examination will have six subject papers with respective weightage in items and time allocation.
- Applied aspects of all other subjects of MBBS including Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (FMT) and Community Medicine will be mainstreamed into the relevant clinical subjects.
- In each paper approximately 10% items will pertain to applied aspects of related subjects.
The following Table 1 provides the subjects in each paper with respective number of items and time allotted.
|Papers||Subjects||No of Items||Duration|
|1.||Medicine & allied subjects||120 Items||3.0 hours|
|2.||Surgery & allied subjects||120 Items||3.0 hours|
|3.||Obstetrics & Gynaecology||120 Items||3.0 hours|
|4.||Paediatrics||60 Items||1.5 hours|
|5.||Otorhinolaryngology||60 Items||1.5 hours|
|6.||Ophthalmology||60 Items||1.5 hours|
|1.||Medicine & allied subjects||3.0 hours||2.0 hours||Paediatrics||1.5 hours|
|2.||Rest Day No Examination|
|3.||Surgery & allied subjects||3.0 hours||2.0 hours||Otorhinolaryngology||1.5 hours|
|4.||Rest Day: No Examination|
|5.||Obstetrics &Gynaecology||3.0 hours||2.0 hours||Ophthalmology||1.5 hours|
Information regarding NExT Step 2:
- Objective regarding NEXT Step 2
The NEXT Step 2 shall be a comprehensive practical / clinical examination to be conducted after completion of Internship that evaluated competencies in clinical diagnosis, patient examination and clinical decision- making, practical and communication skills necessary for practice of modern system of medicine especially in India.
- Evaluation methods
Each examination would comprise of: –
- Actual cases
- Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
- Simulations if possible
Depending on the ability of satisfactory or unsatisfactory performance there shall be only two level of grading “Competent or “Pass” / “Not Competent” or “Fail.”
- Distribution of Subjects
The following subjects shall be evaluated during NExT Step 2:
- Medicine and allied subjects
- Surgery and allied subjects
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Orthopaedics and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PMR)
- Time Schedule
The time schedule and modalities of NExT Step 2 shall be decided by the National Medical Commission and the respective authorized Universities / Institutions after completions of internship and prior to the admission process for the Postgraduate Courses of that year.
- Nature of Scoring
- The marks in NExT Step 1 shall be calculated as whole number which shall serve as the Raw Scores with appropriate decimals and subsequently corresponding Percentages [marks out of a maximum of 100] with appropriate decimals may be calculated if required.
- NExT 2 Examinations results shall be declared as only Pass/Fail based on the acquisition of appropriate competence that is being evaluated.
- Minimum scores to Pass:
- The minimum marks for passing shall be 50% [50out of 100] OR half of the maximum possible Raw scores for NExT Step-1.
- For the NExT Step-1, in each of the six papers a minimum of 50% [ 50 out of 100] OR half of the maximum possible Raw Scores should be scored to pass the examination.
For calculations of above candidate score across NExT-Step-1 examination cycle will be considered.
Explanation 1: Candidate A has scored minimum passing marks in 2 subjects and failed in 4 subjects. He/ She can appear in NExT exam cycle of NExT Step-1 and if She/He has scored the minimum passing marks in rest 4 subject then He/ She will be considered to have fulfilled the above criteria.
Explanation 2: Candidate A has scored minimum passing mark in 2 subjects and failed in 4 subjects. He/ She can appear in NExT exam cycle of NExT Step-1 and if She/He has scored the minimum passing marks in 2 subjects then She/ He can appear in NExT exam cycle of NExT Step-1 and if She/he has scored the minimum passing marks in remaining 2 subjects then She/he will be considered to have fulfilled the above criteria.
National Medical Commission Released Notice on Validation of internship of Foreign Medical Graduates.
As of now, the National Medical Commission (NMC) in India has proposed implementing a National Exit Test (NExT) for medical graduates. However, the exact date for its implementation has not been announced yet. The NMC is still in the process of finalizing the details and guidelines for the NEXT, including the date of its commencement. It is recommended to stay updated with official announcements and notifications from the NMC regarding the National Exit Test. As per various sources NExT will be after September, 2024.
National Medical Commission invited Comments in word format for proposed draft on National Exit Test but some students don’t want this exam till 2026 and they requested to NMC for postpone the NExT till September 2026. Further information about this issue will be provided later.
All medical graduates who have completed MBBS abroad need to also clear the National Exit Test NExT within 10 years of their MBBS. This is because as mentioned above, it will replace the FMGE exam, that till now, was the licentiate exam for practicing in India.
The National Medical Commission is considered a big milestone that shall be a major step towards improving the medical education system of the country and overall, the Indian healthcare system. The National Exit Test will be mandatory for students who graduated from MCI/NMC approved medical colleges abroad also.
They have to pass the NExT examination to get register for medical practice in India.
Based on the score of the NExT medical exam, Post Graduate admission in medical colleges of India will be invited and decided. The NEET-PG exam is also set to be replaced by National Exit Test as it is designed to test the skills and knowledge of final-year or 4th year medical students.
NExT Exam Highlight 2024
The aim of the new medical bill is to start a single-window exit exam for final-year medical students. Once the government implemented the new law, there will be only one exam for a final year degree, medical practice license, and medical PG entrance.
|Full Name of Exam||National Exit Test 2024|
|Enacted from||December 2024|
|Conducting body||Board of Examination in Medical Sciences|
|Aim of exam||
|Exam Mode||Online based Facility Center|
Objectives of NExT Exam in 2024?
According to the Ministry of health, the main objective of the NExT Exam is to improve the medical health system of the country and produce more talented doctors, points that have been mentioned above. This is also the 1st step towards the government’s aim to ensure their “one nation one exam” plan for all the students of the country. Additionally, the NExT Exam for MBBS graduates will also help the government fulfill 3 other objectives.
- Filter Unqualified students
- Act as the single official licentiate exam like the FMGE Exam
- Also act as the official postgraduate examination (replacing the NEET PG Exam);
Therefore, only those candidates passing the NExT Exam will be eligible for a medical degree in India. In fact, even foreigners (medical graduates from other countries) have to clear this exam in order to be eligible to register themselves to work in India.
As mentioned previously, only those students who have good scores in the National Exit Test can get admission in medical PG courses offered by the medical colleges in India.
National Exit Test Conducting body
There is no official announcement that has been made about the conducting body of the exam yet. According to some media reports, the Board of Examination in Medical Sciences will conduct the exam across the country.
The complete blueprint of the NExT exam has been not released yet, but it is expected that the National Exit Exam will be key to three issues at a time.
- The NExT Medical Exam will ensure an Equal and Standardized Education system throughout the country. That’s because it will be a pan-Indian exam that will compulsorily have to be followed by every state, including the same education pattern for medical study as well. In fact, it shall also ensure an equal and uniform standard of education. Currently, the medical colleges of Karnataka, Punjab, and Delhi are considered to be the best but thanks to the NExT Exam, other states will come at par as well.
- Colleges will enhance their education level as their students will compete with foreign medical graduates in the same exam.
- In a way, it will force/persuade medical colleges to enhance their education level as their students will have to compete with foreign medical graduates in the same exam.
- Overall, it will lead to an enhancement of Medical Education in the country, as the president’s signature on the bill will make it a new law that will force many to enhance the quality of medical education in the country. This will also lead to India following the same education (or similar) education culture as the developed countries do.
- Thanks to the NExT Exam, separate exams won’t have to be held for foreign graduate doctors as they will get a practice license if they pass the National Exit Test. This shall be a unified exam where they’ll appear alongside Indian students.
NExT Exam Eligibility?
With a new exam comes a new set of requirements that make up the eligibility criteria for the NExT Medical exam. You need not worry much about the same as the requirements are fairly simple for any and every Indian medical graduate. You’ll get a clearer idea regarding the same through the points below –
- Only those students are eligible for the NExT Exam who possess a valid MBBS (undergraduate) degree.
- They must have passed their MBBS courses with a score of at least 50%.
Apart from this, students also need to understand that after passing NExT Paper I, they are required to take a mandatory clinical internship of 1-year. It’s only after completing this internship that students are eligible to appear for the NExT Paper-II.
NExT Exam pattern?
According to the Exam pattern of the National Exit Test that is known now, the NExT Exam for MBBS will be a comparatively longer exam than the FMGE and NEET PG exams as unlike the latter, the former will NOT be a 1-day but “3-day exam”. As part of this, students will get to solve Multiple choice questions (MCQs) as well as short answer, and long answer questions.
1. The NExT Paper I will be an online MCQ Exam that will have a total of 540 questions. Only those passing this exam will be eligible for the internship program. Marks for this paper are eligible for a total of 2-3 years. 2. The NExT Paper-II is a wholly practical exam. According to the latest developments, this paper will be image-based. It’s ONLY after passing this exam that candidates will have the option to either pursue a PG in medical education or practice medicine in India. There will be a total of 6 sessions, with 2 being held per day (one 2.5 hour session before lunch and one after).
Important points of NExT Exam Pattern
- The exam will be conducted in two parts that are NExT 1 and NExT 2.
- Students will take NExT 1 exam after their final year exams.
- The first part of the exam will be MCQ based
- 540 Multiple choice questions will be in the question paper
- NExT-2 exam will be organized after an internship
- Part-II of the exam will be a practical exam. It is expected that NExT 2 will be organized in your university.
- The score of the paper-1 exam will be valid for the upcoming two years to pass the National Exit Test paper-2 exam.
NExT Exam Question Pattern
The question pattern of the National Exit Test paper- 1 exam is expected to be divided into three important parts. There will be a total of 540 multiple choice questions in the exam. 60% of questions will be to test problem-solving skills, 30% questions for comprehension & analysis, and 10% recall questions.
|Day 1||Pre- Lunch||Medical Allied||120||180 minutes|
|Post- Lunch||Paediatrics||60||90 minutes|
|Day 2||Pre- Lunch||Surgery & Allied||120||180 minutes|
|Post- Lunch||ENT||60||90 minutes|
|Day 3||Pre- Lunch||Obstetrics and Gynecology||120||180 minutes|
|Post- Lunch||Ophthalmology||60||90 minutes|
How NExT is the complete alternative to NEET PG and FMGE?
First and foremost, the National Exit Test has been drafted and envisaged in such a way that it encompasses both exams. Moreover, NExT also covers an important part of the NEET PG and FMGE exam syllabus, which already fulfills this purpose. As mentioned before, Part 1 of the exam will test the theoretical knowledge of the students in various subjects of medical science (clinical, pre, and para-clinical subjects). It will not only enhance the education system of the country but increase healthy competition.
Students scoring well in the National Exit Test paper-1 i.e those clearing the paper are eligible for an internship. After the said internship, the respective universities shall only conduct NExT-2 itself. However, it’s important for the students to know that in case one fails the NExT Paper-II, they have to wait for one whole year as the exam will be organized once a year.
However, there’s no need to worry as the NExT-1 score will be valid for two years and students have to pass the second part of the National Exit Test within the deadline. This means that even if someone fails the NExT Paper-II and needs to repeat their attempt, their NExT Paper I scores would still be valid in the next year when they reappear for Paper II.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question- How should I prepare for National Exit Test/Next Exam?
Answer- The syllabus of the NExT Exam will be pretty similar to the medical syllabus of India. With good knowledge of the basic concept, students will crack the exam easily. So you need to brush up on your NCERTs and all the important reference books that is recommended by your teacher.
Question- Can I clear the NExT Exam by preparing with the final year MBBS syllabus?
Answer- No, the final year syllabus is not enough for clearing the exam. Students have to cover the previous year’s studies and concepts to perform well. Also, students have to get good practical knowledge because pg admission will be invited through the exam.
Question –Does NExT replace the FMGE Exam?
Answer –Yes! The NExT exam will be the official replacement of the FMGE Exam, which was the official licentiate exam of India. This means that all the MBBS abroad graduates who seek to pursue higher studies or practice in India, need to compulsorily give this exam.
Question –Why is the NExT Exam introduced in India?
Answer –The motive of the exam is to improve the quality of medical education in India! This is in line with the government’s plan to ensure that there is a One Nation One Exam plan for all Indian students. The NExT Exam will also bring a degree of standardization to medical education throughout the country, which will only improve the quality of medical graduates passing out in India.
Question –How many question types are for the NExT exam?
Answer –The exam has 3 question types which has:
- LAQs(Long answer questions)
- SAQs(Short answer question)
Question –Is the NExT Exam difficult from the FMGE exam?
Answer –According to experts it is said that it is more difficult than the FMGE exam as they filter many unqualified students and produce more talented doctors.