National Eligibility cum Entrance Test is likely to be conducted on May 10, 2018. With the exam date so close, the predictions and speculations regarding the difficulty level of exam have started. As it is the only gateway to get into the best MBBS institutes in the country, many candidates look for suggestions and guidance regarding the same.
However no one can predict how the exam is going to be, one can analyze the past years’ papers to gauge the level of difficulty of NEET 2018.
NEET 2017 Analysis
NEET 2017, which was conducted on May 7th was moderately-difficult. Majority of the questions were in mid-level difficulty range and therefore, the exam did require some good amount of practice and study.
The pattern of the paper was in line with previous year, 180 questions to be completed in 3 hours, with 45 each from Physics and Chemistry, and 90 from Biology. Each question carried 4 marks and 1 mark was deducted for each incorrect answer.
If we talk about the weightage of Class 11 and 12 syllabi in the exam, it was more or less equal. The ratio stood close to perfect at 88:92.
Surprisingly, Zoology emerged as the most difficult section this year. Chemistry section was the easiest while sections of Botany and Physics were of moderate difficulty. Generally we see physics being the toughest section which was not the case this year.
Physics section was majorly dominated by Modern Physics, Heat & Thermodynamics and Electrodynamics. This time, the questions were more of analytical nature and required some sort of calculation to solve, thus making Physics a time consuming section.
Chemistry section did not feature dominance by any single sub-section. All three topics; Organic, Inorganic and Physical Chemistry had almost equal number of questions to their name.
Biology was overall a moderate section, with Botany being on the easier side. The ratio between botany and zoology was that of 50:40. Most of the questions in Botany were based on NCERT concepts which did not seem a tough call for candidates. Human Physiology and Plant Physiology were the most dominant topics of this section.
Again, if someone had to take an overall call for the paper, the only thing that can be said is that paper was moderate, however lengthier.
NEET 2016 Phase 2 Analysis
NEET 2016 Phase 2 was conducted on 24th July, 2017. After orders from Supreme Court, CBSE had to conduct the exam second time. Well, for the test takers, it proved to be a real bonus.
The overall exam was easy-moderate, with more on easier side. If we call 1 as easy and 2 as moderate, then the exam was around 1.5 or 1.6. The good thing for test takers was that it was much easier than the first phase of NEET 2016.
The examination pattern did not feature any change. 3 sections, 180 questions and 3 hours did remain the features of the pattern. The division between Class 11 and 12 syllabi stood at a ratio of 88:92, with 88 being from Class 11 and 92 from Class 12.
The sectional difficulty was a surprise this time as well. Many were expecting Physics to be the toughest section, but in reality botany turned out to be the toughest. Rest of the three sections were quite close to each other when compared in terms of difficulty.
The weighty topics remained more or less the same like seen each year. Physics was dominated by Electrodynamics, Thermodynamics and Optics, while Biology section was dominated by Human Physiology and Animal Husbandry. In Chemistry, there was no clear winner, with all three of Organic, Inorganic and Physical chemistry staying close to each other in terms of number of questions.
With all the factors combined, the paper was easier than NEET 2016 1st Phase. Candidates had good chances of scoring very high in the paper.
NEET 2018 changes
Before predicting its difficulty level, we need to look at some important changes that are going to be introduced in NEET 2018. First major change is that it is going to have exactly the same paper across all regional languages, as CBSE was slammed for keeping papers with varied levels of difficulty for different languages. As it is going to be a single paper for whole of the country, we do expect certain changes in difficulty level.
Another thing is that CBSE is no more restricting itself to NCERT syllabus. We had some questions outside the central board in 2nd Phase of NEET 2016, which can raise some concerns for those studying only through NCERT.
Although nothing official has been declared as of now, but we do not expect the examination pattern to change. Apart from this, it is also expected that some international examination centers will be established this year. However, addition of new centers does not correlate with difficulty level.
Will NEET 2018 be tougher or easier this year?
The general trend of difficulty is that it is getting tougher every year. The only exception was the second phase in 2016 which was easier, but generally the paper is becoming more and more difficult.
Therefore, we can expect NEET 2018 to be tougher. But the very nature of the competitive exams of our country is that they tend to surprise candidates every year, and so does this one. With level expected to rise, we can expect some other surprises within the paper.