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Parents and students are still puzzled about the proposed dates of NEET 2020 i.e. last week of May 2020. Lockdown has been extended till 3rd May 2020 showing that this pandemic is not going to stop growing anytime soon. Union HRD Minister, Mr Ramesh Pokhriyal has mentioned that the delay in JEE Main 2020 could be until June 2020. Although there was no specific mention for NEET, it is highly speculated that the NEET 2020 will be held in June 2020 as well. New exam dates for JEE or NEET have not been announced yet. Educational Boards and other stakeholders are being consulted to decide on new dates for both competitive as well as board examinations.
He also said in a recent interview that the curriculum for CBSE Schools will be reduced for the next academic calendar i.e. for students taking the exams in 2021. This measure has been taken due to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) all over the country and the extended lockdown delaying the academic year. This includes students of class 10th and 12th of the current batch who will be taking the board exams in 2021. Although, as per the statement, the curriculum will be reduced for all the classes.
Mr Pokhriyal said that the reduction in the curriculum will be done on a proportionate basis, according to the time period lost (or might be lost further in coming days) due to the lockdown imposed to fight the COVID-19 disease. For the students of class 12th, this can be interpreted both as an advantage and a disadvantage, depending on the possible change in syllabus of NEET 2021. If NTA decides to reduce the syllabus of NEET 2021 similarly as CBSE does, it could be beneficial to students. But if NTA does not reduce the syllabus, students will have to engage a lot of time to their studies for competitive exams. This could result in added pressure on students during the last few months of the academic calendar of 2021.
CBSE has already announced that the students of Class 1 to 8 will be promoted without any exams this year. Students of Class 9 and 11 will be promoted based on the assessment of overall performance in projects, term exams etc. but there will not be any final examinations for these students either. For Class 10 and 12, exams for 29 out of 41 subjects will be held soon after the lockdown is lifted off, including exams for students affected due to law and order crisis in North-East Delhi.
It has been advised to schools to reduce summer vacations for students and start classes early. This will mean increased pressure on students for the next academic year. Students of Class 11 will be promoted with easier rules and this could also be beneficial in order to start preparing for NEET 2021.
What does this mean for NEET 2020 candidates?
It is evident that NEET 2020 candidates will have more than enough time to prepare for the exam under the prevailing circumstances. Along with this, board exams have been delayed too. Students must utilise this time to excel in their preparations. Maximum time should be given to attempt sample test papers and old question papers. NTA has also provided learning opportunities while staying at home. These are testing times and we all must prepare well for the future!