Common mistakes to avoid during NEET

The NEET is one of the toughest entrance exams in India. Here are a few tips on getting it right in the exam hall

April 16, 2023 08:07 pm | Updated April 17, 2023 10:29 am IST

Stay calm and answer correctly.

Stay calm and answer correctly. | Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

Any competitive exam demands prolonged hard work, commitment, determination and a bit of luck. When it comes to the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test NEET), the ratio of contenders to MBBS seats (approx. 1:16) makes it one of the toughest exams in India. The scope of error has to be minimal as the negative marking scheme (-5 marks per question) can be brutal. Here are some tips on how to maximise your studying strategy.


Stick to a tried-and-tested one. Don’t experiment on the day of the exam. During the mock tests, you can figure out which method works and which doesn’t. For example, you may try to answer the biology questions first to boost your confidence, as the physics questions can consume time and put you under pressure. By the time the exam comes, figure out what works and stick with it.

Time management

This is the most crucial aspect of the exam. Often, instead of reading the instructions and each question carefully, students tend to skim through them. This leads to misinterpretations and wrong answers. Don’t let the pressure of the ticking clock paralyse you and impact your comprehension. Take a deep breath to calm yourself down and read the question paper with full concentration. A calm test taker comprehends the questions correctly and can easily recall what she/he has learned to come up with the right response. In the exam hall, don’t think about past failures. Overthinking can cloud your memory and cause you to make mistakes even with easy questions. The key is a clear and undisturbed mind, which intelligently judges a question depending on its difficulty and applies the acquired knowledge to answer correctly.

OMR issue

Every year, numerous candidates fill the Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) bubbles in a wrong manner despite knowing all the correct answers. The handling of the OMR sheet is a serious issue and needs care. Once you get the sheet, check all the required entries and the sequence and then fill in each one. Another step, which also requires equal care, is solving the question and filling the right bubble. The chances of a mistake are high when you have to do the same thing in a different sequence 180 times. Each student has his/her own way of doing this. Some fill the bubbles as they solve each question one by one, while others work out the answers to all and then fill the bubbles at the end. Still, others do it in batches of 10-15 questions. Each method has its pros and cons. But what’s important is to figure out which one works for you and to stick with that in the exam hall.

The writer is National Academic Director, Medical, Aakash BYJU’S

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