Board exam preparations, lack of access to NCERT books make things difficult for NEET aspirants

Published - April 28, 2024 10:10 pm IST - Chennai

With the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) scheduled for May 5, a section of aspirants said they found it challenging to juggle studying for the Class XII board exam and preparing for the competitive exam.

“I had been preparing for NEET for the past two years and even took up private coaching, but I stopped in the last six months as I had to prepare for the board exam,” said Sheela A., a government school student. Like her, T. Harini had to quit preparation for NEET due to the public exam. “I will attempt the exam this year but I have decided to take a gap year if I don’t qualify to focus on NEET preparation,” she said.

This sentiment is echoed among many government school students taking up the entrance exam while some others have decided to enrol in another course while also repeating the NEET next year. “The State Board syllabus is vast. It is difficult to cover that in 10 months so there is no way to focus on NEET while also preparing for the public exam,” said a teacher from a government school in Chennai.

Learning loss during pandemic

The students attempting NEET this year also face another roadblock. Their foundation in concepts has taken a hit due to the online classes held during the pandemic. “The teachers would say this concept was discussed in Class IX, but how would we know that when the classes were online. Most of us had not even opened the books. So, we had trouble as our basics were not strong,” said Dharshini S., a government school student.

“It was all online, most of us made no notes. Suddenly, we realise that we don’t know the basics, so it has taken us more time to prepare for the exam,” added another student.

Undergoing NEET entrance coaching given by the government, Yashwani J. said “Only now did I understand most of the concepts that were discussed for the board exam. The National Council of Educational Research and Training textbooks (NCERT) books have it in a crisper format, which has been useful.”

Students also stated that access to the NCERT books posed a challenge as preparation for NEET also required that they study from them. “There’s only one or two books in our library, and we cannot afford to buy a physical copy. There is nothing better than studying from the actual book,” Priya E., another NEET aspirant, said.

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