This year 10,572 more students in the State have qualified in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2022.
Although more students qualified this year, the pass percentage has fallen to 51% compared with 57% last year. While last year 99,610 candidates appeared and 57,215 qualified, only 67,787 out of 1,32,167 qualified in 2022.
The number of students who register for the test in Tamil has been steadily increasing since 2019, when 1,017 candidates took the test; in 2020, this number jumped to 17,101 and saw a marginal rise to 19,868 the next year. In 2022, 31,965 had opted to take the Tamil version of NEET.
The National Testing Agency (NTA) has declared a cut-off of 117 for the general category (UR) and 93 for the OBC, SC, and ST categories. The cut-off is far lower than last year (138 for UR and 108 for the reserved category). For the people with disabilities category, it is 105 , down from 122 last year.
Theoretically, a candidate in the unreserved category with 117 marks could be admitted to a medical college. Similarly, a candidate in the reserved category with 93 marks could make it. But given the limited number of seats and the high fees charged by deemed universities and self-financing colleges for management seats, many with good scores may find it hard to get a seat.
S. Sathishkumar, who is aspiring for a medical seat under the 7.5% preferential reservation for government schoolchildren, has scored 280 marks. Last time, the SC candidate missed a seat in the government medical college by just eight marks. Although, he had the option of doing BDS, he chose to retake the test hoping to get into MBBS. His parents, who are agricultural labourers, have spent ₹50,000 to send him to a coaching centre. If he gets a seat, he will be the first in his family to enter college.
Laya Premika A., a student from Theni who has cracked NEET on her first attempt, said she and her friends were surprised by the difficulty of the biology section. “For the students who prepared using the past years’ test papers, the section was totally new and full of statement-type questions. It was time consuming because of which many were unable to score 720 marks,” she said. The CBSE student said the textbooks helped her prepare better. With a score of 656, Ms. Laya is hoping to get a seat in a college in Chennai or Madurai.
Last year, there were a handful of students with full scores. NEET is for 720 marks and is divided into physics, chemistry and biology, which in turn comprises zoology and botany.
Counselling will begin with the Medical Counselling Committee conducting online counselling for 15% of the All-India Quota seats from medical colleges across the country besides 100% seats in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences colleges, Benaras Hindu University, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (Puducherry and Karaikal) and the Aligarh Muslim University.