Tamil Nadu

NEET throws a curveball for students this year

Test takers queueing up to enter the exam centre at Vivekananda Vidyalaya, Vyasarpadi, on Sunday.

Test takers queueing up to enter the exam centre at Vivekananda Vidyalaya, Vyasarpadi, on Sunday. | Photo Credit: B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

As many as 22,000 students took the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in the city on Sunday. In Tiruvallur district, of the 3,137 who registered, 2,899 took the test.

Separate centres were allotted for students taking the test in Tamil as well, said officials coordinating the test. “It went smoothly with cooperation of the police, the School Education Department and the public. More aspirants took the test in Tamil than in the previous years,” said an official.

Though for aspirants, the test held several surprises. Traditionally, the physics section is the toughest and biology (zoology and botany) the easiest. But this time many found Biology tougher.

N. Prasath, a repeat test taker, said he had prepared on his own last time and scored 534 marks and was allotted a seat in a self-financing college. He chose to retake the test and opted for online coaching. “I usually take an hour to complete physics section, but today, it took only 40 minutes. In the chemistry section, the questions were direct initially, and we could answer in one step. Then they became increasingly difficult and for a few problems we had to do decimal level calculations,” he said.

Parents who had come from distant areas waited outside for their children to finish the test and began thronging the gates of test centres 5 p.m. onwards.

Reshwanth Sai, also a repeat test taker, said the physics and chemistry sections were easier than biology. A first-time aspirant found the test easier than expected. “After having seen last year’s question paper while preparing, this year’s seemed easier. I spent a lot of time over a few questions in the botany component,” he said.

Students said the additional 20 minutes they got this year was a boon.

Understanding principles

C. Natarajan, a postgraduate assistant in niology in the P.A.K Palaniswamy Higher Secondary School in Old Washermenpet, said the biology section had some assertion-reason type questions that students had not anticipated.

According to Sourav Mondal, head, FIITJEE Medical, “There were statement based questions this year that made the biology component more time consuming.” Another biology professor, who takes online classes for aspirants, said some questions tested the students’ understanding of the principles rather than their ability to memorise.

Several first-time test takers had prepared on their own for the test. With Class XI entirely online, the students had learned the knack, said a parent. Geeta Selvakumar of Iyappanthangal, who was waiting for her daughter outside a test centre in Nungambakkam, said her daughter, a first-time test taker, had learnt from YouTube lectures.

Internet’s role

Ruby Angel, a student from an Adi Dravidar Government School in Kelambakkam, had downloaded question banks from the internet. “She studied the State Board text books and downloaded question banks. The NCERT books are expensive,” said her brother Ruban Frances, who plans to take the test next year.

In a centre in Kilpauk, Vijayakumar, who was waiting for his son outside the test centre, said his son had been preparing for six months. “He used the internet. If he wanted money to buy books, I gave him,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 1:09:53 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/neet-throws-a-curveball-for-students-this-year/article65651366.ece