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NExT PG 2023: Latest Updates You Should Know

If there is a buzzword among medical students in India these days, it's the NExT or National Exit Test. NExT is the test that every MBBS student will need to take to get a license to practice medicine in India.

The National Medical Commission (NMC) of India recently issued the proposed draft regulations for the National Exit Test. This exam will ensure that medical graduates' minimum standards of education and training are uniform across the country.

Hence to help you understand the test, in this article, we will cover all the information that has been released so far by the NMC.

What is the NExt Exam?

NEXT, or National Exit Test for MBBS, will replace NEET-PG, INI-CET [Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS), All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS), Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER)], and MCI Screening Exam (i.e., FMGE: Foreign Graduate Examination in Medicine). The National Medical Commission has not yet specified a specific implementation date, but it will likely begin in 2023.

In India, NExT will standardize medical education. It will evaluate the final-year MBBS students' conceptual comprehension and problem-solving abilities. There will be two parts to NExT: Theory (NExT 1) and practical (NExT-2)

NExT: Step 1

The NExT exam will replace the final year MBBS exams, which are presently conducted at the university level. In addition, the NExT will be conducted at an All-India level.

You will appear for the NExT exam at the end of your Final Year of MBBS and before starting your internship. The NExT will be your gateway to starting your internship. Your NExT Score 1 will be used to allocate your PG seats (MS/MD/Diploma/Diplomate of National Board) in government and private medical schools.

NExT: Step 2

Candidates who have successfully passed the NExT Step 1 exam are eligible to take the NExT Step 2 examination. The test consists of clinical and practical evaluations and viva voce exams. It assesses the candidate's clinical skills, communication abilities, and decision-making capacity through objective, structured, simulated cases/patients and clinical case-based questions.

The NEXT Step 2 exam will be held in person, following the guidelines set by the commission, and will occur once a year. Additionally, there will be a supplementary exam for those who have failed at least one subject out of the six, which will take place once a year. Candidates who do not pass the supplementary exam must retake it the following year.

Candidates can retake the exams as many times as they like, provided they complete NExT Step 1 and Step 2 within ten years of enrolling in the MBBS course.

Who is eligible to take the NExT exam?

All students who have completed the third year of their MBBS program at a medical school accredited by the commission are eligible to participate. The further eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Undergraduate medical students pursuing an MBBS degree in colleges approved by the National Medical Commission through its Rating Board and Medical Assessment and Undergraduate Medical Education Board are eligible.
  • Foreign Medical Graduates who the National Medical Commission has approved to obtain a license and practice medicine as registered practitioners in India can also participate. They must enroll in the State Register or National Register, as regulations specify.
  • Individuals with a medical degree for the purpose of observership, pursuing academic courses, or any other purposes approved by the National Medical Commission through notifications or regulations can also be eligible.

What is the syllabus for NExT?

The NEXT-1 exam will cover the entire syllabus of the 19 subjects in the new Indian MBBS curriculum. It includes all preclinical, paraclinical, and clinical subjects taught from the first to final years of study.

The first step of the test will include six papers, which are as follows:

  • Medicine and allied disciplines
  • Surgery and allied disciplines
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Ophthalmology

NEXT STEP 2 EXAM

Step 2 will cover seven clinical subjects:

  • Medicine and allied disciplines
  • Surgery and allied disciplines
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopaedics and PMR (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation)

What is the NExT exam pattern?

Officials have released a proposed schedule for the NEXT exam, but it may change due to feasibility and logistics.

DayMajor Subjects Allied SubjectsNo. of MCQsMinor SubjectNo. of MCQsTotal No. of MCQs
1.MedicineDermatology, Psychiatry120Pediatrics60180
2.SurgeryOrthopedics, Anaesthesia120Otorhinolaryngology60180
3.Obstetrics and GynaecologyRadiology120Opthalmology60180
Total MCQs360180540

From the above 540 MCQs, 60% will relate to problem-solving, 30% will relate to comprehension and analysis, and the rest 10% will be related to recall. Also, among the 540 MCQs, 10% of MCQs from each stream will be from basic applied sciences such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology & pharmacology, and 10% will be from Preventive & Social Medicine (PSM).

What is the passing score for the NExT exam?

The passing score for the NEXT-1 exam is 50%. If you score 50% in each subject of this exam, you will be considered to have passed and will be eligible to begin your internship. In addition, the score from NEXT-1 will be used for allocating PG seats after the internship and will be valid for 3 years for the PG entrance ranking. As a result, NEXT-1 serves as both a qualifying and competitive exam.

NEXT-2 is a pass/fail exam, and the marks obtained do not contribute to the allocation of PG seats.

When will the NExT exam be implemented?

The tentative dates for NExT are as follows:

EventDate of commencementDate of Result
Step 1 regularDecember 2nd weekJanuary 2nd week
Step 1 supplementary
Practical, clinical university exam1st week January4th week January
InternshipFebruary 1February 28 following year
Step 2 regular2nd week March1st week April
Step 2 supplementary
PG AdmissionMay-JuneJune 30
Postgraduate courseJuly 1

Wrap Up:

Though NExT might seem intimidating, you must remember that only the exam pattern is changing, not the syllabus. You will be tested on the same skills and knowledge acquired in your MBBS. So if you prepare well for the exam, there is no reason why you cannot pass the exam on your first attempt. Best Of Luck!