New Delhi: Three students scored 720 out of 720 marks and shared the all India rank one in the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) undergraduate 2021 examination, results of which were announced by the National Testing Agency (NTA) late on Monday. The exam, which was conducted across the country on September 12, witnessed a sharp jump of 10 percentage points in the attendance compared to last year.
According to the NTA, which is the nodal agency to conduct various entrance exams in the country, a total of 1,614,777 candidates had registered for the country’s biggest entrance exam for admission to MBBS and BDS courses. Of which, 1,5 44, 275 or 95.63% appeared and a total of 870,074 candidates qualified the exam.
Last year, 1,366,945 (85.57%) out of 1,597,435 registered candidates had appeared for the exam.
Three students — Mrinal Kutteri from Telangana, Tanmay Gupta from Delhi, and Karthika G Nair from Maharashtra — have shared the top rank by scoring 99.999 percentile or cent per cent marks. A senior official at the NTA said that a “tie-breaking” formula will be applied during counselling for these three candidates. The NTA is yet to announce the formula. As many as 12 candidates have scored 99.998 percentile and shared rank 5 this year.
The NTA announced the NEET-UG results after the Supreme Court on last Thursday stayed an order of the Bombay high court requiring the NTA to hold the re-examination for two students on account of a mix-up of test booklets before announcing the results.
The NEET-UG was conducted across 3,858 centres amid strict precautions in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. A total of 681,168 male, 863,093 female and 14 transgender candidates appeared in the exam this year. “The examination was conducted for the first time in foreign countries (the UAE; Kuwait) also. It was also conducted for the first time in Punjabi and Malayalam medium, in addition to the existing 11 languages,” the agency said.
The NTA has cancelled the results of 15 candidates after identifying the use of “unfair practices” in the examination, it said.
Meanwhile, the qualifying marks saw slight decline this year. For instance, the qualifying marks range for unreserved category last year was 147 out of 720 marks, which came down to 138 this year. Similarly, other categories also saw the qualifying cut-off taking a slight decline.
Delhi’s Tanmay Gupta, who scored 720 out of 720 marks, said, “A lot of times, people say that one needs to put in 14-15 hours on a daily basis to score well. I feel it’s more crucial to be consistent with preparations. Even if one dedicates 4-5 hours on a daily basis, the effort will pay off.” “Based on my experience, I can say that consistency is key and one can score well without putting in 14-15 hours,” Gupta added.
Telangana’s Mrinal Kutteri said the lockdown period helped him in his preparations. “There was no time wasted on travel, studying from home could be very distracting. I made sure that I had an environment optimised for focused study. For instance, I did not have a mobile phone near me when he studied.” “I reduced my interactions with friends during the last month before the NEET exam. But I did not cut myself off from the outside world in the name of NEET,” he added.
NEET-UG exam had come under scanner this year after at least three students died by suicide in Tamil Nadu fearing they would not be able to clear the exam. The Tamil Nadu government also passed a resolution, announcing that it will opt out of the entrance exam.