NExT shall serve as a licentiate examination for medical graduates in India. (Representational)
Discussions between the Health Ministry and NMC officials indicate that the National Exit Test (NExT) is likely to be held in August 2025 for the final year MBBS students of the 2020 batch, official sources said.
The National Medical Commission (NMC) in its NExT Regulations 2023 issued in June had stated the exam will be held in two phases - NExT Step 1 and NExT Step 2 - within 12 months.
NExT shall serve as a licentiate examination for medical graduates in India and determine the eligibility and ranking for of admission to postgraduate medical education in the country. It will also be a screening exam for foreign medical graduates who want to practise in India.
Last month, the National Medical Commission deferred the exam for the final year MBBS students of the 2019 batch.
"Going by the deliberations being held between the health ministry and NMC officials, the NExT Step 1 is likely to be held in August 2025 for the final year MBBS students of the 2020 batch," an official source told Press Trust of India.
Around 65,000 students took admission in MBBS courses across the country in 2020. According to a data analysis by the health ministry, of these, 62,000 students will be eligible to appear for the August exam in 2025.
Presently, there is no uniformity in the MBBS course completion period in the country because of which around 3,000 students will not be able to appear for the NExT part 1.
Sources said that NExT Step 2 will be held in February. Those who won't be able to appear in the August 2025 exam can appear in the February exam. Those who fail to clear NExT exam Step 1 or are not satisfied with their ranks can also appear in the February exam.
There will be just one counselling for admission to PG courses in a year. However, students can appear for medical PG counselling for the next session based on their NExt February exam.
According to the National Exit Test Regulations-2023, the NExT Step 2 results shall be declared as only "pass or fail" based on the acquisition of appropriate competence that is being evaluated.
The marks from NExT Step 2 will be considered to prepare a merit list for admission into broad speciality PG seats. The NExT Step 1 shall be a theory examination and the questions shall be one or more than one type of multiple-choice type with the examinations being conducted online.
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