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Unique Differences between NEET PG and NExT You Should Know

The medical field is a highly competitive and dynamic industry, with professionals needing to constantly update their skills and knowledge to stay relevant. One way of doing so is through specialized exams that assess their proficiency in various medical disciplines.

Now that the NExT will replace the NEET-PG, it is vital to understand the changes that will occur and adjust your preparation accordingly. Hence, in this article, we will explore the differences between NEET PG and NExT. But first, let us briefly understand both exams.


NEET PG stands for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test - Post Graduate. It is a computer-based exam conducted annually in India through the National Board of Examinations (NBE). The exam assesses the medical knowledge, clinical skills, and aptitude of medical graduates who wish to pursue postgraduate medical courses in India.

The NEET PG exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions, which must be answered within three and a half hours. It is considered one of India's most challenging medical entrance exams, with a high level of competition for the limited seats available in postgraduate courses.


The National Exit Test for MBBS, or NExT, is set to replace NEET-PG, likely starting in 2023. The NExT exam will evaluate final-year MBBS students' conceptual comprehension and problem-solving abilities through two parts: Theory (NExT 1) and practical (NExT-2).

NExT Step 1 will replace the final year MBBS exams and will be conducted at an All-India level. Students will take the NExT exam at the end of their final year of MBBS and before starting their internship. NExT Step 2 will consist of clinical and practical evaluations and viva voce exams, assessing the candidate's clinical skills, communication abilities, and decision-making capacity.

The exam will occur once a year, with a supplementary exam available for those who have failed at least one subject out of the six. 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.

For more information about the exam, you can check out the article about the latest updates about the NExT exam.

Differences between NEET PG and NExT:

  1. The Purpose:

    The NEET PG exam was to assess Indian medical graduates who wanted to pursue postgraduate medical courses in India.

    In contrast, the NExT exam will be the standardized test to get licensure to practice medicine in India and get PG admissions. 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).
  2. Exam Structure:

    The National Eligibility cum Eligibility Test PG is an exam that is designed to provide admission to Master's Degree and Diploma courses. In addition, it serves as a qualifying and ranking examination for admission to MD/MS/PG Diploma programs.

    The exam is conducted yearly in computer-based mode (CBT) with 200 multiple-choice questions that the NBE designs. These questions cover 19 topics or subjects that are covered in MBBS programs. Candidates have 210 minutes (3.5 hours) to answer all the questions in a single session, which are only available in English.

    The exam has a marking scheme where four marks are awarded for correct answers, and zero marks are awarded for unanswered or unattempted questions. However, giving a wrong answer will lead to a deduction of 1 mark (25% negative marking) from the total.

    In contrast to NEET PG, the National Exit Test for MBBS will be divided into two parts. The first part, NExT-1, will be an All India Concurrent exam consisting of 540 multiple-choice questions and will be conducted over three days for a total of 14.5 hours. In addition, the exam will have Pre-Lunch and Post-Lunch papers with 120 and tively. The second part, NExT-2, will be a practical exam.
DayMajor Subjects Allied SubjectsNo. of MCQsMinor Subject No. of MCQsTotal No. of MCQs
1.MedicineDermatology, Psychiatry120Pediatrics60180
2.SurgeryOrthopedics, Anaesthesia120Otorhinolaryngology60180
3.Obstetrics and GynaecologyRadiology120Opthalmology60180
Total MCQs360180540
  1. Content:

    The subject outline for NEET PG covers all 19 subjects, including 700 topics.

    But the subject outline for NExT PG is almost reduced to half. The guidelines stated that only final-year subjects would be covered, while first and second-year subjects would be excluded. Additionally, the procedures specified that approximately 10% of the questions in each stream would pertain to basic sciences, and another 10% would relate to Preventive & Public Health.

    The subjects that are present in NExT 1 are-
    • Medicine and allied disciplines
    • Surgery and allied disciplines
    • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
    • PaediatricsOtorhinolaryngology
    • Ophthalmology
  2. Exam Time:

    Previously, students could take NEET PG after completing their internship year. However, with the recent changes, the NExT exam will be administered to final-year students. It means you will have one less year to prepare for the first part of the exam (NExT 1).


In conclusion, The National Exit Test for MBBS (NExT) is set to replace the NEET-PG to provide a standardized test to obtain licensure to practice medicine in India and admission to postgraduate medical courses.

The NExT exam is expected to be a highly competitive exam with a high level of difficulty. Hence, it is vital to understand the differences between NEET PG and NExT to adjust your preparation accordingly.