NEET 2019 Eligibility Criteria - Qualification, Age Limit and Marks
While a fool-proof preparation is a must to qualify for the NEET and get admission in one of the illustrious medical colleges in India, the pre-eminence of eligibility criteria cannot be ignored.
Looking at it another way, given the increasing competition for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, students get involved in preparation of this exam early on. While this is a good sign and increases the probability of success, students must also meet the eligibility criteria for NEET to appear in this national level exam. They can then fulfil their desire of getting admitted to government or private medical colleges in India.
These eligibilities are laid down by the governing body NTA (National Testing Agency), as prescribed by the Medical Council of India. Unless you qualify in those specified criteria, you cannot appear for the exam, or for that matter, apply for it.
Hence, if you are one of those aspirants planning to appear in NEET, you must obtain elaborate knowledge related to NEET eligibility criteria. Here, we will give you all the information pertaining to the eligibility requirements for NEET.
NEET Exam Eligibility Criteria – Recent updates
The Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) initially conducted NEET. However, last year, NTA was established as an autonomous body for regulating this medical entrance exam. Thus, NTA will be responsible for conducting this exam 2019 onwards. The Union Minister Prakash Javadekar confirmed it on 8th July 2018.
This pen-paper based test has also seen a few tweaks in its eligibility criteria to cover more passionate aspirants willing to appear for this exam. The changes were made after NTA was declared as the authorised body.
Here are some of those updates applicable as NEET eligibility criteria 2019:
• Candidates belonging to the general category had 25 years as their upper age limit for appearing in the examination. As for those in the reserved category, it was 30 years. However, now, candidates of unreserved and reserved categories over 25 & 30 years of age respectively can appear in NEET.
• Earlier, candidates needed to have Biology as their compulsory subject to be eligible to appear for NEET. Post the updates, aspirants having Biology as an additional or supplementary subject can also appear for the national level exam.
• Students from NIOS and other recognised open schools can sit for NEET exam from 2019 onwards.
NEET 2019 Eligibility Criteria – An overview
While we will deal with all applicable eligibility criteria related to NEET an aspirant has to meet, let’s first have a look at NEET 2019.
• Name of the exam – National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)
• NEET conducting authority – National Testing Agency (NTA)
• Exam type – National level
• Purpose of the exam – Admission to medical, dental and Ayush courses
• Exam conduction frequency – Once every year
• Application mode – Online
• Mode of application fee payment – Both online and offline
• Examination mode – Offline (pen & paper mode)
• Duration of the exam – 3 hours
• Maximum marks – 720
• Total questions – 180
• Question type – MCQ
• NEET Syllabus for examination – Physics, Chemistry & biology of std. 11 & 12 level
• Total applicants – 13 Lakhs approximately
• The official website for filling the form – ntaneet.nic.in
Now, let’s know the eligibility criteria for NEET one by one.
• Qualification marks as NEET eligibility criteria
A candidate aspiring to appear for NEET must meet the qualification marks’ criteria. However, these criteria depend on the category an aspirant belongs to. In the table given below, candidates from all categories can find the qualification marks they need to meet for fulfilling the eligibility for MBBS in NEET.
Category (Types of candidates)
PwD – General
PwD – SC/ST/OBC
Foreign students aspiring for admission in Indian medical colleges
Note: The percentage mentioned above are reflective of the aggregate percentage obtained in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English. To prove their qualification as per NEET 2019 eligibility criteria, candidates must also pass in all the four subjects individually.
As for the international students, their qualification must be equivalent to the standards specified by the AIU (Association of Indian Universities), regulations from MCI (Medical Council of India) and other concerned universities.
• Age limit as eligibility for NEET
After considering their eligibility in terms of qualification marks, candidates must also consider age limit specified under NEET eligibility criteria 2019, which is the latest available criteria declared by NTA.
It is because obtaining the required marks isn’t enough. A candidate must also meet the fixed age limit set by the authorities to become eligible.
Here, it is essential to know that earlier, the age eligibility for NEET was defined as the lower age limit and the upper age limit.
However, with the direction and order of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, the age limit criteria have been revised.
The NEET age eligibility for 2019 was –
• For candidates in general category – They must have been born between May 5, 1994, and December 31, 2002.
• For candidates in SC/ST/OBC category – They must have been born between May 5, 1989 and December 31, 2002.
As per this information, general candidates above 25 years of age and SC/ST/OBC candidates - who get an age relaxation of 5 years – above 30 years of age were not eligible for appearing in NEET.
However, with the Supreme Court’s order and revision in NEET eligibility age, students now need to meet the age eligibility requirements given below.
• Irrespective of the category you belong to, you must be a minimum of 17 years of age at the time of admission.
• If not, you must have completed 17 years of age on or before 31st December in the year you take admission in one of the colleges based on the rank list provided by NTA.
This was all about the age eligibility for NEET an aspirant needs to meet. Next, check out the nationality requirements.
• Nationality as eligibility for NEET
A candidate’s nationality is also among one of the eligibility criteria for NEET a candidate must meet to appear in the exam.
For gaining admission in top medical or dental colleges in India, a candidate must be among one of the following –
• An Indian national
• A non-resident Indian (NRI)
• An overseas citizen of India (OCI)
• A person with Indian origin (PIO)
• A foreign national
A candidate’s eligibility as per his/her nationality is also subject to regulations formed by the state government a concerned institute comes under, the universities as well as the government of India.
As for the foreign nationals, they must confirm their eligibility from the concerned college or state they are planning to pursue the medical or dental course in.
It is important to note that candidates qualifying as any of the above will be eligible only after they fulfil all other NEET eligibility.
Selection of code as eligibility qualification
The eligibility criteria for NEET are broadly divided into 7 codes. If a candidate does not qualify for anyone among the codes, he/she must furnish all necessary details for eligibility determination.
Take a look at all 7 qualification codes:
A candidate may be appearing in the qualifying exam, i.e., 12th or its equivalent exam, and applying and appearing for NEET in the same year. In this case, he/she would be eligible to get admission for an MBBS/BDS course only after passing the qualifying exam. Also, he/she must secure the required marks at the time of first counselling as specified in the eligibility criteria for NEET.
The Indian School Certificate Examination (ISCE) or Higher/Senior secondary examination and its equivalent class 12 examination takes place after a 12-year period of study. For this, the last two years of study in the 10+2+3 pattern must comprise the science subjects of Physics, Chemistry & Biology/Biotechnology along with Mathematics or any other elective subject as prescribed by the NCERT. The course of study should also have English as a core subject. For aspirants appearing in NEET 2019, the code is applicable on those who had qualified class 12 in 2018 or before and did not pursue any course after completing this qualifying exam.
The code applies to candidates who completed their Intermediate/pre-degree exam in Science from an Indian university or board or any other recognised body with Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Biotechnology along with English as their compulsory subjects. The course must also have a practical test in science subjects. It is also applicable to those who have completed their qualifying exam from a state board.
As for this code, it applies to pre-medical/pre-professional exam after completing the qualifying exam that has the subjects Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Biotechnology & English. These examinations should include practical tests of the science subjects along with English as a compulsory subject.
For qualifying under this code, candidates must qualify the first year of their 3-year degree course from a recognised university with Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Biotechnology along with practical tests in these subjects. They must have also passed in the previous qualifying exam with the above three subjects along with English as equivalent of core subjects.
For code 6, candidates should have qualified their BSC examinations with any two of the subjects mentioned here. They are Physics, Chemistry & Biology (Botany/Zoology)/ Biotechnology. They must also have passed the previous qualifying exams with all the three subjects.
Candidates must use this code if they have qualified with an examination equivalent in standard and scope to Intermediate examination from an Indian university or board. The subjects must include Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Biotechnology as well as their practical tests along with English. Such an examination must cover the last two years of study for the applicant. Aspirants who have completed an equivalent qualifying examination from a university located in a foreign country should use this code.
Number of attempts for freshers and droppers
Well, finally, there’s good news for NEET aspirants!
The limit specified in the official guidelines to the number of attempts an aspirant can have when appearing for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test has been scrapped. Hence, if candidates meet all of the eligibility criteria for NEET mentioned above, they can attempt for the undergraduate exam as many times as needed until they qualify for it.
Eligibility for NEET – Reservation under 15% quota on the all-India basis
Here’re the seat reservation criteria for government medical colleges on an all-India basis under 15% quota:
a) 15% of total seats are reserved for Scheduled Cast candidates.
b) 7.5% of total seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribe candidates.
c) As per the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in 15 Admissions) Act, 2006, 27% of total seats in central educational institutions are reserved for candidates from Other Backward Castes. It would be applicable only for those castes that find a mention in the Central OBC list.
NEET eligibility criteria grievance cell
For any grievance related to the eligibility criteria for NEET, candidates can approach NTA’s grievance cell. The NTA helpdesk can be contacted through –
• Email – email@example.com
• Mobile number – 8076535482/7703859909
Frequently asked questions on eligibility for NEET
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions related to eligibility for NEET. Have a read!
1. Are students with a gap year between Std. 11 and 12 eligible for NEET 2019?
Yes, now, candidates having a gap year between their 11th and 12th classes are also eligible to appear for NEET 2019.
2. Can a student from NIOS appear for NEET?
The Delhi High Court has removed the bar on aspirants from recognised open institutes from appearing in NEET. Thus, a candidate from NIOS qualifies for the exam.
3. Can candidates completing 25 years of age in March 2019 appear for NEET 2019?
Yes, as per the Supreme Court directive, candidates above 25 years of age are also eligible to appear for NEET.
Prep up thoroughly for your NEET!
Having been through all the NEET exam eligibility criteria, you are now quite sure about whether you can appear for the exam or not.
So, all of which are left for you are to keep the important dates related to this exam in mind and prepare for it thoroughly. Make sure you complete the syllabus with a few months in hand before the examination date. It will give you ample time to revise and figure out your weak areas in the entire syllabus.
With enough time in hand, you can work on them and give your best shot at this national level exam.
Dreams do come true, but only if you perspire! We wish you the best!