AR Group of Education

National Exit Test (NEXT Exam)

From NEET PG to NExT Exam: Changes to Chances

NExT EXAM is a mandatory examination conducted by the Commission or an approved authority in India. It serves two purposes. First, it certifies whether a medical graduate is eligible to practice modern medicine in the country, essentially acting as a Licentiate Examination. Second, it determines the eligibility and ranking of individuals who wish to pursue further education in postgraduate medical specialties. In this regard, it also functions as an entrance examination for admission to postgraduate medical courses. You can learn more about this as you continue reading!

Shedding Light on NExT EXAM

  • It applies to various categories of individuals. Firstly, it includes all undergraduate medical students enrolled in MBBS programs across Medical Colleges approved by the National Medical Commission, including Institutes of National Importance.
  • Secondly, it encompasses Abroad Medical Graduates who meet the requirements specified by the National Medical Commission for obtaining a license to practice medicine in India and for enrollment in the State Register or National Register. The regulations determine the specific manner in which these individuals can pursue these actions.
  • Thirdly, individuals with a Medical Degree who intend to pursue academic courses, observerships, or any other purposes specified and approved by the National Medical Commission through official notifications or regulations fall under the scope of NExT.
  • Lastly, those who have already been granted a license to practice medicine and are registered in the National Medical Register or State Medical Register, and who wish to seek admission to Postgraduate courses in broad medical specialties, are also subject to the NExT examination

NEXT EXAM Step 1 

  • The first step of the NExt Exam will be a theory examination.
  • The questions in this examination will be of the multiple-choice type.
  • The exam will be conducted online using a computer-based format.
  • The specific procedures for conducting common counseling for admission to postgraduate medical courses will be determined by the Commission and notified by the Government of India.
  • Students who have completed their III MBBS/Final MBBS from a recognized medical college approved by the Commission will be eligible to take the NExT Step 1 exam.

Now Get the Opportunities Twice

The Step 1 exams will be held twice a year, in May and November, or as notified by the Commission. Candidates are allowed multiple attempts to pass NExT Step 1 and Step 2 exams within 10 years of joining the MBBS course. However, candidates can only take the Step 1 exam to improve their scores after completing the Step 2 exam. The NExT Step 1 will replace the conventional university/institutional theory exams for III MBBS/Final MBBS Part II. Practical/clinical exams for III MBBS/Final MBBS will continue to be conducted in the conventional manner unless notified otherwise by the Commission.

Syllabus of NEXT Step 1 

The NExT examination will consist of six papers that cover subjects from III MBBS/Final MBBS, both Part 1 and Part 2. The subjects covered are:
●  Medicine and allied disciplines
●   Surgery and allied disciplines
●   Obstetrics and Gynaecology
●   Pediatrics
●   Otorhinolaryngology
●   Ophthalmology
These papers will include the applied aspects of all subjects covered under I MBBS, II MBBS, and III MBBS/Final MBBS Part 1.

Next step 2 

The NExT examination’s second step, known as NExT Step 2, focuses on evaluating practical/clinical skills, clinical decision-making, and communication skills expected of an Indian Medical Graduate. It is an Objective Structured Clinical Case-based examination that involves simulated cases or patients.

The examination is conducted in person by the respective state Health Universities/Institutions, following the standards and guidelines provided by the Commission. In cases where state Health Universities do not exist, the Commission determines the authorized University/Institution to conduct NExT Step 2 for the respective colleges.

Regular NExT Step 2 Examinations are held twice a year, and there is also a NExT Step 2 Supplementary Examination conducted twice a year. The supplementary examination is specifically for candidates who have failed in one or more of the seven subjects and need to repeat those subjects. If a candidate fails in more than three subjects, they must appear in all seven subjects again in the supplementary examination.

There is no limit to the number of attempts a candidate can make in NExT Step 2, as long as they have passed both NExT Step 1 and NExT Step 2 Examinations within 10 years of joining the MBBS Course.

Syllabus of next step 2 

NExT Step 2 is a Practical/Clinical and Viva Voce Examination.The purpose of NExT Step 2 is to assess practical skills, clinical knowledge, and decision-making abilities of the candidates.

● It covers seven clinical subjects/disciplines, including Medicine and allied disciplines, Surgery and allied disciplines, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Otorhinolaryngology, Ophthalmology, and Orthopaedics and PMR (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation).
● The examination is conducted in an Objective Structured format.
● It is a Clinical Case Based examination, meaning that it focuses on real-life clinical scenarios.

Eligibility for Provisional Internship

Indian Medical Graduate: A student from a recognized medical college in India is eligible for compulsory rotating internship if they meet the following criteria:
a) Pass all six theory papers of NExT Step 1.
b) Pass the practical/clinical examination of III MBBS/Final MBBS (Part 2) regulated by the university/institution.

Foreign Medical Graduate:

A student who completed their medical education overseas and fulfills the requirements specified by the Foreign Medical Graduate Regulations of the Commission is eligible for compulsory rotating internship if they pass all six theory papers of NExT Step 1.

Eligibility for Medical Registration and Practice

Indian Medical Graduate or Foreign Medical Graduate: To be registered in the National Medical Register/State Medical Register and obtain a license to practice medicine in India, the following conditions must be met:

a) Completion of the required duration of internship as applicable.
b) Passing the NExT Step 2 practical/clinical examination.
c) Meeting the requirements stated in the Registration of Medical Practitioners and License to Practice Medicine Regulations of the National Medical Commission.
d) Fulfillment of any other requirements specified by the Commission.
Eligibility for Postgraduate Medical Courses:

Graduates with Medical Registration: Those who have obtained a license to practice medicine and are registered in the National Medical Register/State Medical Register are eligible for admission to postgraduate medical courses in broad specialty subjects, provided they meet the following criteria:
a) Eligible and granted a license to practice modern medicine in India.
b) Participation in the common counseling process as prescribed by the Commission through an approved designated authority.

Apart from the mentioned eligibility criteria, the NExT Step 1 scores can be used by the Government of India, State Governments, and other organizations for purposes such as employment, scholarships, fellowships, etc.

Note: The MBBS degree is awarded upon passing the Final MBBS examination and successfully completing a one-year internship.

Important dates for next exam

EventDate of Exam/CommencementDate of Result/Completion
NExT Step 1May/November1st week of June/December
III MBBS/FINAL MBBS Part 2University 1st Week June/December3rd Week June/December
Internship1st January/July31st December/30th June following year
NExT Step 2 Regular3rd Week June/December4th week of June/December
NExT Step 2 Supplementary1st week Sept/March3rd week Sept/March
Post Graduate AdmissionMay-June (Counseling)30th June
Postgraduate Course1st July/1st week January

Note: There will be another round of counseling in December for any remaining vacant seats after the earlier counseling held in May-June.

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