NExT Step 1, 2 twice a year; NMC shares pattern, schedule of medical exit exam

NMC will hold a mock NExT for MBBS students on July 28; registration starts tomorrow, June 28. AIIMS Delhi will conduct NExT Step 1 in May.

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NExT step 1 exam will be held for six subjects and NExT step 2 exam will be held for seven subjects. (Representative Image: Wikimedia Commons)NExT step 1 exam will be held for six subjects and NExT step 2 exam will be held for seven subjects. (Representative Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Sanjay | June 27, 2023 | 06:05 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Step 1 of National Exit Test (NExT) will be a computer-based examination based on “high quality” Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Step 2 will be a practical or clinical examination, the National Medical Commission (NMC) said on Tuesday. Both NExT Step 1 and NExT Step 2 will be held twice in a year and students who were admitted in MBBS course in 2019 will be the first batch sitting for the examination. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi will conduct NExT Step 1 in May and November. Students will be allowed to sit for NExT step 2 after completion of their internship and exams will be conducted in June and December.

NMC chairman, Suresh Chandra Sharma shared details about the NExT which is a medical licentiate exam and will replace both Foreign Medical Graduates Exam (FMGE) and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test – Postgraduate (NEET PG), in a webinar with medical college faculty and final-year MBBS students on Tuesday. The webinar was organised to “remove apprehensions and stress built around proposed NExT examination”.

The presentation document shared by NMC during the webinar has provided detailed information about the schedule, pattern and modes of NExT exams. It also states that there will be a mock test on July 28 and registration for the same will start from Wednesday, June 28.

NExT tentative schedule

NExT will be conducted for the first time in 2024. Medical graduates will have to clear both NExT Step 1 and Step 2 to obtain a license to practice modern medicine in India.

Following is the tentative time schedule of NExT examination and associated events

Event

Date of Exam / Commencement

Date of Result/ Completion

NExT Step I

May / November

First week of June / December

III MBBS / Final MBBS part 2 practical / clinical university examination

First week of June / December

Third week of June / December

Internship

First week of January / July

December 31 / June 30 of following year

NEXT Step 2 Regular

Third week of June / December

Fourth week of June / December

NEXT Step 2 Supplementary

First week of September/March

Third week of September/March

Post Graduate Admission

May-June (Counselling)

June 30

Postgraduate Course

First week of July/ last week of January



Yet to be announced


The schedule of the entire process of NExT examination, internship and admission to broad specialty postgraduate courses will be announced by the NMC and other bodies authorised by the commission. There will be another round of counselling in December for seats remaining vacant after the May-June round.

Also read | NExT exam must for foreign medical graduates to intern in India: NMC regulations

NExT step 1

The NExT step 1 will be a comprehensive computer-based examination based on high-quality MCQs.

Even though the faculties at medical colleges had criticised the MCQ based questions for test when the draft of NExT was announced in December last year, NMC has now said: “The MCQ items would address higher domains of knowledge aligned to competencies expected of an Indian medical graduate or a graduate practicing modern system of medicine, especially in India.”

The NExT step 1 examination will have six subject papers and applied aspects of all other subjects of MBBS including forensic medicine and toxicology (FMT); community medicine will be mainstreamed into the relevant clinical subjects. Each paper will contain 10% items for applied aspects of related subjects.

Following is the weightage – in terms of the number of items in the test – and time allocated to each subject.


Subject

No of items

Duration

1.

Medicine and allied subjects

120 Items

3 hours

2.

Surgery and allied subjects

120 Items

3 hours

3.

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

120 Items

3 hours

4.

Paediatrics

60 Items

1.5 hours

5.

Otorhinolaryngology

60 Items

1.5 hours

6.

Ophthalmology

60 Items

1.5 hours


Exam of all the six subjects will be held in five days with one-day gaps on the second and fourth day. There will be examinations of two subjects (one of three hours and another of 1.5 hours) in a day with two hours break in between the examinations. NExT step 1 will be conducted by AIIMS Delhi.

NExT step 2

The NExT step 2 will be a comprehensive practical or clinical examination which will be conducted after completion of internship that evaluated competencies in clinical diagnosis, patient examination and clinical decision making, practical and communication skills necessary for practice of modern system of medicine especially in India.

A total of seven subjects will be evaluated during NExT step 2. These include:

  • Medicine and allied subjects

  • Surgery and allied subjects

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

  • Paediatrics

  • Otorhinolaryngology

  • Ophthalmology

  • Orthopaedics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR)

“The time schedule and modalities of NExT step 2 shall be decided by NMC ad the respective authorised universities or institutions after completion of internship and prior to the admission process for the postgraduate medical courses of that year,” NMC said.

NExT Mock Test

NMC, the apex regulatory body for medical education and profession in India, has said that there will be a mock or practice test on July 28, 2023 and that the registration for it will start on June 28, 2023.

Only final year students pursuing MBBS courses in the medical colleges and institutions are eligible for such mock or practice tests.

“The aim of such a test is to familiarise the prospective candidates with the Computer Based Test (CBT), software interface and process flow in the examination center. The sample questions in the mock or practice will only exemplify the pattern and format of the NExT step 1 examination. Still, they may not represent the complete NExT-Step I examination or syllabus coverage,” NMC has clarified.

Also Read | The NExT Problem: Lack of clarity leaves MBBS students confused, prey to rumours

Abhinav Jha, who is currently completing his medical internship at Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Medical College and Hospital, New Delhi and attended NMC’s webinar said that there should have been at least three-four mock exams in a year and then NMC should have implemented NExT in 2025.

“The webinar was good and the students are being told by NMC officials what will be going to happen. They should get feedback from students after mock exams and make changes accordingly rather than just implementing what they think is good. It will be unfair for the 2019 batch to be giving NExT step 1 on such a short notice,” he said.

NMC has said that the complete detail of the NExT examination is being notified through regulation separately.

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