The much-awaited National Eligibility Entrance Examination (NEET) 2022 is all set to be conducted on July 17, 2022. It will be a one-day exam organised at selected centres across the country, through the pen-and-paper format. The paper will primarily cover questions from three subjects – Physics, Chemistry and Biology. The syllabus will be in tandem with the topics covered in NCERT Class 11 and 12 textbooks. So, it is safe to assume that CBSE students have an edge over those studying in other boards. However, is this assumption valid? Do CBSE students possess the advantage, especially with the central board reducing the syllabus?
Last year, a news report published by the Times of India showcased how each state and central board performed in the NEET examination. The statistics included three things – 1. No. of aspirants who appeared for NEET 2021, 2. No. of candidates who qualified the test and 3. Qualifying percentage.
Performance of Boards in NEET 2021
Below is a table summarising the performance of two central boards (CBSE and CISCE) and 11 state boards –
|Name of Board||Candidates who Appeared||Qualified Candidates||Qualifying Percentage (%)|
|Tamil Nadu Board||88,933||42,202||47.5|
|West Bengal Board||52,590||28,903||55|
|Andhra Pradesh Board||54,586||35,191||64.5|
|Uttar Pradesh Board||91,783||34,024||37.1|
From the table mentioned above, it is evident that CBSE had the highest qualifying percentage i.e., 73.9%, whereas Uttar Pradesh had the lowest passing percentage – 37.1%. Of course, the comparison is not fair as the distribution of students is not uniform across education boards. However, it does provide some insight into the advantage enjoyed by CBSE students.
State vs. Central – Who Performed Better?
Looking at the past-year NEET question papers, one can infer that questions are mostly from the NCERT textbooks. While some are verbatim copied from the textbooks, few others are based on a similar concept. So, CBSE students who use the same textbook for their board exams have an advantage. Most state boards follow a different syllabus and so, have different textbooks. State board students thus, need to study their textbooks for board exams and NCERT for NEET. Double-level of effort is the major disadvantage that most state board students face.
Reduced Syllabus & Choice in MCQs
This year, however, CBSE has decided to retain the reduced syllabus that it had imposed last year, during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, effectively, for the upcoming Class 12 board exams, students have to study only 35% of the actual syllabus (or 50% of the reduced syllabus). Although NEET 2022 may contain internal choice among questions, students need to study the entire syllabus. This factor might just reduce the advantage that CBSE students supposedly enjoy over others.