The answer key for National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) was available from June 15 to 16, 2017. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) invited students, parents, and experts to analyze and challenge the published answer key. As per the objections submitted by the students and even experts, it has come to light that some answers in the key were incorrect.
A day after the examination, various newspapers also reported that three questions in Code W, Biology section, had more than one correct answer. This left the students scratching their head which eventually lead to waste of time.
However, the issue of multiple answers to a question was overshadowed by the different question paper in regional languages dispute, which forced HC ordered interim hold on NEET 2017. Now that the matter has been put to rest, the focus is back to the questions and answers in the examination.
Discrepancy in Answer Key for Chemistry and Biology Section
Gurasis Singh Sodhi, an entrant of NEET 2017, has challenged three questions in all. Two are from the Chemistry section, whereas, one is from Biology. He has the same proposition that the question in Biology section had more than one correct answer.
Experts have also challenged questions. Dr. Arvind Goyal is a Biology expert and he claims that the answers for the question number 18 and 42 were incorrect.
Numerous other academicians have pointed out mistakes in the framing or questions. Sameer Phale, provided coaching for NEET said, “The question on frogs should not have been there in the question paper at all. The topics ‘frog’ and ‘earthworm’ were kept out of the syllabus prescribed by Medical Council of India (MCI) for NEET. It is shocking that it is being ignored in the review even though it should have been the first question to be noticed by these experts.”
He also mentioned that CBSE has realized its mistake and have identified two ambiguous question in the Physics section but this could have been ignored. He believed that the students were not suppose to pay Rs. 1000 each, if the Board would have given a thorough glance to the questions and answers.
“Agreed that the amount will be refunded upon a successful challenge, but the logic of depositing Rs. 10,000 for 10 questions is beyond me. There are still many students in the country who cannot afford to bear this amount.” said Phale.
Few Questions Under Scrutiny
The following are the questions, against which the challenges have been submitted.
Questions in Biology Section:
Question 1 – In case of a couple where male is having a very low sperm count, which technique will be suitable for fertilization?
Answer Options – i) Intrauterine transfer ii)Gametic intracytoplasmic fallopian transfer iii) Artificial insemination and iv) Intracytoplasmic sperm injection
Answer in the Key – (iii) Artificial insemination
View of Experts – The answer iv, i.e. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is a better option because low sperm count is qualitative criteria and both artificial insemination and ICSI can be used.
Question 2 – Adult human RBCs are enucleate. Which of the following statements is/are most appropriate explanation for this feature? a) They do not need to reproduce, b) They are somatic cells, c) They do not metabolize and d) All their internal space is available for oxygen transport
Answer Options – i) Only d ii) Only iii) a,c, d iv) b and c
Answer in the Key – (iii) a,c,d
View of Experts – First of all, option (c) is incorrect as it says that they do not metabolise. Also, option (a) is incorrect as well. The only correct answer is (i)
Question in Chemistry Section:
Question 1 – Ionic mobility of which of the following alkali metals is lowest when aqueous solution of their salts are put under electric field?
Answer Options – i) Na ii) K iii) Rb iv) Li
Answer in the Key – (iii) Rb
View of Experts – The smallest of all is Lithium ion, hence will be most hydrated in water. Whereas, the radius of the Hydrated ion will be the largest and will be least mobile. So, the correct answer is (iv) Li.
These are just few questions which are under scrutiny. Overall, multiple questions have been challenged by the students and experts.
How This Impacts Medical Aspirants
The total number of questions in the exam was 180, and each carried 4 marks. An incorrect answer leaves to deduction of not 4 but 5 marks because negative marking of 1 is applicable. In the worst case scenario, a student will be directly losing 15 marks. In such tough competition even ½ a mark can affect the merit then such huge loss of marks will push the student at the bottom on the line.
“The competition is really tough and rank can drop by hundreds of places on a difference of 2-3 marks,” says Dr. Arvind Goyal (Biology Expert)
We will All Go Down Together
One similarity between Humpty Dumpty and CBSE is that both had a great fall and cannot be where it was before
CBSE has experienced a lot of flak this year but one is not able to feel bad for the Board as it never learns. Since 2015, there is some or the other irregularity in medical entrance examination yet there is no sign of improvement.
Agree that the Board has said that it cannot conduct so many examinations back to back and the Government is just brushing the Board aside but how long will this all go?
Medicine is a crucial field which deals with life and death directly. But what is happening right now is ruining the lives of young minds who could have been the best gynecologist, oncologist and what not. Yet, what seems like is that the authorities of our nations are determined to take it all down.
Leaking of question paper, the sudden revival of NEET, different question paper presented in regional languages. What more horrible is left to experience by the medical aspirants? Imagining the agony of a candidate studying under the lamp for past three years and facing the worst of worst each time, can make anyone cringe.
The Board, as well as the higher education committees of our nation, should look seriously into the matter. The sooner it is realized that the career of the student is at stake the better it will be for the entire nation.
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