Published: 18th July 2022
What happened with NEET UG 2022? Why are students asking for another attempt? We find out...
NEET, CUET and JEE have been riddled with problems, one may argue more so this year than in previous years. We find out what they are and how students are reacting
July has truly been a 'testing' time for all students who have appeared for various competitive exams. First JEE, followed by CUET UG (Common Universities Entrance Test) and now NEET (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test)! Many students took to Twitter to express their concerns regarding the irregularities in the NEET UG 2022 exam. First, hashtags for the postponement of the exam were trending, but now, taking these situations into account, students are urging the National Testing Agency (NTA) to give them another chance through the hashtag #NEETUGSecondAttempt.
The NEET exam, which was conducted by the NTA on July 17 across India, saw 18 lakh candidates register for the exam and received almost 95% attendance. With a lot of requests for postponement of NEET UG 2022, which were of no avail, the stressed-out lot is now urging the NTA for another attempt. So, what are students saying? Was the exam the same as other competitive exams where students left their centres feeling disappointed?
In this regard, RTI activist Vivek Pandey highlights three main issues faced by the students in various centres. Firstly, the centre in Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan allowed students to write their exam without taking their biometrics, which is actually mandatory. Secondly, the OMR (Optical Mark Reading) sheets given were Xerox copies of the original ones. Lastly, there was an interchange of OMR sheets an hour after the commencement of the exam because, as per the lecturers, an English-medium paper was given to students who opted for Hindi and vice-versa.
Relating to this, a student @AjayBhumika tweeted, "A huge blunder in #NEET exam at several places. The scenario I've mentioned happened with me at my centre Kendriya Vidyalaya (school code-03271) Hoshangabad Madhya Pradesh." In a conversation with EdexLive, she says that the Hindi-medium students were given the English-medium paper and the English-medium students were given the Hindi-medium paper, which was in both English and Hindi. The invigilator realised this "huge mistake" and made us interchange our OMR sheets, she adds.
"As I got a Hindi-medium paper, which had both languages, I was able to solve it. But the Hindi-medium candidates choose the wrong answers. Post the interchange of sheets, we couldn't do anything with the filled answers as filling 2 bubbles for 1 question is a minus marking, according to the NTA rules," she says. "We were all shocked and traumatised. I was shivering after that. It took me another 30 minutes to come out of the trauma that the paper that I was solving was for someone else and now that someone will get all the marks of it," she states, distressed.
Meanwhile, another student @Aastha41683382 whose centre was in Sadar Alam Memorial School, said that she was unaware of the fact that the OMR sheet she was working on was not actually the one she was assigned. She realised this when she cross-checked the OMR sheet code with the signature sheet (the signature sheet is the one which is signed in between the exam time for identification purposes). She stresses that "the papers were exchanged twice." Another student @Kairana_Raynor reached out to EdexLive via Twitter to vent her concerns that the question paper code and the OMR sheet code were different. The adverse effect of this is that "the question pattern and answers key will be different," the user highlighted. Additionally, the NEET candidate shared that there were "Zoology questions in the Botany part and Botany questions in the Zoology part."
In another incident in Kozhikode, Kerala, a stressed student @ananc52200254 complained that the time taken for frisking and checking was a lot more than expected, which should have been informed to the students or they should have been allowed early. When we ask Vivek Pandey who was at fault, pat comes to the reply, "It is NTA's mistake. Initially, different agencies used to conduct different exams and this was followed systematically for many years. Now with the NTA, all exams are being conducted by one Body, which is becoming unmanageable."
Further commenting on the issue, Vivek claims that this is not the first time, the issue with giving xerox copies is happening. He recalls that there may be a similar issue which happened in 2018. From the time when the NTA has taken over the authority to conduct the exams, which was in 2019, there have been many irregularities that have taken place like paper leaks, Xerox copies of OMR sheets and so on, he stresses.
Further, Vivek states that many students and parents have written to the NTA. But whether or not the testing body will reconsider and give the students another attempt, or consider the papers of students without biometrics, is a cause for concern, he says.