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Easier exam, grace marks, surge in registration led to record number of NEET UG toppers: NTA

Easier exam, grace marks, surge in registration led to record number of NEET UG toppers: NTA

As a record, 67 candidates secured the first All India Rank in NEET UG 2024, the National Testing Agency (NTA) on Wednesday attributed this to several factors, including an easier exam, a surge in registrations, a question with two correct answers, and grace marks due to a “loss of examination time.”

A total of 20.38 lakh students registered for the exam, out of which 11.45 lakh candidates qualified. The result was announced on Tuesday and 67 students have achieved an All India Rank (AIR) 1.

Following the announcement, concern grew over the record number of toppers and candidates scoring 718 and 719 marks. Social media is abuzz with allegations over “massive irregularities” during the exams and the impact this result will have on cut-off and admissions.

When asked about the record number of students getting perfect 720 marks, a senior NTA official said: “There was a question that had two right answers as per the change in the NCERT book. that two of the options given were marked correct by NCERT in their old and new books. Two options are declared correct from the original one answer in NEET UG 2024, and the marks of as many as 44 candidates got increased to 720 from 715.

The social media users also raised the issue that, with a total of 720 marks possible, the second highest score achievable is 716, but students got 718 and 719.

NTA explained that this has happened due to grace marks. The official said candidates who reported losing time during the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test Undergraduate (NEET UG 2024) have been given grace marks.

“NTA received few representations and court cases from the candidates of NEET (UG) 2024 raising concerns of loss of time during the conduct of the examination on May 5, 2024. Such cases/representations were considered by the NTA, and the normalisation formula, which has been devised and adopted by the Hon’ble Apex Court, vide its judgement dated June 13, 2018, was implemented to address the loss of time faced by the candidates of NEET (UG) 2024,” the NTA said in a statement.

NEET UG 2024 registrations saw an increase of 16.85 per cent this year. A total of 24,06,079 candidates registered for the exam this year, while 20.59 lakh applied last year.

“The number of toppers has increased due to the increase in UG registration, and the fact that the paper was comparatively easier this year also played a role in the increased number of toppers,” the official said.

The NTA conducted the NEET UG 2024 exam for more than 24 lakh candidates at different centers located in 557 cities throughout the country including 14 cities outside India.

Refuting claims of the NEET UG paper leak, the NTA official said that a background check has also been done on the NEET UG 2024 toppers. The source also said that NEET toppers have been high scorers in Class 10 and Class 12. (ANI)

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