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National Exit Test (NEXT)

The National Exit Test NEXT is the manifestation of a universally applicable dogma – there can be no compromise with quality standards in the medical profession.

Apparently, corruption was becoming rampant in the 88 years old Medical Council of India MCI. There seemed to be ample evidence that the officials were earning illegitimately at various levels in a nexus with political leaders. Also, there was a lack of uniformity in the process of adding new members to the medical fraternity. In short, while the foreign medical graduates had to undergo the MCI Screening Test, the doctors from Indian Medical Universities were exempt.

Also, it was a common realization that the quality of medical education across the globe had a lot of variations. Then, significant differences existed between the quality of education in government & private institutes. There were major surveys indicating this. Moreover, there was no quality check to assess a substantial section of the medical workforce entering into the Indian healthcare industry.

After much deliberation by the GOI, the National Medical Commission Bill came into force on September 25, 2020. It caused the dissolution of the MCI and the constitution of the National Medical Commission in its place. And a very consequential step that the NMC took was the replacement of the MCI Screening Test with the National Exit Test NEXT.

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To begin with, as mentioned above, the NEXT Exam full form is National Exit Test. As the name suggests, it is the exit exam for MBBS. Actually, NEET UG is the entrance exam and in this way, NEXT is the exit exam.

Let’s understand the purpose of the NEXT Exam India. Firstly, the NEXT Exam will confirm the eligibility of an MBBS to begin an Internship. Secondly, the score one gets in the National Exit Exam will decide the merit of an aspirant for Medical PG seats. Finally, the NEXT Exam for foreign medical graduates and Indian medical graduates alike, will grant them the license to practice in India.

That is to say, the NEXT Exam will combine 2 separate Exams – the NMC NEET PG and the MCI Screening Test. Most importantly, like the foreign medical graduates, the Indian medical graduates too will have to clear the same Exam to practice. Here is where the uniformity that was missing comes.

About NEXT Exam

Let’s understand the structure of the proposed National Exit Test NEXT.

The NEXT Exam will have 2 stages – the NEXT 1 and NEXT 2 Exam. In short, the NEXT 1 Exam will decide 2 things, an aspirant’s eligibility to start an Internship and her knowledge and skill levels to secure a seat in the much-coveted Indian Medical PG. On the other hand, NEXT 2 Exam will ascertain the eligibility of an aspirant to get the ‘go-ahead’ to practice in India.

Now, while the NEXT 2 Exam will be purely qualifying, the NEXT 1 Exam will be different for the 2 purposes it will have. The NEXT 2 Exam will be a qualifier for Internship entry but competitive for Medical PG admission.
Also, in all probability, the NEXT 1 Exam will have MCQs that will have both Recall Questions and questions based on Clinical Analytics. However, the NEXT 2 Exam may focus entirely on the Clinical Skills of the aspirant.


A word of caution here! There are many websites that claim to disclose the NEXT Exam pattern in great detail. They are getting viewers by claiming to describe the duration, the topic-wise weightage, probable chapters that will be important, etc. They are claiming that the NEXT Exam official website, the National Medical Commission Website, has disclosed these facts. No such notice has come up as we write this page.

Another possibility that is getting attention is that instead of conducting NEXT in two stages, NEXT 1 & 2, there may be three, NEXT 1, 2, & 3. The arrangement will have a NEXT 1 that will test Pre-clinical and para-clinical subjects; NEXT 2 will be consequential for Internship and PG seat allotment, while NEXT 3 will be licentiate. However, unless NMC formally makes an announcement or releases a directive, we can’t be sure of anything.

To give you a basic idea, we are also going to speculate a little. Do keep in mind that the following is mere speculation and we do not claim any official corroboration for the same.

NEXT Exam Date

Is NEXT Exam confirmed? If yes, is NEXT 2023 confirmed? Doubtlessly, queries like these are doing the rounds rampantly. Again, let’s examine the facts.

If we go to the source and check the NMC Bill itself, we see clearly that the Bill provides for mandatory conduction of the NEXT Exam in 2023. It says that the NEXT Exam has to happen within 3 years of the passing of the NMC Bill. That dates to 2023.

Hence, we can safely conclude, that if no further notice comes, the first NEXT Exam will take place in 2023.

NEXT Exam Syllabus

This is easy to predict, without indulging in much speculation. We can safely assume that the NEXT Exam syllabus will include all the 19 subjects that exist in the Indian MBBS Curriculum. However, the weightage these subjects get will vary. We speculate that the Clinical subjects will get more focus than the Pre- and Para-Clinical ones.

NEXT Exam Question Paper Pattern

As mentioned earlier, any website or agency claiming to confirm information regarding NEXT Exam details is either misinformed or has dubious intentions. However, there was a conference of the NMC Board (2020) in which a structure of the NEET Exam question paper structure was adopted. The following brief description is based on the same structure.

Disclaimer: The given structure was purely tentative.

To begin with, you can expect a total question count of 540. Of these, disciplines like Pediatrics, ENT, and Ophthalmology will have approximately 60 questions each. On the other hand, subjects like Medicine, Surgery, OBGY, Psychiatry, Orthopedics, etc. will have 40-60 questions.

Sections in the NEXT Exam

Firstly, the section of the MBBS curriculum categorized as Basic Applied Sciences includes Pre-clinical subjects like Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, & so on. In each section in the table above, 10% of the questions will relate to the topics in the Basic Applied Sciences but the questions will have a Clinical setting. Also, 10% of all the questions will be related to the discipline of Preventive Medicine.

In addition, you can expect another characteristic in the NEXT Exam Questions pattern. Only 10% of the 540 questions will be Recall Questions. Around 30% will be based on subject comprehension. Rest all, the remaining 60%, will be based on Clinical Case Scenarios more or less simulating the USMLE.

Therefore, we keep telling our students that the SVI Global will prepare them way better for the NEXT Exam. However, the SVI NEXT Exam Coaching is by far the most exact prep course that is available (see below).

Most importantly, for NEXT Exam latest news and latest NMC announcements on the NEXT Exam keep coming back to this page. We will keep updating it with the ‘latest info’.