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How Many NEET Attempts Can I Take?

Doctors are qualified and skilled professionals with medical licences to practice in India. If you want to pursue this profession, it involves a lot of hard work, commitment and knowledge in the area of your expertise. Many students aspire to become a doctor, but only very few can achieve this dream, as it is not an easy career to have. Among the many things that one needs to become a doctor is to clear the medical entrance exam to get admission to a medical college. In this article, you will get to know all the details regarding the NEET exam, which is the entrance examination for medical colleges across India and the maximum number of NEET attempts. 

What is the NEET exam, and why was it introduced?

NEET, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, is an entrance exam that is conducted for admissions to medical colleges all over India. As per the Supreme Court of India's order in 2016, this will be the only exam that will be conducted to fill all medical seats in the country. It is also the only examination for State and All India level quota seats. It is valid for both private and government colleges across the country. The seats are categorised based on the type of college, both private and government. 

The NEET exam conducted by the National Testing Agency is held annually for approximately 52,720 AYUSH courses, 91,415 MBBS seats, 27,495 BDS and 525 BVSc and Ah courses offered by all the medical colleges in India. Admission to BSc nursing courses, too, is given on the NEET results as of 2021. The main objective behind having a single exam all over India is to streamline the process of admission for MBBS and BDS. It was introduced to replace several other medical examinations that students had to give, which included the CET exams in Karnataka, AIPMT (All India Pre-Medical Test) and the Medical Council of India's National Eligibility cum entrance test. Earlier, students had to fill out different forms and appear for various exams in India. Now a single exam is enough to get a seat in any medical college of their choice based on their performance in the entrance test. 

What are the eligibility criteria for the NEET exam?

The NEET exam is one of the toughest and most competitive exams in India. It is a pen-and-paper test, and there are many mandatory parameters without which an aspirant cannot appear for the exam. Here are the eligibility criteria that are required to take up the exam:

  • The aspirant should be an Indian citizen.

  • The candidate must be a minimum of 17 years of age as on December 31, 2024, at the year of admission. 

  • The candidate of the general category should have passed the 12th standard with an aggregate of 50% of marks each in Physics, Chemistry, Biology or Biotechnology and English. 

  • Candidates who are in OBC/SC/ST category should have a minimum of 40% marks in the above said subjects in the 12th standard. 

  • There is no upper age limit for the appearance of the exam as the case is pending in the Supreme court. That means all candidates over 17 years can appear. 


What is the limit on the number of  NEET attempts?

As per the NEET exams regulatory board, the National Testing Agency, there is no limit on the number of attempts to appear for the exam. This is in conformity with the official website of NEET which states that 'There is no cap for the number of attempts'. Earlier, there was a cap of three attempts, but now there is no NEET attempt limit. 

A timeline on the age limit, eligibility and the number of attempts controversy

The NEET exam was introduced in 2016, after which there were many controversies surrounding the eligibility criteria, the maximum attempts for NEET and the age limit. Here is a timeline of the controversy:


IN 2017, CBSE put a cap on the age and also the number of attempts with a notification stating that the number of attempts is limited to 3 to all candidates uniformly irrespective of the category they belong to. It also stated that if a candidate has previous attempts in AIPMT. That, too, will be counted against the 3 permissible attempts. So if a candidate has already attempted thrice in AIPMT, he/she is not eligible for NEET. 

The upper age limit for the general category was 25 years, and the reserved category was 30 years. This rule, though, was overruled in the same year by the Supreme Court of India. The same clause was reintroduced with a twist again in 2018. 


The Medical Council of India reintroduced the age limit criteria for NEET again in 2018 through a Gazette notification. That led2 to great uproar and controversies among NEET candidates. Within a week of introducing the attempt limit, it was scrapped. There is no limit on the number of attempts any more. While the maximum age limit rule is still being discussed, the minimum age limit is 17 years and above. 


Another controversy in NEET exams started in 2019 because the open school students/NIOS were ineligible to appear for the exam. They were allowed to appear until 2017, but the MCI decided to change that and bebar the NIOS students from writing the exam. This clause, too, was later revoked, and they were allowed to take up NEET. 

Another controversy arose with regard to Biology as an extra subject. Those who studied Biology as an extra subject in classes 10th and 12th were ineligible for exams. This, too, was later removed, and they were allowed for the exam. 


The National Medical Council, NMC, announced that the upper age limit had been removed. This was taken in the 4th NMC meeting, and in March 2022, the official notification for the same was released. So NEET 2024 age limit is any candidate of more than 17 years meeting the eligibility can appear for the exam.

NEET exam pattern

Before appearing for the exam, it is essential to know the examination pattern. It is a test that is done for a duration of 3 hours. NEET is an offline examination in pen and paper mode. The questions are multiple-choice, and the total mark that can be obtained is 720. Your skill and expertise in Physics, Chemistry, Zoology and Botany will be checked, and there will be 45 questions in each subject. Negative marking is done for every wrong answer, with one mark getting deducted for an incorrect answer. Every correct answer gets you 4 marks.

Languages of the Question Paper

The NEET question paper is printed in many languages, which include English, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Oriya, Assamese, and Gujarati. The language option is available in the application form and should be declared when filling them out. Once chosen, it can be changed later. 


NEET, Nation Eligibility cum Entrance Test, is conducted by the National Testing Agency as an annual exam. It is for those who aspire to become a doctor or take up a profession in the medical field. There is no limit on the number of attempts, and one should check the pattern, syllabus and other factors before registering for the exam. Also, remember that it is an annual exam, and if you dont get the seat you desire, you can go for NEET 2nd attempt the following year.


1. Can I attempt NEET twice a year?

The NEET exam is an annual exam and is not conducted twice. The National Testing Agency has not confirmed that they will be conducting this exam twice a year from 2024. 

2. Can I do MBBS at the age of 40?

Yes. There is no upper age limit to appear for the NEET exam, and hence there is no maximum age limit to study MBBS. 

3. How many exams are there in NEET?

The exam is divided into three sections: Physics, Chemistry, Botany and Zoology as the third exam. 

4. Which exams are included in NEET?

The NEET exams are for many medicine courses, which include MBBS, BDS (dental), AYUSH (Ayurveda), BVSc, AH, and BSc nursing.

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