NEXT Exam – Schedule, Pattern, Syllabus, Weightage | Complete Guide

NEXT Exam 2023 for Medical students - Exam pattern, Subject wise weightage

Howdy medicos! First of all, You’ve reached the most authoritative source for the information about the NEXT Exam that has been made public.

One of the astounding words on every medics diary nowadays is NEXT Exam. Furthermore, NMC guidelines, government announcements, and other Twitter sources create a lot of confusion and raise several questions in our minds.

We created this blog as a one-stop solution to all of your questions and doubts regarding the NEXT exam, and we really hope that this article will be helpful to you.

The National Medical Commission Bill 2019 introduced the term “NEXT Exam” to Indian medical graduates.

So, we’ll cover the fundamentals of the NEXT test, eligibility criteria, and exam structure in this piece before moving on to more complex issues like the schedule, the difference between the NEXT and NEET PG exams, recommended books, etc.

Skip the Updates section if you want to.

“The batch of students who will graduate in 2023 is most likely the first group to take the exit test. The details are being worked out, according to a senior central government official told Hindustan Times.

NEET-PG testing won’t be necessary if NExT is implemented in the educational system. It will be a uniform test that can be used for a variety of purposes, this individual continued.

The test will probably be administered by the national board of examinations in medical sciences, but outsourcing the operation to a third party is also a possibility, according to the person.

According to the source cited above, a mock exam is also scheduled before the final exam to assess the process and reduce stress among medical students.

According to the revised NMC guidelines for the NEXT exam for the batch of 2021, the exam for Postgraduation in India would be conducted in two steps, similar to the USMLE.

The NEXT step 1 will take place when the 2nd Professional MBBS (after 2nd year) is completed, i.e. after Pre and Para Clinical topics have been covered.

The NEXT step 2 will take place after the 3rd Professional Part 2 MBBS (after final year) i.e., Right before the internship.

NMC new guidlines for NEXT exam
NMC guidlines for 2021 batch on NEXT exam

What is the NEXT PG exam?

The National Exit Test, abbreviated as NEXT, is a single-window examination that is conducted to meet three needs,

  • Providing MBBS certificates to medical students and granting licenses to practice as a medical practitioner,
  • A new qualifying and ranking examination in India replacing former NEET PG for medical students who wish to study various postgraduate Doctor of Medicine (MD), Master of Surgery (MS), and diploma courses, in government or private medical institutions and
  • Finally, foreign medical students will be able to qualify for the NEXT test rather than the existing Medical Council of India Screening Test FMGE (Foreign Medical Graduates Examination)

Eligibility Criteria

Whether you are an Indian or a foreign medical student, you must have passed the first, second, third, and final year examinations.

However in my assumption, a Medical student from India is only permitted to undertake his or her internship after passing the NEXT 1, but foreign students must have previously completed their internship at their foreign university. As a result, they may not be obliged to take an Internship again, instead choosing for NEXT 2.

Foreign medical students need also to take the NEXT within two years of completing their MBBS internship in a foreign country in order to practice as a doctor in India.

Steps in NEXT exam

NEXT will be split into two sections. 

  • NEXT 1 will consist of theoretical questions, whereas
  • NEXT 2 will consist of practical questions.

Multiple-choice questions will be used in the theory part (MCQs). NEXT-1 will take place following the final year of MBBS and before the internship. Students start their internship after passing NEXT 1. Those who pass the theory exam (NEXT 1) must also pass the practical exam (NEXT 2) at the end of the internship. After the internship, your NEXT-1 score will assist you in securing a PG seat.

The NEXT 2 will be a pass/fail kind that will help you obtain your MBBS degree. NEXT 2 scores will not be used to determine PG seat allotment. As a result, NEXT 1 will be both a qualifying and a competitive exam. 

The fact that, like NEET-PG, the NEXT exam allows unlimited tries is also the best part. Furthermore, the NEXT 1 marks will be valid for about 2 to 3 years.

Planned Schedule

An official draft schedule for the NEXT exam was released on 30th July 2021, in the NMC DRAFT POSTGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION REGULATIONS 2021. As per the draft, the schedule will be,

S. NoSchedule for AdmissionCentral CounsellingState
All India
1Conduct of Exam By 10 January
2Declaration of ResultBy end of January
3First Round of Counselling

12 March

24 March

12 March

24 March

25 March

5 April

4Last date of Joining 3 April3 April12 April
5Second round of Counselling

6 April –

12 April

6 April –

12 April

15 April –

26 April

6Last date of joining22 April22 April3 May
7Mop up Round  

12 May

22 May

16 May

20 May

8Last date of joining 26 May26 May
9Forwarding the list of students in order of merit equaling ten times the number of vacant seats to the Medical Colleges by the Counselling Authority  27 May27 May
10Last date of joining 31 May31 May

So far now one official draft schedule for the NEXT examination has been released by Indian Medical Association. As per the IMA medical students network,

  • Due to a change in the GMER timetable, all medical institutions are proposing to have Prof III part II examinations in January.
  • Supplementary examinations are scheduled for February.
  • NEXT 1, also known as Prof IV Part I, is scheduled for March.
  • An internship is planned to begin in April.
  • The internship is scheduled to end in March.
  • NEXT 2, also known as Prof IV Part II, is scheduled to take place in April.
  • The PG course is scheduled to begin in JULY.

Pattern of NEXT Exam

NEXT exam pattern
  • The NEXT test is a three-day examination.
  • The question paper of the NEXT examination is broken into six parts.
  • Every single day of the exam, you will have a morning pre-lunch session of 3 hours and an afternoon post-lunch session of 1.5 hours.
  • Each day’s morning session will have 120 MCQs from Major Subjects and Allied Subjects.
  • Each day’s afternoon session will have 60 MCQs from Minor subjects.
  • Thus this exam will include a total of 540 questions.
  • The total NEXT questions are divided into 60% Problem Solving, 30% Comprehension and Analysis, and 10% Recall.
  • Practical knowledge is the focus of the NEXT examination.
  • There is currently no official information on whether the NEXT examination will be conducted online or offline. However, it would most likely be conducted online, similar to the NEET PG exam.
  • There is presently no official word on whether the NEXT examination would include negative marking for incorrect answers. However, similar to the NEET PG exam, it may include negative marks.

For example,

If a correct answer is worth 4 marks, the mark deduction for an incorrect answer might be 1. If a correct answer is worth 1 mark, the mark deduction for an incorrect answer might be 1/4.

Subject-Wise weightage

The NEXT examination syllabus will contain all 19 subjects from the revised MCI curriculum. However, the subject-wise mark distribution will be vastly different from that of the NEET-PG or MCI FMGE Screening exams. Clinical subjects will receive much more important in terms of marks than pre-clinical and para-clinical ones.

Among the 540 MCQs,

  • 60% will be of problem-solving
  • 30% comprehension & analysis
  • 10% recall

Each Major, Minor, and Allied subject will have,

  • 10% MCQs from basic applied sciences (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology & pharmacology) and another
  • 10% MCQs from Preventive & Social Medicine (PSM)
Day of examMajor SubjectsAllied subjectsNo. of MCQsMinor SubjectsNo. of MCQsTotal MCQs
1MedicineDermatology, psychiatry120Pediatrics60180
2SurgeryOrthopedics, anesthesia120ENT60180
3Obstetrics & GynecologyRadiology120Opthalmology60180
Total MCQs360 180540

Best Books to follow

These pieces of information are gathered truly unbiasedly from students who performed well on the 2020 and 2021 NEET PG exams. Subject-wise books should only be thought of as a reference. Your notes, coaching, and video lessons should be your main sources of learning. Then, if time allows, finish answering MCQs and add a few books from each topic. 

The reference books for each subject are listed below, along with trustworthy links to prices.

First Year Books

Rajesh Kaushal notes for Anatomy

Soumen Manna Review for Physiology

Rebecca James for Biochemistry

Second Year Books

Devesh Mishra Concepts In Pathology

Ranjan Kumar Patel for Pharmacology

Apurba Sastry Essentials of Microbiology

Pre Final Year Books

Sudha Seetharam for Ophthalmology

Manisha Budhiraja for ENT

Vivek Jain Review of Preventive & Social Medicine

Sumit Seth Review of Forensic Medicine

Final Year Books

Mudit Khanna For Internal Medicine

Surgery Sixer by RRM for Surgery

Punit Bhojani for Obstetrics & Gynecology

Sushanta Bhanja for Pediatrics

Apurv Mehra for Orthopedics

Sumer Seth for Radiology

Saurabh Jindal for Dermatology

Praveen Tripathi for Psychiatry

Ajay Yadav for Anaesthesia


ThingsNEXT examNEET PG exam
Exam parts2 parts, NEXT 1 and NEXT 2Conducted as one exam
Period of exam

NEXT 1: Before internship after final MBBS exams,

NEXT 2: After the internship

Conducted one time and only after the internship
Type of exam

NEXT 1: Multiple Choice Questions

NEXT 2: An oral and practical examination

Multiple Choice Questions
Total days of the exam3 days1 day
Total Time13 Hours 30 Minutes (4.5 Hours/day)3 Hours 30 Minutes
Difficulty Level of exams

Completely texts your practical way of applying your conceptual knowledge

  • Problem Solving- 60%,
  • Comprehension and Analysis- 30%
  • Recall- 10%
Mostly straightforward questions which can be answered if we know the general facts
Mode of exams

NEXT 1: Online

NEXT 2: Offline

No of sessionsHas two sessions every day means 6 sessions in total. One is Major and Allied subjects and the other one is Minor subjectsHas 3 sections Pre-Clinical, Para-Clinical, and Clinical
Total no of Questions540 questions200 questions from 2021 onwards
Total marks and negative marks2160 with a 1 mark deduction for an incorrect answer800 with a 1 mark deduction for an incorrect answer
Pass and High scores

Pass in NEXT 1 will allow you to do the internship and High scores will help you to get a PG seat.

NEXT 2 is extremely a pass or fail exam that allows you to get the MBBS degree along with the license to practice medicine in India.

High scores will get you a PG seat
Validity of marksNEXT examination marks are valid for 3 years from the period of internshipNEET PG marks are valid for only two year

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Important links and downloads

Important updatesDate releasedDownloads and Links
NEXT exam Mock series Jan 1, 2022Free MCQs for NEXT exam
NEXT exam sample Question paper Coming soon…

NEXT examination social media notification

July 01, 2021NEXT 2023 update
NEXT exam pattern by IMANovember 2020NEXT exam pattern PDF
NEXT 2023 updates official website
NEXT 2023 will be conducted by

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)

1. When will the NEXT exam be implemented?

The conduct of the NEXT Exam for Postgraduate Broad Specialty courses (MD/MS) is scheduled for January 10, 2023, according to the NMC official POSTGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION REGULATIONS (PGMER) 2021 DRAFT, released on July 30, 2021.


2. Which batch will be the first to take the NEXT exam?

As per the recent notification circulating on social media, the first batch to take the NEXT exam will be the 2018 batch on March 2023.


3. How many times can you attempt the NExT exam?

So far, there is no limitation to how many times you may take the NEXT exam.

Furthermore, the NEXT 1 results are valid for 3 years. It implies that if you have a certain set of marks in 2023 and are unable to obtain a PG seat, you will have a chance to do so if the cut-off mark falls in the next 2 years.


4. What is the total mark in the NEXT exam?

We know that the NEXT test will include a total of 540 questions. There are two sorts of marking systems. If the right answer gets 4 marks, the total score will be 2160. However, if the right answer gets 1 mark, the total score will be 540.


5. Is there a negative marking in the next exam?

There is presently no official word on whether the NEXT exam would include negative marking for incorrect answers. However, similar to the NEET PG exam, it may include negative marks.

For example,

If a correct answer is worth 4 marks, the mark deduction for an incorrect answer might be 1. If a correct answer is worth 1 mark, the mark deduction for an incorrect answer might be 1/4.

6. What will be the NEXT exam’s qualifying marks?

We have no clue how the NEXT exam marking system will work. However, if we compare the NEET PG marking scheme to the NEXT exam, the qualifying marks for the NEXT exam will look like this.

S. NoCategoryNEXT exam Qualifying mark (Original)NEXT exam Qualifying mark (Revised)
1General50 Percentile30 Percentile
2General – PwD45 Percentile25 Percentile
3SC/ST/OBC40 Percentile20 Percentile
4SC/ST/OBC – PwD40 Percentile20 Percentile


7. Is the NEXT exam compulsory for MBBS?

Yes, MBBS students will be required to take and pass the NEXT (National Exit Test) from 2023 onwards. Because it ensures your PG seats as well as your license to practice as a doctor in India.


8. Is the NEXT exam confirmed for MBBS students?

In 2021, the National Medical Commission proposed regulations for the new NEXT exam, which would replace the NEET PG and FMGE exams in India. Also, according to a recent social media notification, there is no option to halt the NEXT exam beyond 2022.


9. Why did NMC decide to replace NEET PG with NEXT?

The goal appears to be to improve the quality of MBBS graduates in India. The Centre intends to create a lot better and more skilled batch of MBBS graduates in India by providing a much deeper grasp of clinical principles and increasing problem-solving skills.


10. What happens if you fail the NEXT exam?

Apart from not being qualified to attend PG counseling, if you fail NEXT 1, you will be unable to enter your internship and would have to wait another year to retake the test.

Furthermore, if you fail NEXT 2, you will not receive your MBBS degree, would not be authorized to practice medicine, and will not be eligible to enroll in PG courses. You’ll have to wait another year to try it again, just as with NEXT 1.


11. What will be the mode of the NEXT exam?

The NEXT 1 exam will be an all-India concurrent online exam, whereas the NEXT 2 exam will be an offline-based practical exam conducted by the university/college.


  • Each academic year, admission to the postgraduate broad specialty courses will be based on the common final year undergraduate exam, to be known as the “National Exit Test” (from the day it becomes operational). The NEET-PG test will continue to be used to select Postgraduate candidates for Broad Specialty courses until it is implemented.

  • The National Medical Commission will determine who is authorized to perform the “National Exit Test.”

  • To be eligible for admission to a Postgraduate course for an academic year, a candidate must have passed the National Exit Test and be eligible for a license to practice medicine and enrollment in the State medical register or the National medical register, based on the location.

  • The results of the “National Exit Test” are valid for 3 years from the day the person becomes eligible for a license to practice medicine and admission to postgraduate broad specialty courses.

    After the validity of the “National Exit Test” marks has expired, the person must reappear for and pass the NEXT exam in order to be eligible for admission to postgraduate broad specialty courses.

According to the IMA, the PGMER draft contradicts the intended role of states in promoting health as a citizen’s right.

As of now, admission to broad speciality post-graduate courses is done through NEET PG, with 50% of seats being filled through the AI quota and the remaining 50% being filled by state governments based on social justice norms and NEET PG scores from the respective state’s Directorate of Medical Education.

However, the draft regulation now states that all medical educational institutions must conduct common counselling for admission to all PG broad-specialty courses (Diploma/MD/MS) on the basis of the NEXT Exam merit list.

“The Association demands that the existing system of admission and selection criteria for PG seats be maintained, because the State medical colleges are staffed and managed by the State government’s budgets, and when not even 50% of the seats are earmarked for the respective State, the institution’s charm and priority will be lost.

This notice also states that when a student takes an exam, the marks he receives are valid for  3 years and that he can only retake the exam after that time has passed.

“This is a great injustice to the students. Because the NMC plans to hold the NEXT exams in 2023, it should develop the pattern and type of exam after more democratic engagement with students, teachers, states, and the biggest professional group, the IMA.”

The Association has demanded that the NMC withdraw this anti-federal, anti-student, anti-democratic, anti-patent care, and anti-public health draft bill and instead engage in dialogue with stakeholders to better understand the ground reality and correct course to ensure uniform educational standards.


We hope you got what you came for and we will keep on updating this article frequently depending on the official updates. Until then visit our blog for the complete guide to the PLAB exam.

Before signing off let us know what you think of the NEXT Exam and do you really care about this.