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NEET SS 2021: Updated Exam Pattern

Sep 16, 2021

understand the new neet ss exam pattern with prepladder

Even the slightest change in the exam pattern can lead to a potential reorientation of your preparation plan. However, if you are aware of those changes and accept the challenge of adapting without apprehensions, you not only complete the race but win it. The National Board of Examinations (NBE) recently introduced some changes in the exam pattern of NEET SS 2021. The introduction of these a couple of months before the exam may seem overwhelming. But the curveball has been thrown at every NEET SS aspirant, and you are not alone in this! Once you gain an absolute understanding of the new pattern, your NEET SS preparation will get the direction it needs at this stage.

Understanding the New Pattern

By the time you finish reading this, all your questions will be answered, and all your doubts will be found looking for the exit door.

1) NEET SS old pattern

As per the old pattern, a NEET SS aspirant was supposed to appear for two parts or two papers. Paper 1 would bear questions related to the broad speciality, and Paper 2 would be based on the super speciality of one’s choice or the super speciality an aspirant would apply for. 

2) NEET SS new pattern

The new pattern, to a great extent, mirrors the exam pattern that was followed in the year 2017. Instead of two parts of the entrance exam or two papers, there will be one paper now, based on an aspirant’s primary feeder speciality. In 2017, when the NEET SS came into existence, the paper had 200 questions in all. However, the exam to be conducted this year will bear 150 multiple-choice questions, and the candidates will have 150 minutes to complete the exam. So, don’t let the incomplete information or missing details baffle you. 

As per the marking scheme, a candidate will be awarded four marks for every correct answer, and one mark will be deducted for every wrong answer. No marks will be awarded or deducted in case of unattempted questions. One of the most noteworthy facts is that the questions marked for review will be evaluated as per the marking scheme.


Total number of papers1
Total number of questions150
Type of questionsMultiple-choice questions
Maximum marks600
Marking scheme+4 for every correct answer-1 for every incorrect answer0 for every unattempted question
Total time allotted150 minutes 

3) What does this change for you as a NEET SS 2021 aspirant?

If you have been burning the midnight oil while learning and revising the questions based on the super speciality of your choice, the new pattern may dishearten you. Now, there won’t be a paper dedicated to a candidate’s chosen super speciality. The NEET SS 2021 will judge a doctor’s knowledge of their broad speciality and not the core speciality.

At this stage, it is inevitable to worry about forging a brand new path for your preparation after re-strategizing and re-organizing. However, this is one burden we can take off your shoulders right away by giving you clarity on what awaits you on exam day. Before working on a revised preparation plan, it is important that you know about the revised grouping and categorization. For instance, the Medical Group with MD/DNB General Medicine as the Primary Eligible Feeder Speciality, covers the following Super Speciality subjects :


Clinical Haematology

Clinical Immunology & Rheumatology

Critical Care Medicine


Medical Gastroenterology


Infectious Diseases

Medical Genetics

Medical Oncology



Moreover, some changes have been introduced in the entry qualifications. Before you enlist the final conclusions and tell yourself that you know everything about the upcoming exam, take a look at the brochure and familiarize yourself with these changes.

4) Things you may have missed:

  • The exam will be conducted on two days (13th and 14th November) in different batches. An aspirant could be eligible for more than one exam, depending on their broad speciality.
  • The National Board of Examination (NBE) will release a mock question paper on 1st November on their website. Mark this date on your calendar because you don’t want to miss this.
  • If you have been feeling lost because you are not able to download the brochure on the NBE website, you are probably looking at the wrong address. Click on www.nbe.edu.in to download the brochure.

A change in the exam pattern at this point can disrupt your entire plan. However, if you understand the new pattern and decide to adapt to the changes like a true fighter, you will ace the exam despite the challenges.

To learn more about the updated NEET SS 2021 exam pattern and get all your doubts cleared, watch the video covering every detail about the same:

Auther Details

Ridhima Arora

Ridhima is a Content Writer at PrepLadder. She aims at making a significant difference in the academic journeys of Medical PG, NEET SS, and CAT aspirants through her content.