Close to a lakh candidates appeared for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET – UG) 2020 for undergraduate medical and dental courses in the State on Sunday. Despite heavy downpour posing hurdles for candidates in various parts, meticulous planning ensured the smooth conduct of the examination amid the COVID-19 protocol.
Arrangements for staggered entry and exit ensured minimal crowding outside examination centres. Candidates were permitted to enter the centres after thermal screening from 11 a.m. within the time slots they were allotted to prevent gatherings.
Masks were mandatory, and candidates were permitted to carry gloves, face shields, water bottles and sanitisers in addition to their admit cards and identification documents. Entry to the examination halls was barred after 1.30 p.m.
Going by preliminary estimates, around 75% of the 1,15,959 registered students appeared for the examination. The final count of candidates across the 322 centres in the State was yet to be tallied, official sources said.
12 students in a hall
Only 12 students were permitted in each examination hall to ensure physical distancing. Centres were arranged in CBSE schools and engineering colleges in 11 districts (except Pathanamthitta, Wayanad and Idukki) and in Angamaly.
In Thiruvananthapuram, 12,575 appeared for the NEET examination out of the 16,400 candidates who had registered. While 38 examination centres were arranged in the district, a majority of them were in the suburbs of the Thiruvananthapuram city and in rural areas.
According to Gouri Nayar, principal of New Jyothi Central School, Udiyankulangara, who coordinated the examination in Thiruvananthapuram, Sree Chithira Thirunal Residential Central School in Kunnathukal had the highest number of attendees in the district. Here, close to 800 students took the examination from 90 classrooms. As many as 960 candidates were allotted the examination centre.
Many candidates found the examination moderately easy, with most terming biology questions fairly simple. However, physics was challenging as some questions were time-consuming, prompting many students to skip the lot to answer the easier ones.