Braving heavy rain that lashed most parts of the State on Sunday, over a lakh candidates appeared for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET – UG) 2020 for admissions to undergraduate medical and dental courses.
The examination went on smoothly without any major glitches being reported from any centre.
A total of 1,16,010 students had registered for the examination from the State and the centres reported only few absentees. The number of registered students increased marginally from last year’s count of 1,15,959.
Each candidate was thoroughly screened prior to their entry to the 320-odd examination centres in the State. Staggered entry and exit were enforced by school managements to ensure minimal crowding outside the centres.
Nevertheless, some centres, including those in suburbs of the capital district, reported crowding especially when parents had come to pick their children after the examination concluded.
Candidates were permitted to carry only masks, gloves, face shields, water bottles and sanitisers in addition to their admit cards and identification documents to the examination rooms. Separate isolation rooms were reserved for COVID-19-infected candidates, those who had high temperature, and for differently-abled students.
In Malayalam too
Gouri Nayar, who coordinated the examination in Thiruvananthapuram where 14,495 had registered across 35 centres, said most examination venues had COVID-19-positive candidates who turned up in PPE kits. Only less than 10% of the total number of registered students were reported to be absent, going by preliminary information. For the first time, candidates were provided the option to appear for the examination in Malayalam.
Many candidates felt the examination was slightly difficult compared to last year’s. Among subjects, most felt biology to be fairly easy. However, physics remained a hard nut to crack for many similar to last year when some questions were found to be time-consuming. Chemistry was found to be of moderate difficulty with numerical questions outnumbering theoretical ones.