NEET UG 2024: NTA issues clarification over ’grace marks’, cut-offs and ’inflation’ of marks

NEET UG 2024: In a statement issued on Thursday, the National Testing Agency denied the allegations of inflation of marks, saying that the changes made in NCERT textbooks and grace marks for losing time at the examination centres were some of the reasons behind the students scoring higher marks.

Livemint
First Published6 Jun 2024
NEET UG 2024 exam was conducted on May 5 this year.
NEET UG 2024 exam was conducted on May 5 this year.(HT_PRINT)

The National Testing Agency (NTA) said on Thursday that the increase in cut-off and number of toppers in the NEET-UG reflect the competitive nature of the exam. It said, “The cutoff scores are determined based on the overall performance of candidates each year.”

The NTA's statement came allegations of irregularities in medical entrance exam NEET (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test) and inflation of marks. Several aspirants of the medical entrance exam alleged inflation of marks, which led to a record of 67 candidates bagging the top rank, including six from the same exam centre in Haryana.

The exam for NEET UG 2024 was conducted on May 5 at 4,750 centres in 571 cities, including 14 abroad, for more than 24 lakh candidates.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the NTA denied the allegations and said the changes made in NCERT textbooks and grace marks for losing time at the examination centres are some of the reasons behind the students scoring higher marks.

'Cutoff scores based on...'

The NTA said in the statement that the "cutoff scores are determined based on the overall performance of candidates each year". 

It added, "The increase in cut-off reflects the competitive nature of the examination and the higher performance standards achieved by the candidates this year. Cut-offs and average marks of qualified candidates (out of 720) vary each year."

The NTA explained further that the number of candidates who appeared in 2023 was 20,38,596 while the number of candidates who appeared in 2024 increased to 23,33,297. "The increase in candidates naturally led to an increase in high scorers due to a larger pool of candidates," the official added.

Grace marks to compensate loss of exam time

On the grace marks awarded to some students, the NTA said a few petitions were filed by the NEET-UG before the high courts of Punjab and Haryana, Delhi and Chhattisgarh, raising concerns of loss of exam time during the conduct of the test at some exam centres.

"The concerns raised by the candidates through the writ petitions and representations about the loss of examination time was ascertained, and 1,563 candidates were compensated for the loss of time, and the revised marks of such candidates vary from -20 to 720 marks. Amongst these, the score of two candidates also happens to be 718 and 719, respectively, due to compensatory marks," the official added.

The NTA the official asserted said analysing CCTV camera footage ascertained that the integrity of the examination was not compromise.

'New NCERT textbooks used to prepare questions but...'

On allegations of unclear implementation of grace marks, the NTA official told PTI that the question paper was prepared using new NCERT textbooks. However, some students had old NCERT textbooks.

"We received a representation on this issue as well, which caused NTA to assign five marks to all students who had marked one of the two options. Because of this reason, marks of a total of 44 students increased from 715 to 720, which resulted in an increased number of toppers," the official said.

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