The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) is one of the most challenging entrance exams in India. It is the pathway to medical education all over the country. Entry into Indian medical or dental colleges is possible only after acing the NEET-UG entrance exam. Conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), the exam takes place in May every year, and the results are declared in June. 

Why is NEET so important? Well, NEET scores determine whether a student is eligible for admission into a private college or a government college. In other words, getting into a top medical or dental college depends on your NEET results. Qualifying for the NEET exam is also a requirement when applying to the American University of Antigua School of Medicine program for Indian students.

But what happens after the NEET results are out? What are the next steps? How do you know which college to apply to? What if you’ve cleared NEET, but the score is still not high enough for a good college? What are your career options then? These are some common questions most students find themselves asking after the NEET results are declared. Navigating the post-NEET process can leave many students feeling lost. But there’s no reason to be fraught with confusion about what to do after NEET results. This article elaborates on what aspiring medical candidates can do after the NEET results are out.

What to do after NEET results are out?

After the NEET results are declared, aspiring medical or dental students can enroll for the counselling process. Please note, only those who score the NEET cutoff marks are eligible to participate in the admission process. The minimum requirement for candidates in general categories is the 50th percentile, while for SC/ST/OBC candidates it is the 40th percentile. After scoring the required marks in NEET, there are five possible routes students can take while applying to colleges:

All India Quota (AIQ) Seats:

Under the All India Quota scheme, government medical and dental colleges all over India, except Jammu and Kashmir, reserve 15% of their seats for all eligible students. This means that students from any state in the country, who meet the minimum NEET requirement, can apply to government colleges in states other than the one they belong to under AIQ.

Deemed and Central Universities Seats:

Students who meet the minimum NEET requirements can also apply to central and deemed universities. The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) is the counselling authority for both deemed and central universities, as well as the AIQ.

State Government Colleges Seats:

15% of the seats in state government colleges is reserved for the AIQ scheme while the remaining 85% comes under the state quota scheme, which is open only to students belonging to the respective states.

Private Colleges Seats:

The domicile requirements of private colleges are more student-friendly than government colleges. Private colleges allow candidates to apply to whichever state they want to. This means that students who meet the NEET requirements can apply to any private medical or dental college in any state in the country, irrespective of the state they belong to. Bear in mind, however, some private colleges may reserve a certain percentage of seats for students belonging to the state. The counselling authorities for both the state and private colleges are the state counselling authorities.

MBBS/BDS seats with special eligibility requirements

Apart from the options listed above, candidates can also apply to AFMC, Pune. In addition, there are seats reserved for Insured Person (IP) wards in ESIC colleges. The DGHS is also the counselling authority for admissions in AFMC, Pune and ESIC colleges.

What is the counselling procedure for each of the routes mentioned above?

  • All India Quota Seats Counselling: There are two rounds of counselling under the AIQ scheme, conducted by the DGHS. Any remaining seats after the second round are given to the state quota.
  • Deemed/Central Universities Counselling: There are two rounds of counselling executed by the DGHS for Deemed and Central Universities, followed by a mop up round.
  • AFMC and ESIC Counselling: Candidates applying to AFMC or ESIC colleges can register by applying through the DGHS portal.
  • State Quota Counselling: The counselling for 85% state quota is done by the respective state authorities. It includes two-three rounds of counselling, followed by a mop-up round.
  • Private College Counselling: There are three to four rounds of counselling for a private college, followed by a mop-up round.

What documents do you need for counselling?

Candidates, after applying through any of the processes mentioned above, will be given their ranks by the respective counselling authorities. These ranks determine which college you can apply to. Different colleges have different rank requirements for admission. Below are some documents you will need while going through counselling:

  • NEET admit card
  • NEET rank letter
  • Class 10 or 12 certificate and marksheet
  • ID proof
  • Domicile proof (only for state quota seats)

What to do if minimum NEET requirements are met but still not good enough for admission in Indian colleges? 

The above information lists out the options for medical aspirants in India after getting their NEET results. But what about the opportunities for candidates, who, for whatever reason, are not able to secure a seat in an Indian college, be it private or government? 

India has over lakhs of students attempting the NEET exam every year. About 50% of them make it through, and only a small percentage of those who meet the NEET requirements end up being admitted into a medical or dental college in the country. This means that there is still a large number of qualified students who need to be admitted into a medical institution.

One option is to retake the NEET exam the following year and hopefully improve the score. Another option is to study abroad. For those who are financially endowed, countries like the USA, Canada, UK, etc. are good options. But, for those who require a more affordable option, colleges in the Caribbean like the American University of Antigua School of Medicine can be considered.

Why should you consider studying medicine in the Caribbean?

There are numerous advantages to pursuing medicine in a foreign university in the Caribbean. Admission to colleges in these countries don’t require a very high NEET score, giving students who have a low NEET score the opportunity to pursue a career in medicine. The total cost of obtaining a degree in countries like Antigua is quite low. The degrees offered by colleges in these countries are not only internationally recognized, but also allow you to return to India to practice or study further. For example, with the degree awarded by the American University of Antigua School of Medicine, graduates can apply for the Residency Match program in the USA, or even pursue an MD degree in India.

What must you do if you don’t qualify for NEET?

With this blog, we hope we have successfully answered your query on what to do after NEET results are declared. Even if you don’t meet the minimum NEET requirements, there are alternative degrees you can pursue that don’t require a NEET score. Some of them are Pharmacy, Nursing, Biotechnology, Biomedical Engineering, Forensic Science, Clinical Psychology, Medical Lab Technologist, Optometry, etc.

Therefore, what happens after the NEET results are out should be the least of your worries. The numerous pathways you can pursue should give you a great amount of confidence in taking your medical career to the next level.