NExT Exam Explained: Purpose, Dates & Exam Pattern

The National Exit Test (NExT) is a postgraduate medical exam designed with the dual purpose of acting as a qualifying assessment for final-year MBBS students and as a licensure examination for Indian healthcare practitioners seeking to practice modern medicine. The primary objective of NExT is to establish uniformity and efficiency in the assessment process for Indian postgraduate medical professionals.

NExT Exam 2024
NExT (National Exit Exam) is an exit cum licensing exam for all MBBS students in India. (Representative Image)

Every year lakhs of students appear for medical exams in India. The country hosts 2 major medical exams including NEET UG and NEET PG. The first exam is for students who wish to pursue a medical in their graduation years, whereas the second exam is for students who want to pursue post-graduation in the medical field. Once the student has qualified for the exam, they will be asked to do an internship for a specific period of time after which they will be granted a licence to practice. This process was used to be followed till 2018. Read More: NEET 2023

However, in 2019, the National Medical Commission Bill 2019 introduced the concept of NExT exam. The NExT exam better known as National Exit Test turns out to be a massive development in the field of medical education as well as practice. The NExT exam is a comprehensive medical postgraduate examination which aims to focus on various purposes in the Indian medical education system. Read More: NEET PG 2023

This thorough assessment has the potential to fundamentally alter how medical practitioners are evaluated, resulting in a greater degree of competence, standardisation, and calibre in the provision of healthcare. In this post, we’ll examine the NExT exam’s salient features, its importance, and its prospective effects on the healthcare industry.

What is the need for the NExT Exam? 

The NExT exam will not only be counted as the qualifying exam for students of final year MBBS but, it will also grant a licence to students which will allow them to practise medicine in the country. Apart from these, another add-on the NExT exam provides is the merit-based admission process for students wanting to pursue postgraduate courses. The objective of this merit-based admission process is to ensure that meritorious students get a fair chance to pursue a specialisation in the medical field. 


Questions have been raised regarding the uneven medical education standards and the requirement for a more uniform and standardised evaluation of medical professionals. The NExT exam allays these worries by establishing a standardised test that will evaluate medical graduates’ clinical knowledge and abilities, levelling the playing field and guaranteeing that all doctors have the capabilities required to deliver high-quality healthcare.

When will NExT exam be Implemented?

All India Institutes of Medical Science  (AIIMS) are expected to conduct the NExT exam. National Medical Commission, recently announced that NExT exam’s first edition will be held in 2028  for MBBS students starting from the class of 2024. The commission originally announced that the inaugural administration of the National Exit Test (NExT) would be for the MBBS batch of 2020. However, that was changed into the batch 2024. 

What is the main moto behind conducting the NExT exam?

The main objective behind conducting the exam is to put every postgraduate medical student on the same in summative evaluation across India. 

Who will appear for NExT exam? 

NExT exam will be held for those medical aspirants who want to practise modern medicine in India.n The exam will work licentiate exam which will allow the medical graduates to practise in the country. 

What is NExT Exam Pattern?

There will be two separate exams in the NExT exam. These separate exams will be called steps. Here’s detailed information about NExT exam pattern. 

NExT Step 1

The NExT step 1 will be conducted in a CBT mode. The exam will be of theory and will have six papers including subjects of MBBS/Final MBBS. Candidates can appear for the NExT exam as many as they want.

NExT Step 2

The NExT step 2 exam will be a practical exam and it will cover seven clinical subjects. Further, the respective health universities or institutes will conduct the NExT Step 2 in a face-to-face mode. Similar to the Step 1 exam, candidates can appear for the Step 2 exam as many times as they want till they secure their desired result. Candidates are required to qualify for the Step 1 and 2 exams within 10 years of joining the MBBS course.