NEET 2020 number of attempts and age limit
Prabha Dhavala, 29 Jul 2019, #NEET
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UPES - School of Health Sciences

NEET 2020 number of attempts and age limit - A good amount of confusion regarding the number of attempts and age limit for NEET 2020 exists for applicants of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). Since its introduction and subsequent changes, the confusion on the NEET 2020 number of attempts and age limit still exists. While there earlier was a restriction on the number of attempts for NEET and age limit, it was struck down by the court and as on date the clause is not prevalent till the court decides otherwise. More clarity will be given with the NEET notification which is to be released on December 2, 2019, for the 2020 exam. Know more about the NEET 2020 number of attempts and age limit below
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Knowing the maximum attempts and age limit for NEET is important for all candidates, especially those who have appeared for NEET in the past and intend to do so again. Major changes made to the attempts and age rule in 2018 were struck down after the court was petitioned. The restrictions on number of attempts and age limit for NEET 2020 is not expected to be there considering the uproar raised by students about them.

The sequence of events for NEET Number of Attempts and Age Limit since 2017:
A major controversy cropped up in NEET 2017 when CBSE introduced an upper age cap along with a maximum attempts limit number in without any warning. NEET upper age rule then specified that only unreserved candidates below the age of 25 and reserved candidates below the age of 30 would be allowed to appear for NEET while the maximum attempts limit was set to three times.This rule was revoked by the Supreme Court in 2017. It was re-introduced again in NEET 2018 with a twist. The cap on the NEET number of attempts (where candidates could only attempt NEET three times ) was removed. Candidates could now apply for NEET as many times as permissible and this was to be determined by the upper age limit criterion.

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Another major controversy in NEET 2019 was the ineligibility of NIOS/open school students. While they were allowed to appear for NEET until 2017, MCI decided to bar them from appearing in NEET from 2018 onwards. This clause in the NEET eligibility criteria in 2019 was later revoked and open school students allowed to appear for the exam. The other controversy was regarding the question of Biology as an additional subject. Students who had studied Biology as an additional subject in class 11 and 12 were deemed ineligible. Again this clause was revoked and such students allowed for the exam in 2019.

NEET is a single window All India level national level entrance examination held annually for admissions to approximately 75893 MBBS seats in 529 colleges and 26693 BDS seats in 313 colleges including EWS category seats introduced in 2019. Admissions to all AYUSH courses across all states are also on the basis of NEET scores. NEET replaced the erstwhile All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) from 2017 onwards. More than 16 lakh candidates are expected to appear in NEET 2020.

NEET Attempts Limit

National Testing Agency (NTA) which is now the conducting body for NEET, there is currently no limits to the number of attempts for NEET 2020. This is in accordance with the ertswhile conducting body Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) statement on its NEET website, "There is no cap for the number of attempts". Then, CBSE had cited the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare's letter no. U.12023/16/2010-ME-II dated December 6, 2017 for this. Therefore, the cap on the number of attempts no longer exists till further notice.

The three attempt limit rule introduced by the CBSE in the year 2017 no longer applies. Therefore, all candidates can appear for NEET as many times as they wish to.

NEET Upper age and Lower age limits as in 2019

In 2019, NEET eligibility criteria as per official information bulletin specified that unreserved candidates who were less than or 25 years of age as on the date of examination could apply for NEET. While there was a relaxation of 5 years for the aspirants belonging to SC/ST/OBC, which meant candidates should have been 30 years old as on May 5, 2019. The lower age limit rule specifies that candidates should have completed 17 years of age by December 31, 2019. The dates were given as below




Candidates should be born on or between May 5, 1994 and December 31, 2002

Reserved (including PH)

Candidates should be born on or between May 5, 1989 and December 31, 2002

The above upper age limit clause was removed after students protested and challenged the same in the courts. In 2018, the upper age limit clause of NEET was upheld by the Delhi High Court and then it was further challenged in the Supreme Court. The MCI's decision to reintroduce an upper age limit in NEET was first revealed via a Gazette of India notification published on January 23, 2018.

NEET Upper Age Limit and Maximum Attempts Controversy

The confusion about the upper age limit and number of attempts in NEET began after the CBSE issued a notification in the year 2017 and also mentioned that “The number of attempts which a candidate can avail at NEET-UG examination shall be limited to 3 (three) uniformly to all the candidates. The previous attempts in AIPMT/NEET will be counted against these 3 permissible attempts. Candidates who have already exhausted their allowed 3 attempts are not eligible to apply for NEET (UG) 2017”. CBSE also set an upper age limit for unreserved candidates at 25 years and reserved candidates at 30 years stating that, “The upper age limit for NEET-UG is 25 years as on the date of examination with relaxation of 5 years for the candidates belonging to SC/ST/OBC category”.

The introduction of these rules led to tremendous controversy and led to an uproar among NEET aspirants. Within a week of introducing the NEET maximum attempts rule, MCI scrapped it. While clarifying on the revised eligibility, MCI communicated to MHFW that the attempts made by candidates for AIPMT/NEET prior to 2017 would not be counted. Later, upper age limit clause was removed in March after a Supreme Court order on the same. CBSE was forced to re-open the application form window for candidates deemed ineligible by these rules and the court case verdicts also led to a delay in the release of the NEET admit cards in May.

In the year 2018, the upper age limit was reintroduced. Such candidates were allowed not only to appear for the exam but also participate in addmissions. For NEET 2020, there is no indication that these rules may be reinforced. The court judgment is still awaited on these issues and candidates must check the eligibility before applying.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) - NEET 2020 number of attempts and age limit

Question: How many times we can give NEET exam?


There is no limit to the number of attempts for NEET exam.

Question: What are the rules for NEET exam?


Candidates can read the rules from the information brochure.

Question: I have appeared for NEET in 2018. How many more times can I attempt the exam?


You can appear for NEET as many times as you wish, provided you meet the eligibility criteria.

Question: I will be appearing for NEET for the first time in 2020. How many times can I attempt the exam?


As stated, there is no longer any limit on attempts in NEET. Candidates should just ensure they fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Question: I had appeared for NEET only in 2016 but not in 2017. Can I still appear for NEET in the future?


You can appear for NEET as many times as long as you meet the specified eligibility criteria.

Question: I am currently 16 years of age and am planning to appear for NEET 2020. Will I be eligible for admissions?


Yes. As long as your date of birth is before January 1, 2003 and you complete the age of 17 years by the time of MBBS and BDS admissions (tentatively around August 2020) or complete the same age by December 31, 2020, you will be eligible to apply.

Question: My date of birth is December 1, 2003. Am I eligible to apply for NEET 2020?


Yes. As per the NEET eligibility criteria, all candidates who are born on or before December 31, 2003, will be eligible to appear for NEET 2020 and will qualify for MBBS and BDS admissions.

Question: I am above 25 years of age and I had appeared for NEET 2016, NEET 2017 and NEET 2018. Will I be allowed to appear in NEET 2020?


The upper age limit is not applicable currently. So you can apply for the exam.

Question: I completed my Class 12 as a NIOS candidate. Am I eligible to apply?


Yes. NIOS students are eligible to appear for NEET 2020 unless notified otherwise.

Question: What is the minimum basic qualification required for appearing in NEET 2020?


Code 02 of the NEET 2020 qualifying exam codes is the most important of qualifying codes, and irrespective of whether candidates clear any of the other qualifying codes, they were required to clear certain rules mentioned in Code 02 as well. Candidates must go through the NEET eligibility criteria 2020.

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Last year 2019 I had given my boards and neet but right now I have surrendered my marksheet as I didnt get 50% so am I a private student now I had passed in all the subjects so am I eligible for neet 2020 would there be any problems in my future

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 15th Oct, 2019
Dear Anu, there will be no issues. Even Private Candidates are eligible for NEET. For the benefit of you and lakhs of aspirants, we shall detail the registration process.


  • Indian Nationals, NRIs, PIOs, OCIs, and Foreign Nationals
  • No upper age limit as of now. The Candidate should be at least 17 years by December 31st of 2020
  • You should have completed your 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry and Biology as your Core Subjects.
  • 50% Aggregate in Physics, Chemistry and Biology for General Category, 45% for PWD and 40% for OBC,SC,ST Candidates.
  • NIOS and Private Candidates are also eligible


Registration Dates: 2nd to 31st December, 2019
Downloading of Admit Cards: 27th March, 2020
Date of Examination: 3rd May, 2020
Date of Announcing Result: 4th June, 2020
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when I open any college profile, there is written - (Exams accepted Neet UG,Neet PG. etc) what does that mean?

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 15th Oct, 2019

Dear Utsav, that actually means the College in particular has MBBS, MD,MS courses and the admissions to these courses are through NEET UG, NEET PG,etc. Apart from MBBS, courses like BDS, Ayush, Veterinary sciences also conduct admissions through NEET. In some States, courses like Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy also accept NEET score. So, if you are searching for any Medical College, this information showing up is pretty normal.


I am scoring 550 and above in my long term coaching exams for NEET 2020.Can I hope to score 600 and above in NEET 2020 exam?

Aditya kumar Student Expert 15th Oct, 2019
Hello there!
Yes , you can of course score 600 marks and above and yes right now you are in the path of preparation of neet so continuously increasing and improving marks should be a part of your journey. And if you keep up the hardwork and you will definitely score 600 marks as if you are getting 550 now , you still hace enough time for neet to take it to 600+ . You can make a time table,  give at least 8- 10 hours to self study.  Once you are done with your syllabus,  attempt full-length mock tests and focus more on weak topics. You can prepare short notes for revision as well.

Can we join any reputed coaching institute for 6 months for neet 2020?

Aditya kumar Student Expert 15th Oct, 2019
Hello there!


I am extremely sorry to tell you dear but there's no reputed Institute who provides 6 months course for neet preparation. For example, if i tell you about reputed institutes like Aakash and Allen Institutes then they don't provide admission for neet preparation just six months before neet. Similar is the case with other institutes , so there's no coaching institute which will provide you admission now just six months before,  you can go for self study.


Is it worth to join crash course for 3 months for NEET 2020 exam for scoring good in reputed institutes?

Aditya kumar Student Expert 14th Oct, 2019
Hello there!


Yes , test series worth it for neet . Test series are nearly similar to the actual exam and help you know what really happens during the real test. The difficulty level of the questions, the pattern of questions, the marking scheme, and the allotted time are kept identical so this will allow you to get a hands-on experience of solving the questions in exam . Practice not only makes you perfect but also builds confidence. Giving more tests during test series will help you manage time and performance with great confidence. The more tests youll give, the better you'll understand your strong and weak areas, test series also give you the opportunity to solve every question with a positive attitude. Test series for NEET 2020 will help tremendously in this respect for you.

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