NEET Eligibility Criteria 2021: Age Limit, Marks in 12th, Educational Qualification

Exam Date

Aug 1, 2021

Result Date

Sep 1, 2021

Apr 27, 2021 | Medical


The NEET eligibility criteria are generally determined by the National Testing Agency, or NTA. It states that all the medical aspirants who wish to appear for the exam must satisfy the NEET UG eligibility criteria related to age, nationality, academic qualifications among a few other prerequisites, to appear for the NEET 2021.

In the last few years, the NTA has introduced several changes in the NEET eligibility clause, such as the alteration of the upper age limit, and allowing students with biology as an additional subject to appear for the NEET exam. The NEET 2021 eligibility criteria described by the NTA are discussed in detail below.


NEET 2021 Eligibility Criteria

As per the interim orders passed by the Delhi High Court on February 26, 2020 and February 28, 2020, all candidates can now fill the NEET 2021 Application Form. This includes the candidates from open schools/ NIOS, or the candidates who have completed schooling with Biology as an additional subject. The candidates who completed their schooling privately, or with a year gap between 11th and 12th can also appear for the exam as per the NEET Eligibility Criteria 2021.

The upper age limit for all applicants of unreserved status is 25 years. The same for the candidates belonging to reserved categories is 30, as stated in the amended NEET eligibility criteria 2021.

Aspirants seeking admission to the medical, dental, and AYUSH courses at the undergraduate level are suggested to go through the complete NEET eligibility criteria 2021. The NEET eligibility criteria 2021 will specify the age limit, academic qualifications, nationality, and other mandatory requirements, which must be met by all the aspirants.

NEET has become mandatory to avail the MBBS seats in India. Hence, it has also become one of the most competitive exams to take place in India. The NEET UG eligibility criteria's highlights are tabulated below for the reference of all the aspirants who wish to pursue a career in this field. Each of the mentioned NEET UG eligibility criteria is also discussed in detail on this page.

NEET 2021 Eligibility Criteria Highlights
Criteria Eligibility
Domicile Indian Citizens can apply for NEET 2021
If the Candidate does not reside in India, then he/she must be an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) to apply for NEET 2021
Minimum Age Criteria 17 years
Maximum Age Limit

General: 25 years

Reserved: 30 years

Minimum Qualification The candidate must have passed 10+2 with a minimum of 50% aggregate marks, PWD-45%, and SC/ST-40%
Maximum Number of Attempts There is no limit on the number of attempts within the prescribed age limit.
Aadhaar Card is not mandatory As per the Supreme court order, a candidate doesn't need to have an Adhaar card to apply for NEET 2021. Hence, non-residents of India can also appear for this exam.

NEET 2021 Eligibility Criteria based on Nationality

The conducting authorities, i.e., the NTA has laid out specific NEET eligibility criteria 2021 for the below-mentioned categories. Candidates looking for NEET exam eligibility for NRI, OC or various other categories must refer to the information provided below. If they satisfy the specifications provided in the NEET eligibility criteria 2021, they can proceed to fill the application form for the upcoming exam.

NEET 2021 Eligibility Based On Nationality
S.No. Eligibility as per Nationality
1 Indian Residents (Adhaar card is a must identity proof for all Indian candidates).
2 Non-Resident Indians (NRI).
3 Overseas citizens (OC).
4 Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs).
5 Foreign Nationals.

Candidates who are nationals from any of the following countries are eligible to apply for NEET 2021

  • Indians all over India, from all states, are entitled to appear for the NEET exam.
  • The exam is also being conducted in various regional languages.

If a candidate is not from India, then he or she must belong to one of the following categories as per the NEET exam eligibility criteria 2021 elaborated by the NTA. However, anyone falling under these categories must pass the NEET exam to become eligible for taking admission process further, to well-reputed medical colleges in the country.

  • Non-Resident Indians (NRI)
  • Overseas Citizens of India (OC)
  • Persons of Indian Origin (PIO)
  • Foreign National

Category-wise Age Criteria for NEET 2021

Following are the NEET exam eligibility criteria 2021 based on age, for various categories. If the candidates satisfy the below mentioned category-wise age criteria for NEET 2021, they can apply for the exam.

Categorywise Age Criteria for NEET 2021
Criteria Description
Upper Age Limit (Maximum Age) The upper age limit for NEET is 25 years, as of the date of examination.
Lower Age Limit (Minimum Age) Candidates must be 17 years of age at the time of admission or before 31st December of the year of a candidate's admission into the MBBS/BDS Course.
Age Relaxation for Reserved Categories For SC/ ST/ OBC candidates, the upper age limit is 30 years.

Additional Note

Aspirants who come under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 shall also enjoy certain age relaxation for the NEET exam. That is, the maximum age limit for these candidates is 30 years, as specified in the NEET exam eligibility criteria laid out by the NTA.

NEET 2021 Eligibility Criteria based on Educational Qualification

Following are the NEET 2021 eligibility criteria based on the educational qualifications of the candidate. The section informs of various things such as the ideal subject combination and marks in 12th that an applicant must have obtained to fill the application form, as per the NEET eligibility criteria 2021.

NEET 2021 Eligibility Criteria Based On Education Qualification
Criteria Description
Minimum Qualification Candidates must have passed their 10+2 or any equivalent examination with a minimum of 50% aggregate of marks to meet the NEET eligibility criteria 2021.
Subjects combination in 10+2 A candidate must have studied the curriculum in 10+2 which includes Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and English as compulsory subjects.

NEET 2021 Eligibility Criteria: Minimum Required Percentage

If you are appearing for NEET 2021, you must score the minimum percentage of marks in the subject combination: Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. The minimum percentage of marks, however, is not the same for all categories. The tabulation of marks that candidates must score in 12th to meet the NEET eligibility criteria 2021 are given below for your reference:

NEET 2021 Minimum % for each category
Category Requirement
General 50% in PCB
PH/PWD 45% in PCB
SC/ ST/ OBC 40% in PCB

NEET 2021 Eligibility Criteria for All India Quota Seats

The candidates who successfully qualify the NEET 2021 will be eligible to apply for the 15% All India Quota Seats. Apart from that, they will also be eligible to pursue MBBS from all the Deemed Universities, ESIC, AFMC and Central Universities. The MCI is responsible for conducting the counselling for such candidates at an All India Level. The following are the NEET eligibility criteria 2021 for the reserved 15% All India Quota Seats.

Candidates eligible for 15% All India Quota Seats
Indian Nationals
Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)
Overseas Citizen of India (OCIs)
Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs)
Foreign Nationals are eligible for 15% NEET 2021 All India Quota Seats

NEET Eligibility Criteria for ESIC and AFMC

The NEET eligibility criteria 2021 for ESIC, AFMC, DU, BHU and AMU is slightly different from the general NEET exam eligibility criteria discussed above. DGHS will carry out the proceeding admission process for ESIC, Delhi University, BHU, and AMU. The reservation policy and the specifications of the eligibility criteria will be based on the concerned University. Aspirants must register on the official website of their respective college for getting admission.

Admission into AFMC, Pune will be according to norms framed by the Directorate General of Armed Forces Medical Services, Ministry of Defence, Government of India. Selected candidates have to appear for another screening test by AFMC. Candidates have to see the official website for further details:

NEET State Quota Eligibility Criteria 2021

85% of the seats in Medical and Dental courses of all the government colleges are reserved for the candidates who meet the NEET State Quota Eligibility Criteria. The government colleges reserve these seats for the candidates who have resided in that state for a specific period of time, and have documents to present as proof of their residence. To occupy these seats, the aspiring candidates must be residents of India, and they should have completed their class 12 from the state in which they are willing to pursue their education.

NEET State Quota Eligibility Criteria Exceptions

  • States not eligible for Quota seats: Candidates from Jammu & Kashmir are not eligible for 15% All India Quota Seats, as this State has opted out of NEET 2021 All India Scheme since its NEET was introduced.
  • Colleges for J & K candidates: Aspirants from Jammu & Kashmir can appear for NEET for admission to Private Medical/Dental Colleges or any Private/Deemed University and Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune if they fulfil all NEET eligibility conditions.
  • Self-declaration: If a candidate from Jammu & Kashmir claims eligibility for 15% All India Quota Seats, then he/she must submit an online Self-Declaration. And this will be generated and printed along with the confirmation page of the NEET 2021 application for the record. And this should be presented during NEET 2021 counselling.
  • Verification of documents: This online Self-declaration of all applicants will be verified at the time of counselling and if found to be false at any time, the admission of such aspirants shall be cancelled immediately and criminal proceedings might be initiated against them.

NEET 2021 Tie Breaking for Inter-State Merit

In the case of two or more candidates obtaining equal marks in the NEET 2021, inter-state-merit of such candidates shall be determined in order of the following preference:

Wrong Attempts: Candidates with less number of total wrong answers in all the subjects in the NEET Test.

Age preference: Aspirants older in age will be given preference

Marks Preference: Candidates obtaining higher marks in Biology (Botany & Zoology) in the Test.

Marks in Chemistry: Test-takers scoring higher marks in Chemistry in NEET 2021 exam.

NEET 2021 Eligibility for J&K Students

Aspirants applying from Jammu and Kashmir shall not come under the aforementioned 15% reservation quota. It is because Jammu and Kashmir has opted out since its inception. If students from J&K claim NEET eligibility 2021, they have to submit a self-declaration form at the time of application form filing.

It will be available on the official website (in Appendix III). However, that online self-declaration form will be verified during counselling. If it is found false, that person's candidature will be cancelled.

Therefore, candidates from Jammu and Kashmir can get admission in Private Medical or Dental colleges in India only when they fulfil the specified NEET eligibility criteria 2021.

NEET Qualifying Examination Codes 2021

As per the NEET eligibility criteria 2021 framed by NTA, the candidates must have surpassed the below-mentioned educational standards to be eligible to appear for the NEET 2021 examination. There are certain codes corresponding to the specifications, that a candidate must adhere to in the NEET eligibility process. The candidates must study these codes and choose the one that describes their current academic situation best. These codes must be mentioned in the application forms submitted by the candidates. The NEET qualifying examination codes are tabulated below in complete detail.

NEET Qualifying Examination Codes 2021 with details
Code Qualifications
Code 01 A candidate who is appearing for the qualifying examination, i.e. 12th Standard in 2018, and awaiting his or her results may apply and take up NEET exam. But if that candidate does not pass that examination with the required pass percentage of marks at the time of the first round of Counselling, he/she shall not be eligible for admission to the MBBS or BDS courses.
Code 02 A student must have taken Higher/Senior Secondary Examination or the Indian School Certificate Examination which is equivalent to 10+2 Higher secondary exam. In which the last two years of study must be comprised of Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Biotechnology, and Mathematics or any other elective subject with English. It is prescribed by the National Council of Educational Research and Training after the introduction of the 10+2+3 educational structure as recommended by the National Committee on Education. NOTE: Where the course content is not as prescribed for 10+2 education structure of the National Committee, those candidates must undergo a period of one-year pre-professional training before admission to the Medical Colleges.
Code 03 Students must have taken Intermediate/Pre-degree Examination in Science of an Indian University or other recognized exam body with Physics, Chemistry, Biology /Biotechnology, and also English as a mandatory subject.
Code 04 Aspirants must be from Pre-professional/ taken Pre-medical Examination with Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Biotechnology & English after passing Higher Secondary Examination or Pre-University exam. The Pre-professional/Pre-medical examination should include the practical test in these subjects and also English as an essential subject.
Code 05 In this, the first year of three years degree course from a recognized University with Physics, Chemistry, and Biology/ Biotechnology including practice tests, also provided the examination is a University Examination. A candidate must have passed the earlier final examination with Physics, Chemistry, Biology/ Biotechnology with English at a level not less than the mainstream course.
Code 06 Aspirants must have written, B.Sc. Examination of an Indian University provided that he/she has qualified in the B.Sc. Examination with subjects: Physics, Chemistry, Biology (Botany, Zoology)/Bio-technology. In addition to this, he/she should have passed the earlier qualifying examination along with Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and English.
Code 07 Any other examination which in this scope and standard (such as the Last 02 years of 10+2 Study comprising of Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Biotechnology. And which shall include a practical test in these subjects) is found to be equivalent to the Intermediate Science Examination. A Condition to be eligible for the competitive entrance examination is, a candidate should have passed one of the qualifying examinations as listed above. Provided also that to be eligible for competitive Entrance Test an aspirant should have passed in the subjects of Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Biotechnology, and English individually and should have obtained a minimum of 50% marks taken together in Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Biotechnology in a final examination as listed in clause (2) of regulation 4 on Graduate Medical Education 1997. Further, that candidate must have come on the merit list of NATIONAL ELIGIBILITY ENTRANCE TEST (UG) – 2017 for admission to MBBS/BDS courses. For candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes or Other Backward Classes, the marks obtained in Physics, Chemistry, and Biology/Biotechnology taken together in a final exam shall be 40% marks instead of 50% marks for General Candidates. Additionally, for persons with locomotory disability of lower limbs, a minimum of 45% marks for Gen-PH and 40% marks for SC-PH/ST-PH/OBC-PH is mandatory. Moreover, those students educated abroad seeking admission into Indian medical colleges through NEET must have passed in the subjects that include: Physics, Chemistry, Biology/ Biotechnology, and English up to the 12th-grade level with 50% marks. Also, they must fulfil laid down conditions of the concerned University or College.

NEET 2021 Reservation Criteria

To ensure that all candidates receive equality of opportunity, NTA follows the government's proposed reservation policy. Following are the reservation criteria for NEET 2021 in 15% All India Quota Seats:

Category Reservation
SC Candidates 15% of seats are reserved for SC candidates
General (EWS) 10 % of the seats are reserved for economically weaker sections of the General category.
ST Candidates 7.5% seats are reserved for ST candidates
OBC Candidates 27% seats as per Central Act are reserved for non-creamy layer OBC candidates only in Central Educational Institutions
PH Candidates 3% seats are reserved on a horizontal basis for Physically Handicapped candidates


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