3 questions in NEET biology section have more than one correct answer, says expert


A day after a couple of national eligibility-cum-entrance test (NEET) candidates pointed out an error in the biology section, city-based NEET trainer wrote to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) highlighting that three questions in the exam were ambiguous.

Biology subject expert, Dr Arvind Goyal, stated that three questions in the biology section of code W paper of NEET UG 2017, confused a lot of  students even when this section was the easiest.

There were a total of 180 questions in the paper and each question is of four marks. If a student has marked an incorrect answer, according to the answer sheet, they will lose five marks (-1 negative, in addition to the 4).

“The competition is really tough and rank can drop by hundreds of places on a difference of 2-3 marks,” said Goyal.

Question number 18 of the biology question asked that ‘hepatic portal vein drains blood to the liver from which body part?’ Four options given were ‘heart, stomach, kidneys and intestine.’

Dr Goyal stated that in this question both options (2) stomach and (4) intestine are correct. Hepatic portal vein drains blood from both stomach and intestine to the liver. He said that Grays Anatomy and Snell’s Clinical Anatomy can be referred to for this question.

Meanwhile question no. 42 asked ‘the function of copper ions in copper releasing IUDs?’ And the options given for this were a) they suppress sperm motility and fertilising capacity of sperms, b) they inhibit gametogenesis c) they make uterus unsuitable for implantation and d) they inhibit ovulation.

It was highlighted that in this question,  both options  (a) and (c) are the correct answers with reference to ‘Practice of fertility control’ by SK Chaudhuri and ‘Shaw’s textbook of Gynaecology.’

Similarly, in question number 85, the question was, ‘In case of a couple where male is having a very low sperm count , which technique will be suitable for fertilisation?’ Options were a) Intrauterine transfer, b) Gamete intracytoplasmic fallopian transfer, c) Artificial insemination and d) Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

In this question ‘very low sperm count’, which is a qualitative criteria, was mentioned. No numerical value to define degree of oligospermia has been mentioned. For low sperm count both artificial insemination and ICSI can be used, depending on the degree of oligospermia. For very low sperm count as mentioned in the question statement, ICSI (option d) seems to be the better answer. Dr Goyal gave reference to Shaw’s textbook of Gynaecology, Novak’s Gynaecology and Advanced Infertility manual- FOGSI.

He said, “This year practically NEET UG is the only relevant exam for all MBBS and BDS admissions all over the country. Many a times the examiners frame the question based on the exact language written in the NCERT textbooks .The NCERT books many a time give incomplete information about various topics and unfortunately questions framed out of this limited matter become erroneous when the topic is considered  holistically.”

He added, ” There have been instances in the past when the CBSE has given grace marks for such questions which were wrongly framed. The CBSE should have experts review these questions and make the necessary changes in the answer key .Passing off a wrong or ambiguous question as correct not only causes a loss to the  candidates who have taken the exam  but also is a loss to the society as this wrong concept gets propagated among the future students and teachers.”

The errors have been mailed to the NEET CBSE cell, CBSE chairman, OSD, CBSE and secretary, CBSE, to act upon it.