How To Prepare For NEET Exam 2020

Gearing up to write the upcoming NEET? Read on for some valuable NEET 2020 preparation tips along with advice from experts on how to prepare for NEET.

By Amrita Gracias

How To Prepare For NEET Exam 2020

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) is the only gateway for those seeking admission to medical (MBBS) or dental (BDS) courses in India at the undergraduate level.

This year, a total of 76,928 MBBS seats are available throughout India in 532 colleges. Of these, 41,388 seats are in government colleges and about 35,540 seats are in private colleges. For BDS courses, 26,773 seats are available across India in 313 colleges. Of these, 3,513 seats are in government colleges and 23,260 seats are in private colleges.

But, although the number of seats on offer is so high, it isn’t easy to qualify for one. For, your child will be competing with more than 15 lakh candidates who have enrolled for NEET 2020.

So, how does your teen prepare for NEET in such a manner that he can be assured of a seat in a medical college?

While coaching classes and training centres can guide him through his preparation for NEET, his own study plan and timetable are just as important.

In this article, we outline how to prepare for NEET 2020, the NEET 2020 syllabus, and the best books to study physics, chemistry and biology for NEET. Along with subject-wise NEET preparation tips, we also share the advice and recommendations of experts. Share this article with your child so that the tips can help him.

When to start NEET preparation

The NEET 2020 is scheduled to be held on 3rd May. This means your child will have a little under two months to prepare.

So, what she'll need is a smart NEET 2020 study plan to cover the syllabus which is quite vast with several chapters under each topic. Also, it is imperative that she manages her time efficiently, utilising it to the maximum to prepare for the exam.

Here is our sample timetable for a two-month study plan for NEET 2020 for your teen:

Day 1–45: Study the syllabus across all three subjects

Figure out how many chapters you should study every day to cover all the selected topics. Then, allot time for each subject based on your knowledge and familiarity with them. Also, learn all the basic concepts (for every subject) thoroughly so that you are able to understand the more complex topics. Those which carry less weightage can be covered in the last few days.

Day 46–60: Take as many mock / sample tests as you can and work out NEET papers from previous years.

Check your progress by taking mock / sample tests. These assessments will also give you an idea of the topics that tend to carry more weightage than the others. Mock tests will also help you identify your problem areas.

What is included in NEET 2020 syllabus?

Like last year, NEET 2020 syllabus consists of three subjects – Physics, Chemistry and Biology (Botany and Zoology).

The NEET syllabus is based on the syllabi of the State Boards, Council Board of School Education (COBSE), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

The topic-wise syllabus for each subject is as follows:


From Class XI

  1. Physical World and Measurement
  2. Kinematics
  3. Laws of Motion
  4. Work, Energy and Power
  5. Motion of System of Particles and Rigid Body
  6. Gravitation
  7. Properties of Bulk Matter
  8. Thermodynamics
  9. Behaviour of Perfect Gas and Kinetic Theory
  10. Oscillations and Waves

From Class XII

  1. Electrostatics
  2. Current Electricity
  3. Magnetic Effects of Current and Magnetism
  4. Electromagnetic Induction and Alternating Currents
  5. Electromagnetic Waves
  6. Optics
  7. Dual Nature of Matter and Radiation
  8. Atoms and Nuclei
  9. Electronic Devices


From Class XI

  1. Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry
  2. Structure of Atom
  3. Classification of Elements and Periodicity in Properties
  4. Chemical Bonding and Molecular Structure
  5. States of Matter: Gases and Liquids
  6. Thermodynamics
  7. Equilibrium
  8. Redox Reactions
  9. Hydrogen
  10. s-Block Elements (Alkali and Alkaline Earth Metals)
  11. Some p-Block Elements
  12. Organic Chemistry – Some Basic Principles and Techniques
  13. Hydrocarbons
  14. Environmental Chemistry

From Class XII

  1. Solid State
  2. Solutions
  3. Electrochemistry
  4. Chemical Kinetics
  5. Surface Chemistry
  6. General Principles and Processes of Isolation of Elements
  7. p-Block Elements
  8. d and f-Block Elements
  9. Coordination Compounds
  10. Haloalkanes and Haloarenes
  11. Alcohols, Phenols and Ethers
  12. Aldehydes, Ketones and Carboxylic Acids
  13. Organic Compounds Containing Nitrogen
  14. Biomolecules
  15. Polymers
  16. Chemistry in Everyday Life


From Class XI

  1. Diversity in Living World
  2. Structural Organisation in Animals and Plants
  3. Cell Structure and Function
  4. Plant Physiology
  5. Human Physiology

From Class XII

  1. Reproduction
  2. Genetics and Evolution
  3. Biology and Human Welfare
  4. Biotechnology and Its Applications
  5. Ecology and Environment

Books recommended for NEET 2020 syllabus

Nothing aids in good preparation more than good books. Here are our recommendations for reference books for NEET 2020:

For Physics

  • NCERT Physics Textbooks for Class XI and XII
  • Concepts of Physics – Parts 1 & 2 by H. C. Verma
  • Objective Physics by D. C. Pandey
  • Fundamentals of Physics by Halliday, Resnick and Walker
  • Problems in General Physics by I. E. Irodov
  • Objective NCERT At Your Fingertips For NEET / AIIMS Physics – MTG Editorial Board
  • Complete NEET Guide – MTG Editorial Board

For Chemistry

  • NCERT Chemistry Textbooks for Classes XI and XII
  • Physical Chemistry by O. P. Tandon
  • Concise Inorganic Chemistry J. D. Lee
  • Modern ABC of Chemistry for Classes XI and XII
  • Organic Chemistry by Morrison and Boyd
  • 40 Days of Chemistry for NEET by Sudhanshu Thakur
  • Objective Chemistry for NEET (Volume 1 and 2) by R. K. Gupta
  • Dinesh Objective Chemistry by P. N. Kapil

For Biology

  • NCERT Biology Textbooks for Classes XI and XII
  • 40 Days Biology for NEET by S. Chakravarty
  • Trueman’s Biology – Volumes 1 and 2
  • Dinesh Objective Biology by P. N. Kapil
  • Complete NEET Guide: Biology by MTG Editorial Board
  • Modern ABCs of Biology For Classes XI and XII by B. B. Arora and A. K. Sabharwal
  • Biology – Pradeep Publications
  • Biology – G. R. Bathla Publications
  • Exploring Biology Volumes 1 and 2 by Sanjay Sharma and Sudhakar Banerjee

What is the NEET 2020 exam pattern?

  • NEET is for a total duration of three hours.
  • The exam comprises three sections – each pertaining to one subject – Physics, Chemistry and Biology (Botany and Zoology).
  • There is no time limit to complete each section.
  • The paper carries a total of 720 marks.
  • The question paper has 180 questions – 60 from each subject.
  • All questions are multiple choice type.
  • Each question carries four marks.
  • There is negative marking for wrong answers. One mark is deducted for each wrong answer.
  • One mark is also deducted if more than one answer is marked for a question.
  • No marks are awarded/deducted for questions not answered.
  • The exam is organised in the offline mode, i.e. written on paper.
  • The answers are marked on an Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheet using a ball point pen.
  • Once an answer is marked on the OMR sheet, it cannot be changed.
  • Rough work should be done only on the test booklet provided.
  • The NEET Under-graduate Paper is conducted in eight languages – English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil, Kannada, Assamese, Odia, Urdu and Marathi.

NEET 2020 preparation tips: How to prepare for NEET 2020

Here are some general tips for your child that'll aid her preparation:

  • Set your goals: NEET is not an easy exam to crack. So, set your goals and targets. Then, ask yourself how much effort you need to put in to achieve them. Staying away from unwanted distractions also helps greatly, especially during your study time. Remember, discipline is the key to good preparation.
  • Focus on important topics and chapters: Get familiar with the important topics in each subject. Plan your timetable wisely by allotting time to each important topic, and complete them first. If you find a particular chapter/topic too hard, move on – you can come back to it later.
  • Make and follow a NEET preparation timetable: Create a timetable that suits your study patterns and try to follow it religiously. In the timetable, give yourself ample time to get thorough with important topics and chapters.
  • Refer to best books for NEET preparation: There are umpteen NEET preparation books available. So, first study from the prescribed NCERT textbooks. Then, you can prepare and practice from the preferred recommended books for each subject (refer to books mentioned earlier in the article). Make notes since you are likely to study from more than one book. This makes it is easier to revise. Make a list of all the formulas as well. This will come in handy for last minute revisions.
  • Practise and re-practise: Once you have studied all the chapters from a subject, continue to revise the portions. Work through mock tests, sample papers and tests papers from the previous years. Most importantly, write these tests within the given time. This will help you prepare for the actual exam. Identify and analyse your mistakes and work on your weak areas. This practice will help you answer the NEET question paper with confidence.
  • Make use of online mock tests for NEET: There are several websites that offer free mock tests for the NEET exam along with NEET question papers from previous years. These are very helpful to check your preparation, progress and time management strategies.
  • Take care of yourself: Although studying remains your priority, your health – both physical and mental – are equally important. Make sure you stay healthy by eating right and getting plenty of rest and exercise. Both sleep and physical activity are essential to help you stay alert, better focussed and productive. Do also remember to take scheduled breaks during your study time.

Now, we list some subject-specific tips for your teen:

NEET 2020 preparation tips: How to study Physics

  • Physics is considered the toughest subject in NEET. Solving the questions requires speed and accuracy. You will need to apply theoretical knowledge (basic concepts) to practical questions.
  • Formulas, derivations and theorems form an important part of the subject; so, ensure that you study them all. Be thorough with theoretical concepts, definitions, terms, cause and effect statements.
  • Mechanics, Magnetism and Modern Physics are believed to be more important than other topics and may carry more weightage.
  • Other topics that carry more weightage are Thermodynamics, Current Electricity, Dual Nature of Matter and Radiation, Magnetism and Moving Charges and Kinematics.
  • 80% of the Physics section in the NEET exam comprises numericals. So, understand how to approach problems and solve them by applying concepts.
  • Practise numericals based on conservation of angular momentum and rolling motion.
  • Practise problems based on finding range, time of flight, velocity and learn concepts of displacement, acceleration, and average and relative velocity (topic: Kinematics).

NEET 2020 preparation tips: How to study Chemistry

  • Chemistry is believed to be only fairly difficult. It is said that Chemistry is the subject in which a candidate can score the most marks. So, scoring more in in this subject can increase your overall NEET score.
  • The subject is divided into Organic, Inorganic and Physical Chemistry. However, Organic and Physical Chemistry are considered more important and said to have more weightage.
  • Chapters that carry maximum weightage are – Chemical Bonding, Basic Concepts, Chemical Equilibrium and Carbonyl Compounds.
  • Topics that have higher weightage of questions include – Equilibrium, P-Block Elements, Nuclear Chemistry and Chemical Kinetics, States of Matter and Solutions, Chemical Bonding and Molecular Structure, Co-ordination Compounds, Basic Principles of Organic Chemistry, Organic Compounds Containing Oxygen and Metallurgy.
  • Make sure you have a sound understanding of the four main topics – Basic Concepts of Chemistry, Structure of Atom, Periodic Table and Chemical Bonding. Also, familiarise yourself with basic concepts like acidity, basicity and strength.
  • For Organic Chemistry, study all reaction mechanisms and named reactions, and memorise equations and formulas as well. General Organic Chemistry, Grignard’s Reagents, Hydrocarbons, Carbonyl compounds and Biomolecules are important topics.
  • Chemical reactions, bonds, step-by-step process of reactions, conversions and name reactions in Organic Chemistry must also be understood well.
  • For Physical Chemistry, study all equations from the chapters concerned. Make a list of all equations for last-minute revisions.
  • Practise numericals based on the formulas learnt. There are higher chances of more numerical than theory-based questions from Physical Chemistry.
  • Inorganic Chemistry is the easiest section in the subject. No numericals or questions based on formula are usually asked. Concepts of chemical bonding are important.
  • You must also know thoroughly the names of compounds that constitute reagents / substrates.

NEET 2020 preparation tips: How to study Biology

  • The Biology syllabus is vast (38 chapters together for Botany and Zoology); hence it requires ample time to prepare.
  • Many questions are based on diagrams. So, go through all the diagrams and their labels from the NCERT textbooks thoroughly.
  • Study terms, facts, ideas and definitions thoroughly. Get familiar with all the classifications as well.
  • Topics such as Human Physiology, Reproduction, Biotechnology, Genetics and Evolution, Ecology, Plant Diversity, Molecular Basis of Inheritance, Reproduction and Cell Biology are important and known to carry weightage.
  • Topics that carry the most weightage are Biological Classification, Principles of Inheritance and Variation, Morphology of Flowering Plants, and Cell: Unit of Life.
  • Topics such as Animalia and Plantae need to be paid attention to as they tend to be confusing. Also, focus on Phylum non-chordata and class levels up to chordate.
  • For classifications or for series of names, use mnemonics to help you memorise them.

NEET 2020 preparation tips: What to avoid during NEET preparation

  • Try not to spend too much time on one topic / chapter. If you are not making progress, switch to another topic / subject for the day and come back to the former later.
  • Don’t rely on being proficient in only one or two subjects and neglecting the others. Since each subject carries equal marks in the exam, this strategy will only impair your chances of scoring high marks.
  • Avoid mugging up topics / chapters. Instead, understand the concepts or applications. Many questions in the NEET exam test one’s conceptual understanding of the topic.
  • Avoid preparing from too many books. Instead, study only from books that are highly recommended. This being said, ensure that you also study from the NCERT books.

Mistakes to avoid in the NEET exam

  • Don’t spend too much time on a certain section or on one particular question. Set time limits for answering each section.
  • While working out numericals, make sure your basic calculations are right so that you don’t waste time reworking the problem. This can also cost you valuable time.
  • If you are unsure of an answer, come back to it later. Remember that there is negative marking for wrong answers and that changing of answers is not permitted. Avoid any guesswork as well.

About the author:

Written by Amrita Gracias on 9 Mar 2020

Amrita Gracias holds a degree in English Literature from Stella Maris College, Chennai and a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism (specialising in Print Media) from the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. She takes to writing and editing when she isn’t answering to the duties of motherhood!

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