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Content Writer: Shubham S Nimje


Published on: Sat Feb 03 2024Updated on: Mon Feb 05 2024

For aspiring dental professionals in India, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Masters of Dental Surgery (NEET MDS) stands as the key to unlocking a world of postgraduate opportunities. This article serves as your ultimate study companion, providing a comprehensive roadmap to NEET MDS success, empowering you with the knowledge and strategies to achieve your goals.

Understanding the Challenge:

  • What is it? NEET MDS is a single-window entrance exam mandated by the National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences (NBE) for admission to Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) programs across India.
  • Who conducts it? The NBE, a prestigious organization entrusted with conducting various medical entrance exams, ensures a standardized and merit-based selection process.
  • When is it held? Typically, the exam is held in March, with applications opening a few months prior.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Nationality: Indian citizen, subject of Nepal or Bhutan, or specific categories of refugees and migrants of Indian origin.
  • Age: No upper age limit, but candidates must possess a valid dental registration as of December 31st of the year of admission.
  • Educational Qualification: Must have passed the BDS examination from a recognized dental college in India or abroad.

Exam Structure:

NEET MDS is a computer-based test (CBT) of three hours duration, comprising 240 single best response Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs):

  • General Dentistry (including Prosthodontics, Oral Medicine & Radiology, Conservative Dentistry & Endodontics) – 40 questions
  • Pharmaceutics & Pharmacology – 15 questions
  • General Surgery – 10 questions
  • Subject-wise distribution (175 questions):
    • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery – 30 questions
    • Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics – 20 questions
    • Paedodontics & Preventive Dentistry – 20 questions
    • Periodontology & Implantology – 20 questions
    • Public Health Dentistry – 15 questions
    • Community Dentistry – 15 questions

Preparation Strategies:

  • Start Early: Initiate your preparation at least 12-18 months before the exam to thoroughly cover the vast syllabus.
  • Follow the NBE Syllabus: Strictly adhere to the official NBE syllabus available on their website to avoid wasting time on irrelevant topics.
  • Utilize Standard Textbooks: Refer to authoritative dental textbooks like Shafer’s Textbook of Oral Pathology, Newman & Carranza’s Clinical Periodontology, and Sicher’s Oral Histology for in-depth understanding.
  • Practice Previous Years’ Papers & Mock Tests: Solve past question papers and enroll in mock test series to familiarize yourself with the exam pattern, question types, time management, and identify your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Consider Coaching Classes (Optional): Joining coaching institutes can provide structured guidance, expert faculty insights, and additional practice materials.
  • Focus on Time Management: Practice solving questions within the stipulated time frame to avoid last-minute pressure during the actual exam.
  • Stay Updated: Keep yourself abreast of recent advancements in dentistry, clinical guidelines, and research publications relevant to the exam.

Additional Resources:



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