The JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020 examination will be held in September. Despite apprehension about how safe the examination centres will be amidst the coronavirus outbreak, the government and the National Testing Body (NTA) have clarified that the entrance tests wouldn’t be postponed further.
JEE Main 2020 is scheduled from September 1-6 while the NEET (UG) 2020 will be held on September 13. JEE Main is the entrance exam for undergraduate engineering courses in IITs and other institutes while NEET is for undergraduate courses like MBBS and dental.
With just 15 days (and three days for JEE Main) to go for NEET, it is essential that candidates prepare in advance for safety and hygiene at the examination centre.
Moneycontrol gives you some tips and advisories that should be followed to cut down risk of contracting COVID-19 at the exam centres:
Wearing mask and gloves
Though all of you are aware of the importance of wearing masks to cut down on COVID-19 risk, it is essential that the mask be worn at all times. Wear the mask during the entire three-hour duration and avoid touching your face. Carry your own water bottle to avoid infection risks from common taps at the centres.
Wherever possible exam centres will provide fresh masks to the candidates. However, it is ideal that you bring your own mask and avoid taking masks from others where there could be a possible risk of infection.
It is also necessary that you buy disposable masks for all the papers especially for JEE Main and not reuse one mask for multiple days unless it is a certified N-95 mask. Avoid N-95 masks with valves since they have a risk of exposure to the virus. Also remember that the thin surgical masks available at medical stores are one-time use only. Do not try to wash and reuse it.
When it comes to gloves, students may think it is not necessary. But, considering the exposure to surfaces like doors, staircase railing, washrooms and lift buttons, it is important to carry disposable gloves. Use a sanitizer before wearing gloves and always remove the gloves to wash your hands at washrooms. Dispose masks and gloves properly in a closed dustbin and don’t throw it anywhere.
Avoid bringing family to exam centres
It is a common practice in India for family members to drop the candidate off at the exam centres. However, considering the pandemic this is avoidable. Those below 10 years of age and above 60 years are at high risk of contracting the virus. Considering that there could be as high as 1,000 students in one centre, special care must be taken to expose family members to the crowd.
Also remember that there will be queue managers outside every exam centre and waiting inside auto-rickshaws, bikes, cycles or cars will not be permitted.
Follow staggered entry rules
Unlike previous years when the gates to the exam centre is opened and everyone is let in, this year there will be staggered entry. This means that the number of candidates will be equally divided on a first-come basis and will be allowed entry in batches with a gap of 20-30 minutes between every batch.
Don’t try to break rules and forcibly enter exam centres. The exam will begin only after all candidates have entered the centre. Physical contact with other candidates will only increase the risk of infection. Stand in the marked areas maintaining six-feet distance at all times.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, inform authorities
Students will be tested with a thermal gun at the entry point to check for any anomalies in temperature. So, if you have any Coronavirus-like symptoms including fever, cold and cough, it is necessary that you inform the exam authorities in the centre.
Failing to do so will put your life and that of others at risk. Students with COVID-19 symptoms will either be made to sit in a separate room or be given a chance to appear another day. If the exam centre officials ask you to leave, try asking for a separate seating facility. But if that is not available, you could be asked to leave and alternate dates will be given.
Leave immediately after giving the test
It is a practice to stay back after the tests are over and discuss the paper with fellow candidates. But considering the pandemic avoid staying back to discuss the examination paper in groups. Leave the exam centre as soon as you complete the papers. Remember that the exit will also be done in a staggered manner but it is essential to maintain social distancing at all times.The exams are highly unlikely to get cancelled. What engineering and medical aspirants can do is to minimise the infection risk for yourself, other candidates and your family by following operating protocols inside and outside the centre.