Focused preparation starting from the first year of MBBS, reliable online preparation materials and downtime during the pandemic have helped a record 39.6% candidates clear the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) December 2022 exam, which has been postponed to January 2023. was postponed.
Historically, the pass percentage of FMGE has been low in the range of 10 to 20%. However, this year the maximum number of students have been successful in qualifying the exam. The high pass percentage is also attributed to the fear of the National Exit Test (NEXT) which the government is planning to introduce in the next academic year. Since the students are more familiar with FMGE, they have pulled out all stops to clear it instead of appearing for the NEXT exam, the pattern of which they are unfamiliar with.
|FMGE Session||Pass Percentage|
|2017||7.41% (June) 13.89% (December)|
|2016||11.22% (June) 8.08% (December)|
|2015||10.40% (June) 12.20% (December)|
|2014||4.93% (June) 20.00% (December)|
On the condition of anonymity, a Union Health Ministry official says, “Students have worked hard and the difficulty index may also be slightly lower this time. The high pass percentage is an aberration rather than the norm; students have passed the FMGE Generally, Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) from Nepal, Bangladesh and Maldives are able to do well because their curriculum is similar to the curriculum of the Indian medical education system. Most FMGs are required to learn a foreign language. At least one year has to be spent in MBBS and the MBBS curriculum is often more theoretical as patient connectivity is less, and FMGE does not test the practical training of the students. Testing the practical component can further reduce the pass percentage. NExT will have a practical component, not just FMG, even the quality of training among Indian students in private colleges will be tested for the first time. It will help to automatically reveal the ranking of medical colleges and people can apply for them. Will not go to colleges where maximum number of students fail
Online and offline support
Last year in June, the pass percentage was low, so the students worked harder to ensure that they are able to clear the exam. “All students cannot travel to metro cities to prepare at good coaching centres, so many took online subscriptions of apps to prepare for FMGE. Some students had the support of both online and offline coaching classes and that made a lot of difference to the pass percentage,” says Dr Pritesh Singh, faculty, Surgery, PrepLadder, pointing out that 30% of those who pursued medical education in Ukraine, appeared in the FMGE and among them, one third were able to clear it. “Most students who scored well began their FMGE preparation from the first year of MBBS itself and spent four to six hours every day preparing for the exam. Students are now more aware of what to study and where to study. The difficulty level of the exam was the same as NEET PG and despite clinical questions being asked, Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) were able to do well. Students were afraid if they do not clear it this time, they will have to appear in NExT later with which they are unfamiliar. They pushed themselves to clear FMGE in one go; this year’s pass percentage is the best,” says Singh, adding that students who pursued MBBS in the neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan have also performed well this time.
Online and offline support
The lockdown during the Covid pandemic provided the students with the much needed downtime to prepare for the FMGE. “I was rescued by the Vande Bharat Mission which facilitated the travel of passengers to India during the pandemic. In January 2021, I went back to complete my MBBS. FMGs are discriminated against in India, so I wanted to prove one thing that FMGs are as good if not better than Indian medical graduates,” says Dr Sasim, who started preparing for FMGE in 2019 and Completed MBBS from Asian Medical College. Kyrgyzstan in 2022. Hailing from Salem, Tamil Nadu, he attributes the higher pass percentage in the December 2022 FMGE cycle to the downtime due to the pandemic and higher awareness about online platforms that help in preparation such as online courses. Dr Sasim scored 238/300 marks by practicing previous years questions and participating in group discussions on difficult topics.