Individuals seeking a medical degree need to choose their exams carefully. Each exam takes a lot of time, money, and preparation. Residents of India have two main medical exams to choose from: the All India Post Graduate Medical Entrance Examination, or AIPGMEE, and the Foreign Medical Graduate Screening Exam, or FMGE. The exams are similar but also quite different in some notable ways, as you will discover from reading onward.
The AIPGMEE exam is the test that most individuals in India will take in order to gain the certification necessary to practice medicine in the country. This is a single-entrance examination targeted toward MD or MS candidates as well as those pursuing PG Diploma courses. All instances of this test are monitored by the post graduate medical regulations, which are defined by the Medical Council of India and approved by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. If you are a native of India or a foreigner who has gained citizenship prior to entering medical school, this is the test that you will most likely need to take if you want to begin practicing medicine within the country.
The FMGE exam is a screening test targeted toward Indian nationals. This exam is moderated by the Medical Council of India and is held twice a year on dates set by the National Board of Examinations. The goal behind this exam is not only to ensure that an individual is qualified to practice medicine, but that they meet the standards and expectations set by the Indian government and culture. Because individuals who are taking the FMGE are not Indian citizens (though they may one day earn citizenship), the content is similar but different than the AIPGMEE. Effectively, the AIPGMEE is the standard entrance exam, while the FMGE adds additional components targeted toward foreign doctors.
The AIPGMEE exam is a 240 multiple choice question exam that test takers access via a computer. The entire test takes a maximum of 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete. The FMGE has a shorter duration and more questions, with a total of 300 questions that must be completed in a period of 2 hours and 30 minutes. The good news about both of these exams is that there is no negative marking – that is, a wrong response counts the same as a blank response. In order to pass these exams, the test taker needs to answer at least half the questions accurately within the time allotted. That means 120 correct answers for the AIPGMEE and 150 correct answers for the FMGE.
The formats of the AIPGMEE and FMGE are similar, as is the content. However, they each have very different audiences. The majority of Indian natives will need to take the AIPGMEE, while foreigners and those who have not yet obtained citizenship will need to take the FMGE exam. Both tests are challenging and target a wide array of medical knowledge, so thorough preparation is necessary if you hope to pass.