The National Testing Agency (NTA) will conduct the Common University Entrance Test (CUET), the first-ever mandatory country-wide entrance examination for admission to undergraduate courses in all the 45 Central universities, starting with the academic year 2022-23. The class 12 board marks won’t be considered to admit students to UG programs from now on. However, universities have the flexibility to use CUET scores for postgraduate admissions as of now.
As for the reserved candidates, CUET will not affect the existing admission and reservation policies, but all the participating institutions will have to mandatorily admit all the students through CUET based on the test scores.
As per UGC chairman M Jagadesh Kumar, the exam is scheduled for the first week of July this year. The exam will be conducted on computers and the application window for the examination will open in the first week of April.
Mr Kumar said, “We believe that as envisaged in the national education policy (NEP), the CUET will provide a common platform to get admission in all universities and colleges across the country.
“The CUET should provide equal opportunities to candidates. This is basically to reduce the burden on the students and the universities and the colleges and in fact the entire education system.”
So, students can now take admission to undergraduate courses in the academic year 2022-23 in central universities across the country based solely on their CUET score, as class 12 board marks will not carry any weightage. Also, after the CUET results are out, each university will follow a merit list prepared by the NTA to admit the students, and there will be no common counseling.
CUET will be an objective exam with multiple-choice questions based on the Class 12 syllabus of the NCERT. It will have three sections and will contain negative markings. CUET will be conducted in two shifts. The first shift will have Section I (languages), two chosen domain subjects, and the general test. The second shift will contain the remaining four domain subjects and an additional language test if a student has opted for it. Students can give the test in 13 languages, namely Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Urdu, Assamese, Bengali, Punjabi, Odia and English.
According to the UGC chairman, such a format will do away with ridiculously high college cut-offs, which often touch 100%. “One nation, one entrance test will be a great relief for students across the country. As a result of this, students need not have to write different kinds of entrance tests," he added. It is also expected that a common single exam will help reduce the financial burden on parents and students.
He also added that class 12 board marks can be considered as an eligibility criterion for the test and that any higher institute can individually set minimum eligibility on a student’s board marks for admission. Mr. Kumar further said that universities can retain their already set percentage of seats reserved for local students.
Apart from the central universities and their affiliating colleges, private universities, state-backed universities, and deemed to be universities can also use the exam scores for admissions, if they like.
The detailed guidelines regarding CUET will be released by the NTA soon.