CUET A Common Test for Admission to Higher Education Institutions

Dr. Parshotam S. Manhas
National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 was introduced on 29th July 2020 to bring reforms to the country’s education sector. Several changes proposed in the school, undergraduate and postgraduate course structure will have profound impacts on the existing education system. Built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability, and Accountability, this policy is aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and aims to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society and global knowledge superpower by making both school and college education more holistic, flexible, multidisciplinary, suited to 21st century needs and aimed at bringing out the unique capabilities of each student.
The Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India (GoI) has established the National Testing Agency (NTA) as an independent, autonomous, and self-sustained premier testing organization under the Societies Registration Act (1860) for conducting efficient, transparent, and international standardized tests in order to assess the competency of candidates for admission to premier higher education institutions with a mission to improve equity and quality in education by developing and administering research-based valid, reliable, efficient, transparent, fair and international level assessments. The Common University Entrance Test (CUET-2023), earlier known as Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET) is being introduced for admission to various Undergraduate, Integrated, Postgraduate, Diploma, Certification courses, and Research Programmes in Central Universities, State Universities and Deemed Universities in India for the academic session 2023-24.
The Common University Entrance Test (CUET) will provide a common platform and equal opportunities to candidates across the country, especially those from rural and other remote areas, and help establish better connections with the Universities. A single examination will enable the candidates to cover a wide outreach and be part of the admissions process to various Central Universities. CUET is one of the most trending exams of the year for admission into UG and PG courses across the country. The new paradigm CUET-UG-23 is introduced in pursuance of NEP 2020 to test the core competencies of the aspirants seeking admissions in any undergraduate course under the Four Year Undergraduate Programme FYUG) for the academic session 2023-24. All interested candidates can apply for CUET (UG)-23 in online mode only through the official website:
CUET is a national-level entrance exam conducted by National Testing Agency for admission to UG courses in participating universities from 21 May 2023 to 31 May 2023 in three shifts on multiple days for which the registration closes on 12th March 2023. The entrance test will be held in computer-based test (CBT) mode and comprises four sections: Section 1A (language test), Section 1B (optional language test), Section 2 (domain-specific test), and Section 3 (general test).
The main objective of this entrance test is to conduct efficient, transparent, and international standardized tests to identify and determine the student’s competency for admission in various courses as per their preference. Candidates must refer to the requirements of their preferred university when selecting Languages/ domain-specific Subjects/and General Tests, as choices must match the university’s standards. Some Domain-Specific Subjects are interdisciplinary in nature. There will be two sections in those disciplines, with Section-A being mandatory for everybody. Section- B may contain multiple Sub Sections from which an applicant may select one or more, depending on the qualifying requirements of the program/university to which they are applying.
However, for the beginner, here is some best subjects combination stream-wise: For Science Courses (candidates with Science Subjects in Class 12th) can opt: Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics/ Biology, along with English and General Test and may change the stream from Science to Humanities and Commerce; For Humanities Courses (candidates with arts subjects in Class 12th ) can choose one of the combinations like History, Political Science, Geography, English/ Hindi/ Urdu along with General Test and can change stream from Humanities to Economics (Honors) or B. Com provided they have Mathematics as one of the subjects in class 12th and For Commerce Courses: English/ Hindi, Mathematics /Accountancy, Business Studies, Economics along with General Test and can change stream to Humanities. At Jammu University, the candidates can opt for the following subject combinations (subject to any latest change): English, Specific Subject (12th Class), and General Test. However, the candidate can also appear for English and General Test only for Management courses among others. A lot of universities have opted for the CUET ‘General Test’ out of which Assam University, Banaras Hindu University, Central University of Haryana, Central University of Gujarat, Central University of Kerala, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Manipur University are top universities. Candidates are advised to visit the official website of the participating institutions from time to time for any latest updates.
Candidates can find the details about the CUET Exam Schedule, Eligibility Criteria, Syllabus, Exam Pattern, Marking scheme, Exam duration, Type of questions, Mode of the exam, and Total marks which are released by the NTA. CUET negative marking will be 1 mark for each wrong response. Candidates can also directly download the CUET Exam syllabus and the latest exam pattern by visiting the official website.
The CUET admission process is very simple and has three rounds, an entrance exam, and a counseling round followed by admission fee payment from around 116 participating universities. After the entrance examination is over, successful candidates are called for the counseling round. In this round, they will be asked to fill out the counseling application form with the preferred college list. Next, the universities will release their cut-off marks. Those whose marks are found to be more than that will be called to attend the counseling round. The last round of the CUET admission process is the admission fee payment. The candidates will be cross-checked for their documents. Next, the selected students will be required to pay the admission fee as relevant to the course preferred by them. Once all of this is done, they will be enrolled in the college as regular students and will be asked to attend classes.
CUET aims to conduct a single examination to provide fairness and transparency for admission into undergraduate courses. It provides equal opportunity to each aspirant, end to subjective bias, clarity of rank, end to cut-off wrestling, and fair chance to each participating university
Last but not the least, all aspiring candidates are advised to check CUET Exam Pattern and CUET Syllabus before selecting any domain subjects.
(The author is Associate Professor at GDC Samba)