The University Grants Commission announced on March 22, 2022 the introduction of the Common University Entrance Test (CUET), in a public letter. The exam is a common entrance test for securing admission to central universities for undergraduate studies in India. The CUET scores will be the criteria for assessment of eligibility instead of the 12th board marks, which means that the 12th board marks will have no bearing on the admissions at the undergraduate level. UGC claims that the exam is meant to streamline the admission process.
Important Things To Know About The Exam:
- Syllabus has been announced and can be downloaded from National Testing Agency’s website nta.ac.in.
- The syllabus is essentially based on the 12th standard NCERT textbooks.
- It will be a computer based entrance test.
- Exam to be conducted in the first week of July.
- It will be conducted by the National Testing Agency and students will be required to register through the link: samarth.ac.in.
- The CUET is mandatory for the 45 central universities funded by UGC.
- The reservation of seats will not be affected due to CUET. Only the mode of admission criteria will change.
- Every student will have to qualify the exam irrespective of their category – General/ SC/ST/OBC.
- International students will not be required to sit for the exam.
- UGC is trying to convince the state universities and deemed-to-be institutions to adopt the CUET.
Structure Of The Exam:
- First Part – Compulsory language paper where the students will have the option of choosing from 13 languages.
- Second Part – Domain knowledge paper, which will assess the student’s understanding of the particular subject. The students will be able to choose from 27 subjects.
- Third Part – This section will consist of questions on quantitative reasoning, logical reasoning, current affairs, general knowledge and numerical prowess.
Does CUET create a level playing field for students or not?
- Students will only need to prepare for one exam instead of putting time and energy into studying for university specific entrance tests.
- The students will be already studying from the NCERT books for their boards, so they will not need to prepare separately for CUET.
- With certain universities, such as the University of Delhi, known for their sky high cut-off marks, students would previously be under a lot of stress to perform well in both their 12th boards and the various university exams that they would be undertaking. With a common entrance test, the performance pressure on the Indian students will be comparatively less.
- Sometimes, the dates of university specific entrances would coincide, forcing the students to prioritize one over the other. With CUET, the students will be saved from such predicaments.
- Previously, as the board exams were used as the ultimate test to assess the learning of the student, the pupils themselves would selectively study from the prescribed curriculum in order to score higher. However, the CUET provides an assessment tool to measure the actual aptitude of the student, which is not restricted by selective studying.
- The year 2022 will be the first to witness the CUET exam. The students graduating high school may find themselves at a disadvantage as they do not know what to expect in the exam.
- The introduction of a new national level exam means that it creates a market for coaching institutions ready to prey on the vulnerability of students. However, the schools themselves can battle it by integrating the MCQ based CUET questions in their own curriculum to prepare the students.
- Since the CUET syllabus is based on the NCERT textbooks, the students from State Board schools may find themselves at a disadvantage.
We need more information though to speculate further or draw any conclusions. Let us wait for the UGC to make more details known about the examination. After all, the UGC only has the best interests of the students at heart!