A day after attempting the Common Entrance Test (CET) for diploma holders for admission to second/third semester engineering courses, the candidates have complained that a large portion of the questions in the exam were “out of syllabus”.

The CET for the lateral entry scheme was held on Sunday after the State government changed tack regarding the conduct of the exam. As per the guidelines of the All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE)’s handbook for 2012-13, seat selection would be based on diploma merit. However, the government decided to conduct an exam.

Instead of the Directorate of Technical Education, the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) conducted the test this year. As many as 22,555 candidates had applied for the CET, which was held across 48 centres in the State.

B.V. Ramesh Gowda, State president of the Technical Students’ Federation, said of the 180 marks, at least 50 marks-worth of questions were out of syllabus.

N.K. Balakrishna, a candidate who appeared for the exam on Sunday, said maths and science were the papers with the most number of questions outside the syllabi.

“Since these are the papers common to all the candidates, everyone started with these. But they were so difficult that half our time went in figuring them out. We will lose almost 60 marks in these papers as 80 per cent of the questions were not from the prescribed syllabi. Even in the question banks from the years 2003 to 2011, we didn’t find any of these questions,” Mr. Balakrishna said.

Mr. Gowda said that the candidates were already late in joining colleges as the exam was conducted late and with this problem cropping up, they would be delayed further. “We are meeting Siddaiah, Principal Secretary of Higher Education, on Tuesday to tell him about the issue. They should find out who was on the question paper committee and see if grace marks can be granted to the candidates as their future depends on it,” he added.

Mr. Siddaiah was unavailable for comment.

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