The Common Entrance Test (CET) for admissions to seats in government colleges and government-quota seats in private colleges began on Thursday.

The Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA), which conducts the test, said in a press release that there was 96.7 per cent attendance for the maths exam, with 1.35 lakh students writing it. The biology exam recorded 73.1 per cent attendance, with 1.02 lakh candidates writing it.

Rakshitha M. from Mount Carmel College and Harshitha N. from Nayarana PU College, both medical seat aspirants hoping to get into Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, found both the papers easy. “The additional option this time of pursuing pharmacy if not medical will benefit us as we will have a backup plan,” Rakshitha said.

Engineering seat aspirant Taniya Agarwal, from Delhi Public School, said the maths paper matched her expectations. “I am actually planning to pursue an engineering course in Singapore. But, if I score well in the CET and get into a good college like M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology, I will stay back. When I was preparing for the entrances, my parents suggested that I prepare fully and well for either the CET or the Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE) as they involve different kinds of preparation. I stuck to the CET as the portions are similar to the Class 12 CBSE Board,” she said.

There were also students like Parameshwar Nayak of St. Joseph’s PU College, who was attempting the CET to test the waters. “I want to study BBM, but I wouldn’t mind studying civil engineering if I get a good seat and a rank. My preparations for the CET have not been great but the paper was not tough,” he said, after writing the maths exam.

Expert views on the papers were largely similar. Hanumanthacharya, head of the Department of Biology at BASE, said there was no ambiguity in any question. But he said several topics pertaining to animal and human life had not been “properly represented” in the paper. “The standard of the question paper was fairly high, and a well-informed student can score between 40 and 50 marks,” he said. As for the maths paper, H.S. Mahadevaiah, head of the Department of Mathematics at BASE, said it was a “well-balanced paper” of moderate difficulty.

Milind, vice-president, Knowledge Management, Ace Creative Learning, also said good scores could be expected this year in biology though the paper resembled a medical entrance test paper, while the maths paper, though it had an erroneous question, was of an “increased standard.”

The physics and chemistry exams will be held on Friday.

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