The Common University Entrance Test (CUET) is a national-level exam for admission to undergraduate courses in all Central Universities of India, and some other participating institutes. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued a new notification requiring students who want undergraduate admission in any of the central universities to take the exam.
Dates: The exact dates have not been released yet, however; the exam will be held in the first week of July.
Format and marking pattern: It will be a computer-based test with multiple choice questions, and will be available in 13 languages: Hindi, English, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Urdu, Assamese, Bengali, Punjabi, or Odia. Correct answers will be given five points (+5). There is negative marking; one point will be deducted for each wrong answer. Unanswered questions will not be graded.
The exam will be held in two parts: the first from 09:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. (195 minutes), and the second from 03:00 p.m. to 06:45 p.m. (225 minutes). Part One consists of Section IA language, two domain subjects, and the General Test. Part Two consists of one or two language/s from Sections IA and/or IB, and the remaining three or four domain subjects. The time given is the maximum time a student will spend, if they choose to appear for all nine papers. Individual duration will vary based on the number of subjects the student chooses.
Centres: The exam will be held in 547 cities in India and in 13 cities outside the countries. Details can be found at https://cuet.samarth.ac.in/ (Indian cities) and https://cdnasb.samarth.ac.in/site/CUETUG2022IB.pdf (Outside India).
Which subjects to choose: Prepare a list of universities/ courses you wish to apply to. Each will have its own set of subjects required. For example, one may require students to take one language, one domain, subject, and the General Test for course X, while another may require two domain subjects and the General test. The student then must take three exams: one language, two domain subjects, and the General test.
Merit list: The NTA has no role in preparing a merit list, and the candidate will just get the scorecard. Concerned universities may have further screening processes or may directly use the CUET scores to prepare their own merit lists.
Preparation: Follow textbooks prescribed by the NCERT. These can be found at https://ncert.nic.in/ OR https://epathshala.nic.in/ Also look for online platforms for additional study materials and support. Book practice sessions with the National Testing Agency (NTA), at their Test Practice Centres. Check the NTA website for details on TPCs (https://nta.ac.in/Student).
Most State/ private/ deemed-to-be universities are still following their old admission processes. The board exam results will come in handy for admission to these institutions.
The writer is Chief Academic Officer, Extramarks