CET unlikely to go online this year too


‘KEA’s preparations for the transition have not been adequate’

In May this year, the State government, amidst much fanfare, announced that the Common Entrance Test (CET) 2020 would be held online. However, with just four months left for the test, the ambitious plan to move away from the written format is unlikely to take off. This year, too, CET is likely be a pen-and-paper test as the Karnataka Examinations Authority’s (KEA) preparations for the transition have not been adequate, said sources.

Officials in KEA pointed out that to conduct the test online, they have to change the pattern of the examination.

Currently, the test has four papers: physics, chemistry, mathematics, and biology. Each paper has 60 questions, each of which carries one mark. Students have an hour to complete each paper. The four papers are conducted over a two-day period. “If the test has to be conducted online, the entire session needs to be held on one day and we will need the government’s approval for this,” a source said.

Another challenge would be finding adequate computers as around 2.1 lakh candidates appear for CET each year. “As per our information on ground, only around 30,000 computers are available and the KEA may have to set seven different sets of papers if the online exam needs to be held,” the source added.

Several students and teachers are waiting for clarity on the matter. After former Higher Education Minister G.T. Devegowda earlier this year had said that the test, which is a gateway for those aspiring for professional seats in engineering, agriculture and Pharma D. would be held online, some coaching centres had started training students accordingly. They conducted mock online tests for students.

Logistic reasons

The KEA had initially planned to conduct CET 2019 online, but had decided against it citing logistic reasons.

Vijay Anand, a II PU student who plans to appear for CET 2020, said: “We have around four months left and even coaching centres are confused. Some of our mock tests are conducted online, while others are in pen-and-paper format, as they want us to be prepared for both. It will help us immensely if KEA clarifies on this.”

Students from rural areas expressed concern as they do not have access to technology to practice for the online format. KEA officials, however, said that whenever they decide to conduct the examination online, they would give adequate number of mock tests keeping in mind the interests of students.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 5:43:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/cet-unlikely-to-go-online-this-year-too/article30307550.ece

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