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WHAT IS CU-CET  |  Exam Pattern & Preparation Strategy

In the academic year of 2021, Lady Shri Ram College for women set a 100% cut off for three programmes, and 30 graduate programmes across all Delhi University colleges had cutoffs of 99% or above. Isn’t that irrationally high?

Every academic year we have seen students intimidated by skyrocketing cutoffs announced by colleges of Delhi University, leaving a majority of them feeling helpless. The reason for these soaring figures was majorly due to MERIT being the only filtration criteria. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students had to go through delays and even cancellation of board examinations. Hence, their final merit was left at the mercy of asymmetrical school assessments patterns which were based on their previous scores of class X and XI. This overwhelmed a large chunk of students seeking admissions based on their merit. 

As troublesome as this was for students, the university admins were also helpless for reasons like delay in the academic calendar and questionable quality of admissions. 

With both the stakeholders facing difficulty in admissions, this was probably the best time to bring in a new criteria, one that provides a level- playing field for students from diverse backgrounds. 

This also allows universities and colleges to ensure substantial transparency and objectivity in their admission process.


The requirement for a common entrance test was taken up by the Government in its National Education Policy 2020 for admissions to all Indian Universities.


Now, 2022 is visualising its manifestation. The most sought after Universities - the University of Delhi (DU) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have accepted CU-CET conducted by the National Testing Agency for admissions to various courses starting in the academic year 2022- 23.

What is the CUCET EXAM?

Central Universities- Common entrance test (CU-CET) is an All India admission test conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). It is conducted for graduation, integrated and post graduation courses for University of Delhi, JNU, BHU and other central and state universities across India. Although as per the Government’s recommendation, CUCET is to be administered for 54 universities, but no official announcement has been made yet. There are more than 60 courses for which admissions take place through CU-CET including engineering, honours and vocational courses. 


What is the CUCET Exam Pattern?

CU-CET is a national-level computer-based objective test. 

It consists of two sections:


Part A:  General Aptitude

Topics: General Knowledge, English, Numerical aptitude, Analytical Skills, Data Interpretation and reasoning. 

Part B:  Domain Specific

For this part aspirants have to attempt 3 subjects, 25 questions each 

For certain courses like LLB/ MBA/ MCA or any other general program, there is no part B and all 100 questions are from part A testing the general aptitude of the aspirant.

Exam duration:  2 Hrs

Total marks: 100

Negative marking: ¼ for each wrong answer




CUCET- Part A & Part B


How to Prepare for CU- CET?

CU-CET commenced in 2010 for 7 central universities. Earlier, it used to be an offline exam, from 2021 it was conducted as a LAN based computer-based test and will continue in this mode further. 

Looking at the fierce competition and changing exam pattern coaching could be a good option but one can always opt for self-preparation. 

For self-preparation, 5 step strategy can be followed: 

  1. Go through the syllabus: Take a printout of the syllabus and paste it on your wall or pinboard. Go through it every day and plan your days accordingly. 

  2. Get comfortable with the exam pattern: For this follow the previous year's papers and mock papers. This will give the required clarity about the exam including types of questions, which area should be focussed on more etc. 

  3. Set a daily, weekly and monthly plan: Planning and its implementation are the two keys to success. Visualize the preparation level you want to achieve at the end of the week or months and evaluate yourself periodically. 

  4. Revise: Revise at the end of the day and allot a day per week for revision only. Consolidate your learnings. Repeated revisions help increase speed and decrease silly mistakes.  

  5. Practice mock papers: Join a test series if possible or arrange mock test papers. Practice mocks within the stipulated time period in an exam simulated environment. It’s OK if you are not scoring well in the first few papers, you will get better with time and practice.  

How can CU- CET be a game-changer?

Do you know that there are 3 national and 52 state education boards in India?

The evaluation criterion and methods of assessing the overall scores are not alike across all these boards. Admissions based on entrance exams are uniform, also ensure transparency and ensure a level playing field for all candidates.

CU-CET has a domain-based examination along with a general aptitude test that allows the admission committee to evaluate the student’s depth of knowledge and interest in a particular field. 






Frequently asked questions:

Q1: Will this be the only eligibility criteria? 

  • No, after the National testing agency declares CU-CET scores, respective universities will declare admission schedules and merit lists based on the weightage of CU-CET scores and other eligibility criteria as mentioned on their official website.  

Q2: In how many languages will CU-CET be conducted?

  • Medium of examination: English

  • Although the central government has decided to conduct the exam in multiple languages, detailed notification is yet to be released


Q3: How much do I need to score to get into a Delhi University college? 

  • This is the first academic year of Delhi University conducting admissions through CU-CET. Therefore, there are no previous cutoffs to predict the required scores. 


Q4: When will the application process for 2022-23 begin? 

  • The CUCET 2022 Application form will be released from the 3rd week of March 2022 through online mode only.




Written by: Anmol Arora

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