Common University Entrance Test to be held for undergrad admissions

New Delhi: College admissions will be based on a common entrance test from now, not Class 12 marks. This will relieve the stress of impossibly high college cut-offs – often as much as 100% – University Grants Commission (UGC) chief M Jagadesh Kumar says.

The new Common University Entrance Test (CUET) will occur in the first week of July when most of the Class 12 board exams will have been completed. The application process will be online and start in the first week of April.

The UGC chairperson said that the exam would be a computer-based, multiple-choice test accessible in terms of technology.

“Students don’t have to have high proficiency in using computers. Today, almost every student can use a smartphone. They can go to the test center and use the mouse to choose the answer in the multiple-choice options,” said Mr. Kumar.

“It is ridiculous to have a 100 percent cut-off for admission in many undergraduate programs in some top universities. The common exam will provide a level-playing ground to all the students across the country,” Mr. Kumar said and added that he hopes students will now be able to focus more on learning rather than just trying to score the highest marks in class 12 exams.

The entrance test, conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), is compulsory for all the central universities. The top education body also asks all state, Deemed-to-be, and private universities to use the test scores for admissions to undergraduate programs.

Mr. Kumar said “one nation, one entrance test” will be a great relief for students. “As a result of this, students need not have to write different kinds of entrance tests,” he added.

Anyone who has passed class 12 exams can take the standard entrance test. “However, class 12 marks may be used by universities to set admission criteria,” the UGC chairperson said. So, even though the universities will have to admit undergraduate students based on the common test, they are free to set a minimum benchmark for class 12 marks in deciding eligibility.

The entrance test syllabus will be mirrored with the Class 12 model syllabus of the NCERT, Mr. Kumar had earlier said.

“The reservation policy of the universities will not be impacted due to the common test, Mr. Kumar has said. “The universities can enroll candidates for the general seats and the reserved seats based on CUET scores. It will not impact the existing admission and reservation policy,” he said.

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