The question paper was uploaded very late and the second shift on August 4 was a
bigger shift in terms of the number of candidates taking the exam.
With several complaints of glitches in the conduct of the Common University Entrance Test
(CUET), the National Testing Agency (NTA) is considering making changes for next year’s
exam by Reducing the number of subject combinations on offer and by reviewing the number of
cities where the exams are held among the other measures under consideration.
Why has CUET faced so many glitches?
In the last two years, cheating in the entrance examination has become common and thus, the
NTA had to ensure that it didn’t happen during CUET. Thus, to secure the exam, securing the
exam centre was made the priority.
For this purpose, the exam centres were announced to the candidates through the release of admit
cards near the exam date without causing inconvenience as a deliberate step. The change in exam
centres depends largely on the mock test that is conducted a day before the exam.
The centre is changed if certain technical challenges are faced during the mock test so that
candidates do not face issues during the exam. A new centre is allotted for the same day in some
cases while in others the candidates are given a choice to appear on another date.
To maintain the sanctity of the exam, the gap between the uploading of the question paper and
the start of the exam was tried to reduced but this window proved to be too short to upload the
paper on time.
Thus, the NTA is trying to do it an hour or two before the exam starts and the software is being
tested to compress the size of the question paper so that it can be uploaded just on time but
Why is the exam centre announced so close to the exam?
Exam centres can abet cheating and even if a single candidate cheats, it impacts everyone. Thus,
Announcing centres closer to the exam date leaves conspirators no time to plan unfair means.
The city has been allotted as per the choice of the students in most cases to avoid inconvenience.
Why was the entire second shift cancelled on August 4?
The question paper was uploaded very late and the second shift on August 4 was a bigger shift in
terms of the number of candidates taking the exam. Due to the speed of the Internet, it took time
to upload the question paper.
It was consulted with the invigilators and students if they wanted to go ahead with the exam once
the paper was finally uploaded and only some of them wanted to go ahead but others wanted it
What are the changes considered for next year’s CUET exam?
CUET is different in many ways such as the flexibility as they can choose any combination of
subjects. CUET also covered far-off and remote areas where the exam was conducted smoothly.
As this was the first year of CUET, people were apprehensive that this was another entrance test
that would push students towards coaching.
I decided not to limit the subject combinations on offer which led to 45,000+ unique
combinations of subjects opted for by students appearing for CUET-UG. Based on suggestions
from various academics and students a reduction in the basket of subjects might be proposed.
If someone is looking to pursue commerce, they will be given a combination of three or four
subjects to choose from rather than providing them with 61 subjects. Currently, there are over
400 cities, which may be reduced or a better mechanism of exam delivery must be found like
having our centres or using computer tablets.
Will CUET be conducted twice a year?
The National Education Policy 2020 has recommended that competitive exams should be held
more than once a year and as CUET is being conducted on behalf of the UGC, it will be
consulted. If CUET is conducted twice a year, then JEE (Main) calendar must be followed. The
first session can be conducted around January and the second session in April, so that the CUET
results are announced before the Board results.
How is the merger of CUET, JEE and NEET proposed recently?
These decisions are not made by the NTA as they only conduct these examinations on behalf of
different bodies and the decision needs to be made by these bodies. However, the idea of a
merger of the three entrance exams is feasible as the same level of students is being tested on
similar subjects with all of them competing for admission to an undergraduate program.
However, it will need thorough planning.
How will the pattern for CUET be changed for postgraduate admissions?
There is a designated committee that guides the NTA on the exam pattern and various
suggestions are always taken up and discussed before making any final decision. Conducting
subjective type exams creates discrepancies during the evaluation process as has been
experienced with NEET and UGC-NET. which were earlier conducted in subjective mode but
were later transformed into an MCQ-based format for a smoother evaluation process.
Why is there a strict dress code?
The idea is to avoid instances of cheating. However, measures are taken not to hurt any religious
sentiments related to dresses. Thus, students are advised to reach the centre an hour early so that
they can be frisked properly and the security staff are also advised to ensure that the dress code is