Master What is CUET?: Exam Pattern, Eligibility, and More for 2024-25

Written By Sudha | Edited By Varsha & Adi | Updated on 08th July, 2024

If you’re a student fresh out of a top school and aiming for undergraduate studies in India, you’ve probably heard about CUET. You would’ve found yourself wondering “What is CUET?”. It is that standardized test that’s rapidly transforming the college admission landscape. With over 250 universities participating, including prestigious institutions like Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University, CUET is a crucial step in your academic journey. In this blog, we’ll break down everything you need to know about CUET—from its full form and exam pattern to eligibility criteria and why it’s so important. Let’s dive in!

Quick Summary

What is CUET? Exam pattern, Eligibility and More

  1. What is CUET full form?
  2. CUET overview
  3. What is the CUET exam pattern?
  4. What is the CUET eligibility criteria?
  5. Why is CUET Important?
  6. Boards vs CUET
  7. FAQs
  8. Conclusion

1. What is CUET full form?

CUET stands for the Common University Entrance Test. This national-level entrance exam, introduced in 2022 by the National Testing Agency (NTA), aims to streamline undergraduate admissions across more than 250 universities in India, including over 45 central universities such as:

  • Delhi University (DU)
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
  • Banaras Hindu University (BHU)
  • Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI)

CUET replaced the earlier Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET), which had a more limited scope.

2. CUET overview

  • So what is CUET? CUET is a standardized test designed to provide a fair and equitable platform for students from diverse educational backgrounds seeking admission to undergraduate programs. In 2024, CUET received approximately 13 lakh applications, and this number is expected to grow beyond 20 lakh in the following year, making CUET the second-largest UG entrance exam in the country.
  • CUET addresses the disparities in board exam marking schemes and provides a unified assessment standard. This standardization ensures that students from different educational boards have an equal opportunity to gain admission to their desired universities.

3. What is the CUET exam pattern?

  • The CUET exam pattern is structured to evaluate a broad spectrum of skills and knowledge areas. The test typically consists of multiple sections:
  • Language Test – List A (Section 1A and 1B): This section evaluates the candidate’s proficiency in languages. Section 1A includes 13 languages, and Section 1B offers 20 languages. Candidates must answer 40 out of 50 questions in 45 minutes.
  • Domain-Specific Test – List B1 and B2: Depending on the chosen course, students must take subject-specific tests. List B1 includes 18 domain-specific subjects, and List B2 offers 9 domain-specific subjects. Candidates must answer 40 out of 50 questions in 60 minutes.
  • General Test (Section III): This section includes questions on general knowledge, current affairs, general mental ability, numerical ability, and quantitative reasoning. Candidates must answer 50 out of 60 questions in 60 minutes.
  • Each correct answer in CUET is worth five marks, while each incorrect answer attracts a negative marking of one mark. Unattempted questions are awarded no marks.

4. What is the CUET eligibility criteria?

Eligibility for CUET varies slightly among universities, but the general criteria include:

  • Educational Qualification: Candidates must have passed their 10+2 or equivalent examination from a recognized board with a minimum of 50% marks for general candidates and 45% for SC/ST candidates.
  • Subject Requirements: High school subjects should match the subject requirements of the course and college chosen by the candidate.
  • Age Limit: There is no specific age limit for appearing in CUET, making it accessible to a wide range of aspirants.
  • Nationality: Candidates must be of Indian nationality, or a subject of Nepal or Bhutan, or a Tibetan refugee. Nationals from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia, and Vietnam who have permanently moved to India can also apply.
  • Application Requirements: Candidates need to apply to three participating universities and choose a combination of three programs when filling out their CUET forms.
  • Reservation quotas are also applicable: SC – 15%, ST – 7.5%, OBC (Non-creamy layer) – 27%, PwD – 5%.

5. Why is CUET Important?

CUET holds significant importance for several reasons:

  • With over 45 central universities (such as DU, JNU, BHU, JMI) and many other state, private, and deemed universities participating, CUET offers a gateway to prestigious institutions.
  • CUET provides a standardized test, ensuring that students from various boards and backgrounds have equal opportunities to secure admission to their dream colleges.
  • CUET allows students to apply for a vast array of undergraduate courses across multiple institutions, helping them find programs that align with their interests and career goals.
  • Consolidating multiple entrance exams into one reduces the financial burden and stress on students, allowing them to focus on a single, comprehensive test.
  • Preparing for CUET enhances critical thinking, reasoning, and language proficiency, essential skills for both academic and professional success.
  • Many universities offer merit-based scholarships based on CUET scores, providing financial support to deserving students.
  • CUET familiarizes students with the competitive exam environment, which is beneficial for future national-level exams like UPSC or CAT.

6. Boards vs CUET

Comparing CUET with traditional board exams highlights several key differences:

  1. While board exams are conducted by various state and central boards (CBSE, ICSE), CUET is specific to central universities and participating institutions.
  2. Board exams cover a wide range of subjects at the school level, whereas CUET focuses on assessing readiness for undergraduate programs.
  3. Board exams follow the prescribed curriculum of respective boards, while CUET’s curriculum is determined by UGC, NTA, and participating universities.
  4. Board exams are largely theory-based with some practical exams, whereas CUET includes multiple-choice questions assessing knowledge and skills relevant to university education.
  5. Boards use varied grading systems (CGPA, percentage), whereas CUET results are based on marks and percentile rankings.
  6. Board exams are mandatory for school certification, while CUET is essential for UG admissions to participating universities.


So, what is CUET? Think of it as a game-changer in the Indian education system. It’s a standardized, fair, and efficient way to get into universities, leveling the playing field for students from all walks of life. Knowing the CUET full form, understanding its exam pattern, eligibility criteria, and why it’s important, gives you a solid footing as you navigate your educational journey.

CUET has revolutionized undergraduate admissions, making sure merit and potential are what matter most. As the number of applicants continues to grow, CUET is set to play an even bigger role in shaping higher education in India. If you’re aiming for university, taking CUET seriously and preparing well is a smart move. It’s not just an exam it’s your ticket to some of the best educational opportunities out there.


1. What is CUET and why is it important?

CUET, or the Common University Entrance Test, is a national-level entrance exam in India that standardizes admissions to undergraduate programs across 250+ universities. It’s important because it offers a fair and equal opportunity for students from various educational backgrounds to compete for spots in top universities, streamlining the admission process and reducing the reliance on board exam scores alone.

2. What is the exam pattern of CUET?

The CUET exam consists of multiple sections: Language Tests (Sections 1A and 1B), Domain-Specific Tests (Lists B1 and B2), and a General Test. Each section evaluates different skills, with language sections focusing on proficiency, domain-specific tests covering subject knowledge, and the general test assessing general knowledge and reasoning. Each correct answer is worth five marks, with a one-mark penalty for incorrect answers.

3. What are the eligibility criteria for CUET?

To be eligible for CUET, candidates must have completed their 10+2 or equivalent examination with at least 50% marks for general candidates and 45% for SC/ST candidates. Their subjects in high school should match the requirements of their chosen course and college. There is no age limit, and applicants must be of Indian nationality or from specified neighboring countries. They also need to apply to three participating universities and select three programs when filling out their CUET forms.

Varsha & Adi

Hi, we are Varsha and Adi, and we’re on a mission to help parents make the right choice for their kids’ education. Picking a school is like a 10-year commitment, and we realized parents needed clear, no-nonsense info. That’s why we created Candid Schools, where you can get the real deal on schools without the fancy jargon. Our goal is simple: to give parents the info they need to make the best choice for their little ones.

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