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As high school students approach the end of their academic journey, the next step is often pursuing higher education at a university or college. One of the essential aspects of this process is taking the CUET exam. This standardised examination plays a crucial role in determining a student’s eligibility for admission into various academic programs. In this blog, we will delve into the CUET exam pattern, format and structure, shedding light on its significance and offering tips for success.

In this blog:

  1. Common University Entrance Test Overview
  2. CUET Test format and Structure
  3. CUET Marking Scheme 2023
  4. Sections and Question types

Common University Entrance Test Overview

The Common University Entrance Test (CUET) is a national-level entrance exam for undergraduate admissions to central universities and other participating institutes in India. The exam is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) in a computer-based test (CBT) format.

CUET Test Format and Structure 

The CUET exam is broadly divided into three main sections – Language, Domain-subject, and General Test. The exam tests students’ aptitude for undergraduate admissions in their chosen subjects based on multiple-choice questions (MCQs). 

Section I of the CUET exam consists of two parts:

1) Part A: 13 Languages – Part A of Section I is compulsory for all candidates. It tests the candidate’s proficiency in one of the 13 languages listed below:

Assamese Malayalam
Bengali Marathi
Bodo Odia
Gujarati Punjabi
Hindi Sanskrit
Kannada Tamil


2) Part B: 20 Optional Languages – Part B of Section I is optional. Candidates can choose to take the test in any of the 20 languages listed below:

Arabic Malayalam
French Marathi
German Persian
Gujarati Portuguese
Hebrew Russian
Hindi Sanskrit
Italian Spanish
Japanese Tamil
Kannada Telugu

Section II: Domain-Specific Subjects

Section II of the CUET exam consists of 27 domain-specific subjects. The subjects are divided into three groups. The following is a list of the domain-specific subjects in each group:

Group 1: Humanities & Social Sciences

Ancient History
Indian Culture
International Relations
Political Science


Group 2: Science



Group 3: Engineering, Technology & Built Environment

Civil Engineering
Computer Science
Electrical Engineering
Electronics & Communication Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

Section III: General Test

Section III of the CUET exam is a general test that assesses the candidate’s aptitude in these areas – General Awareness, Logical Reasoning and Numerical Ability. The CUET exam is a 3-hour exam. The total number of questions in the exam is 200. The marking scheme for the exam is as follows:

CUET Marking Scheme 2023

There is no negative marking for unattempted questions. However, there is a negative marking of 1 mark for every incorrect answer. This means that for every incorrect answer, you will lose 1 mark, even if you have already answered a correct question.

If you have attempted a question and marked it as a drop, you will be awarded the full marks for that question, even if it is later revealed that there was a correct answer. This is because the drop option is only available for questions that have no correct answer.

The CUET marking scheme is designed to encourage students to answer as many questions as possible, while also discouraging them from guessing. By awarding 5 marks for a correct answer and only 1 mark for an incorrect answer, the CUET marking scheme ensures that students will only answer questions that they are confident about.

Type Marks
Right answer 5
Wrong answer -1
Unattempted question 0 (No negative marking)

Just a side note! The CUET exam is a national-level exam, and the difficulty level of the exam is moderate. However, the exam is competitive, and the cut-offs for admission to top universities are usually high.

CUET Sections and Question types 

CUET time allocation for each section and question types are discussed below-

CUET Exam Sections Number of Questions CUET Question Types
Section IA 40 to be attempted out of 50 in each language Literary Aptitude and Vocabulary are tested through different Reading Comprehension passages – Factual, Literary and Narrative
Section IB
Section II 35-40 Questions to be attempted out of 45-50 Subject-specific domain knowledge is tested through

MCQs based on NCERT Class 12 syllabus

(Input text can be used for MCQ Based Questions)

Section III 50 to be attempted out of 60 – Static General Knowledge, Current Affairs

– General Mental Ability, Numerical Ability, Quantitative Reasoning (Mathematical concepts include – Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Mensuration, Statistics)

– Logical and Analytical Reasoning

(Input text can be used for MCQ Based Questions)

How to Prepare for the CUET Exam

Effective CUET Preparation: Steps to Ace the Exam

  1. Familiarise Yourself with the CUET Syllabus: Understand the complete CUET syllabus to know what topics to focus on during your preparation. Prioritize subjects based on your strengths and weaknesses.

  2. Create a Study Timetable: Start early and create a well-structured study plan that balances CUET preparation with your board exams. Stick to the timetable to maintain a consistent study routine.

  3. Practise Previous Year’s Question Papers: Solve previous year’s question papers to grasp the exam pattern and question formats. This will give you an idea of important topics and improve your overall preparation.

  4. Utilise Sample Papers and Mock Tests: Enhance your preparation by solving sample papers and taking mock tests. These will help you gauge your strengths and weaknesses, improve time management, and get familiar with the exam format.

  5. Stay Motivated: Keep yourself motivated throughout the preparation process. Focus on the positive impact of succeeding in the entrance exam on your future dreams and career aspirations. Seek guidance and support from experts if needed.

By following this stepwise approach, you can effectively prepare for CUET and increase your chances of success without unnecessary stress and sleepless nights. The CUET exam is a competitive exam, and the cut-offs for admission to top universities are usually high. However, with the right resources and CUET coaching, CUET preparation gets significantly easier. Click here to schedule a free CUET demo class.

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