Third Edition of CUET-UG: Over 25 Lakh Students Sit for Exam on Day 1 with Hiccups at Some Centres – News18

The third edition of the Common University Entrance Test-Undergraduate (CUET-UG) and the first one in hybrid mode was conducted for 25,91,014 subject combinations on Wednesday, the first day of the exam.

This was even as the first day of the exam, which was conducted in the pen-and-paper mode across centres, saw minor hiccups with several students across cities not being able to download their admit cards till early morning as well as the test being cancelled at one of the centres in Faridabad.

This came hours after the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts the exam, postponed the test only for Delhi centres late on Tuesday evening to May 29. The deferment came hours before candidates were to take the exam the next day, prompting confusion among students and parents across Delhi-NCR.

According to the NTA, the test was conducted for four subject papers on Wednesday, including Chemistry, Biology, English, and General Test, at 2,157 centres across India, except 258 centres in Delhi.

The number of candidates writing the English paper was the highest at 8,62,209 in 2,077 centres on the first day followed by 7,21,986 candidates taking the General Test in 1,892 centres. While 6,43,752 candidates wrote the Chemistry paper in 1,640 centres, a total of 3,63,067 candidates took the Biology paper across 1,368 centres.

The 13.48 lakh candidates having registered for CUET-UG 2024 have opted for 57,95,211 combinations of subjects. Of these combinations, 53,91,227 (or around 93%) are being conducted in the pen-and-paper mode.

This year the number of subjects students could opt for was reduced to six from ten last year. Last year, the exam schedule was stretched for over a month because of the unavailability of as many computer labs at all locations and, hence, it was decided to conduct the exam in the hybrid mode this year. This has reduced the exam schedule to eight days this time.

University Grants Commission (UGC) chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar, said, “Since students write multiple tests, the above is equivalent to handling 25,91,014 students on a single day. This constitutes 44.71% of the total scheduled slots for students registered in pen-and-paper mode.”

As the higher education regulator, the UGC is monitoring CUET-UG.

The tests in four papers scheduled in 258 centres in Delhi on May 15 have been postponed to May 29.

“This postponement was necessitated due to some logistical issues beyond the control of NTA. Fresh admit cards will be issued to the students in Delhi. Today’s (on Wednesday) attendance was more than 75%. However, the accurate percentage will be known after we analyse the data,” said Kumar.

Even as confusion spread for candidates in Delhi, many of those in other centres across NCR and other cities were left hapless. A large number of students who were asked by the NTA to download their admit cards on the evening of May 14 (Tuesday) couldn’t do so as heavy traffic crashed the website.

The exam was cancelled at one of the centres located in Faridabad in the NCR even as students reached the centre. The exam here has been postponed to a further date.

“The exam is postponed only for those whose centre choice was Delhi but were instead given Faridabad. All Faridabad exams are going on,” said a senior NTA official.

“Students are having their CUET-UG in less than 12 hours and are still unable to download their admit cards. This is not acceptable,” the parent of a candidate posted on a social media platform.

Another student based in Jammu posted: “Last minute issue of admit cards… Notice to check for possible change of exam centre a night prior to the exam. Finally, the NTA site fails to open for downloading Admit Cards…The exams should have been postponed for all centres, not just Delhi since they too were not able to download admit cards or print them, as the site crashed.”

News18 had earlier reported that English was among the top choices of subject papers with the highest number of students opting for it. A total of 13.5 lakh students registered for CUET-UG this year. This figure stood at nearly 15 lakh candidates last year.

The UGC had earlier announced that tests for all subjects with more than 1 lakh registrations will be conducted in the pen-and-paper mode (optical mark recognition). The exam will be held in the computer-based test (CBT) mode in the next half of the test schedule.

Stay ahead with all the exam results updates on News18 Website.