CUET 2023 Handbook: New changes, more exam centres and counselling

CUET 2023 – exam pattern, syllabus, registration form dates at, subjects, question paper, numbers, glitches, colleges under CUET.

CUET 2023 Handbook: New changes, more exam centres and counselling The NTA has increased the slots per day and added exam centres outside India (Photo: Shutterstock)
R. Radhika | Feb 20, 2023 - 1:07 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: After its debut last year, Common University Entrance Test (CUET) has become the second largest exam in the country, surpassing the Joint Entrance Exam, or JEE, for engineering.

Of the 14.9 lakh students to register for it, nearly 8.10 lakh participated in the first phase and approximately 6.80 lakh candidates in the second phase. CUET UG – “a bouquet of tests” in various languages, domain-specific subjects, and general – is a single-window opportunity for students seeking admission at the undergraduate level in 45 central universities across India.

The National Testing Agency has begun the university admission process by announcing the Common University Entrance Test application dates. CUET 2023 registration is open till March 12, 2023; candidates can complete the CUET form fill-up at The CUET exam dates are between May 21 and May 31, 2023 and it’s computer-based.

Including the central universities, there are 116 participating universities which include state universities, autonomous institutions, private and deemed universities.

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Jamia Millia Islamia University decided not to opt for CUET for all undergraduate programmes. While AMU will consider CUET UG scores for admission to eight courses, JMI has set aside 15 courses for which students will have to appear for the exam . Last year, JMI admitted students to 10 courses based on CUET and this year, the JMI vice chancellor is planning to increase that number. Nevertheless, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has urged all universities to use CUET scores as it will “give an equal opportunity” to all students from different boards.

According to the latest All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE), the total enrolment in higher education has increased to nearly 4.13 crore in 2020-21 from 3.85 crore in 2019-20, an increase of 28.8 lakh. Despite a large share of private educational institutes, a majority of this enrollment is in government institutions, the AISHE report states.

While CUET scores are mandatory for admission, each university has been given the liberty to design its own admission policy. Each university is required to display the minimum eligibility criteria, seat intake and the counselling procedure for every programme it offers

The admission process beyond the examination will remain decentralised. NTA, in its official notice, has advised candidates to go through the required eligibility of the desired university for selecting the options from UG programmes being offered.

Also Read| Pondicherry University Admission: Apply for 5-Year integrated PG programmes through CUET UG

CUET in numbers

colleges under cuet, cuet samarth ac in, syllabus of cuet 2023, cuet form last date 2023, cuet application form 2023 last date, delhi universityAll DU colleges under CUET. (Image: Shri Ram College of Commerce / Official website)

In the previous year, candidates applied for 54,555 unique combinations of subjects. CUET UG was held in 259 cities in India and 10 cities outside India.

CUET 2022 Result

Number of Candidates registered


Number of Candidates appeared


Total number of female candidates registered


Total number of female candidates appeared


Total male candidates registered


Total male candidates appeared


Total number of third gender candidates registered for the exam


Total number of third gender candidates appeared in CUET UG exam


CUET 2023 Changes: Registration fee, exam pattern

The NTA has also made a few major changes in the CUET 2023 exam pattern, centre, registration fees and number of questions a student must attempt to qualify.

This year, to reach the maximum number of students, the NTA has added exam centres outside India. The national-level entrance test will be held in 547 cities within India and 24 foreign cities in Australia, USA, Russia, Canada, UAE, Singapore, South Africa, Vietnam, Nigeria, Hong Kong and Brazil among others.

The number of slots per day has also been increased from two to three. The NTA conducted CUET in two slots with the morning shift starting from 9 am to 12.15 pm and afternoon shift from 3 pm to 6.45 pm. From this year onwards, the CUET Exam 2023 will be conducted in three slots depending on the number of candidates and subject choices. However, the final timings are yet to be announced by NTA.

Until last year, candidates were allowed to take exams in nine subjects only. This time, students will be able to choose a maximum of ten subjects from all three sections.

Moreover, the number of questions to be attempted in section two and three has been reduced to 35 out of 45 and 40 out of 50 depending on domain subject. In section three of the general test, students will have to attempt only 50 out of 60 questions in total.

The fee charged will be based on the number of subjects chosen by the candidates.

CUET 2023 registration fee


Application Fee

3 subjects (Rs)

Application Fee

7 subjects (Rs)

Application Fee

10 subjects (Rs)













CUET: Previous-year glitches

The CUET, as critical as it was for admission to all central and a few state universities, was not free from glitches, causing massive chaos among aspirants. While the NTA claimed to have been prepared for the massive task, a last-minute change of exam centre on the first day of the test on July 15 led to many candidates missing the exam.

Several students who turned up for the morning slot of the exam at various centres in Delhi were not allowed to enter for reaching late. Despite mass reporting, the problem persisted in the subsequent phases of the exam.

In the second phase, on August 4, the second shift of the exam was cancelled entirely in many exam centres. The cancellation, according to the UGC chairman, was done following reports of “sabotage”. The students were allowed to appear for the test later that month.

In its third phase, the exam was postponed for more than 11,000 students to accommodate their choice of exam centre. Meanwhile in the fourth phase, August 17, technical issues forced the NTA to cancel the exam at 13 centres affecting more than 8,600 candidates who appeared for the test later.

Initially, all phases of the CUET UG were scheduled to conclude on August 20. However, due to glitches and cancellations, all phases of the exam were stretched to August 30. This caused massive delays in university admissions.

CUET 2023: Choosing subjects

The NTA will conduct 27 domain-specific exams, 13 language tests out of which one is compulsory, and another additional 20 languages which are optional for the students. These 27 domain subjects are as follows:

1. Accountancy or book keeping

2. Biology or biological studies or biotechnology

3. Business studies

4. Chemistry

5. Computer science or informatics practices

6. Economics or business economics

7. Engineering graphics

8. Entrepreneurship

9. Geography

10. History

11. Home science

12. Knowledge tradition–practises India

13. Legal studies

14. Commercial arts

15. Mathematics

16. Physical education or NCC

17. Physics

18. Political science

19. Psychology

20. Sociology

21. Teaching aptitude

22. Agriculture

23. Mass media or mass communication

24. Anthropology

25. Fine arts or visual arts (sculpture or painting)

26. Performing arts

27. Sanskrit.

Every candidate will have to mandatorily attempt one language from section 1A. The 13 options include:

1. Tamil

2. Telugu

3. Kannada

4. Malayalam

5. Marathi

6. Gujarati

7. Odiya

8. Bengali

9. Assamese

10. Punjabi

11. Hindi

12. Urdu

13. English.

Language options in section 1B are for those seeking undergraduate degrees in languages other than those in section 1A. These are:

1. French

2. Spanish

3. German

4. Nepali

5. Persian

6. Italian

7. Arabic

8. Sindhi

9. Sanskrit

10. Kashmiri

11. Konkani

12. Bodo

13. Dogri

14. Maithili

15. Manipuri

16. Santhali

17. Tibetan

18. Japanese

19. Russian

20. Chinese

“Generally, the languages and subjects chosen should be the ones that a student has opted [for] in his latest Class 12 Board examination. However, if any university permits any flexibility in this regard, the same can be exercised under CUET (UG) also,” the NTA notice states. “Choosing options from each section is not mandatory. Choices should match the requirements of the desired university,” it further added.

For instance, a science stream student with subjects like physics, chemistry and mathematics can take admission in history honours if a university allows admission based on PCM scores. If a university’s eligibility criteria for history programmes require general aptitude test scores, then the students will have to qualify that exam.

Considering there are a variety of subjects offered across state boards, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian School Certificate exam (ISC), the NTA has allowed students to appear for courses that are closely related to subjects in Class 12. “If the subject to be studied in the undergraduate course is not available in the list of 27 domain-specific subjects being offered, the candidate may choose the subject closest to his/her choice e.g. for biochemistry the candidate may choose biology,” the notice says.

Also Read| CBSE, state board Class 12 syllabus cuts push students to coaching centres, dummy schools

CUET exam pattern, subjects

The CUET consists of four sections – the first is split into two – with an objective-type test pattern and multiple-choice questions and students can choose from 13 languages for the medium of the test.

According to the UGC chairman, there will be negative marking for every wrong answer. This is how the overall exam will be structured.

Section I: Languages

· Section IA: 13 languages

· Section IB: 20 additional languages

A candidate can choose a maximum of three languages from Sections IA and IB taken together, the public notice says. One of the languages chosen must be in place of domain-specific subjects. For instance, if a student wishes to pursue a language undergraduate programme, they can appear for only five domain subject exams.

The language section will primarily include reading comprehension based on factual and literary passages. The section will test the literary aptitude and vocabulary of the student. For each language chosen, students will have to attempt at least 40 out of 50 questions.

Section II: 27 Domain-specific subjects

Of the 27 domains, students can choose any subject as per the eligibility requirement listed by the university of their preference. Each domain-specific subject test will contain 45 or 50 questions and students must attempt at least 35 or 40, respectively to qualify. The maximum duration for each domain-subject test is yet to be announced.

The CUET syllabus follows books designed by the National Council of Educational Research and Training and all questions in various testing areas will be benchmarked at the level of Class 12 only. However, NCERT books are primarily taught in CBSE-affiliated schools, most of which are private. In most cases, states adopt NCERT books for subjects like science and mathematics only. The syllabus of CUET 2023 might make the test difficult for students from state boards.

Overall, the NTA has allowed students to choose a maximum of 10 subjects combined in language and domain specific subjects. Last year, the limit was nine subjects.

Section III: General aptitude

The general test will include questions pertaining to general knowledge and current affairs and also assess general mental ability, numerical ability and quantitative reasoning. Logical and analytical reasoning are also part of this section. Out of the total 60 questions, students will have to attempt at least 50 within the stipulated time.

CUET exam pattern



Section IA and Section IB

Language to be tested through reading comprehension, based on different types of passages– factual, literary and narrative, (Literary Aptitude and Vocabulary)

Section II

As per NCERT model syllabus as applicable to Class 12 only

Section III

General knowledge, current affairs, general mental ability, numerical ability, quantitative reasoning (simple application of basic mathematical concepts arithmetic, algebra geometry, mensuration, statistics taught till Class 8, logical and analytical reasoning

CUET UG counselling

Like last year, the NTA and UGC have decided not to conduct common counselling but rather provide the scores based on which merit lists will be prepared. Universities will be required to use the merit list and CUET scores to admit students in different courses. Most universities will prepare the merit lists based on the number of application forms received and scores obtained in CUET.

As per the information bulletin, the candidates can participate in the counselling of any university even if they have not applied for that university in the CUET application form 2023. However, the candidates must fulfil the eligibility criteria for the course set by the university. Universities have been directed to grant admission, if eligibility criteria are met, to students even if they have not listed that university in the application form at the point of registration.

colleges under cuet, cuet samarth ac in, syllabus of cuet 2023, cuet form last date 2023, cuet application form 2023 last date, jamia millia islamiaColleges Under CUET: Jamia Millia Islamia University will not admit to all seats via the CUET

Even though there is no weightage assigned to Class 12 marks in the test, a participating university can set it as a minimum eligibility criterion for admission. For instance, JMI has set the minimum eligibility to Class 12 or equivalent exam with not less than 50 percent marks in aggregate of best of five subjects or in the concerned subject. Similarly, for admission to eight UG courses at AMU, students must have 45 percent to 50 percent, depending on the course.

The CUET will also not hinder the reservation policies followed in the respective central university. “We want all the universities to take admission based on CUET scores, however, this exam will not affect the specific admission criteria followed in a university. For instance, the reservation policy for seats and how to conduct counselling will remain a university’s decision,” said Kumar. Minority institutions like JMI, AMU and Delhi University-affiliated colleges like St Stephen’s College, Jesus and Mary College and Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa College reserve seats for the community. Students are required to check admission policies before applying to these institutions.

Furthermore, in case of performing arts courses like theatre, music and art, the universities will have to include a practical exam along with CUET scores for admission.

CUET 2023: Participating universities

Several more universities have joined the the list of universities and colleges under CUET since last year. Among them are several institution in the northeastern states including the Northeastern Hill University (NEHU). The full list of institutions under CUET is given below.

Central Universities

Aligarh Muslim University

Assam University

Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University

Banaras Hindu University

Central Sanskrit University

Central Tribal University Of Andhra Pradesh

Central University Of Andhra Pradesh

Central University Of Gujarat

Central University Of Haryana

Central University Of Himachal Pradesh

Central University Of Jammu

Central University Of Jharkhand

Central University Of Karnataka

Central University Of Kashmir

Central University Of Kerala

Central University Of Odisha

Central University Of Rajasthan

Central University Of South Bihar

Central University Of Tamil Nadu

Dr. Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya

Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya

Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University

Indira Gandhi National Tribal University

Jawaharlal Nehru University

Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya

Mahatma Gandhi Central University

Manipur University

Maulana Azad National Urdu University

Mizoram University

National Sanskrit University

North-Eastern Hill University

Pondicherry University

Rajiv Gandhi University

Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri National Sanskrit University

Sikkim University

Tezpur University

The English And Foreign Languages University

Tripura University

University Of Allahabad

University Of Delhi

University Of Hyderabad

Visva-Bharati University

State Universities

Barkatullah University

Cluster University Of Jammu

Cluster University Of Srinagar

Delhi Skill And Entrepreneurship University

Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technical University

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar School Of Economics University

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University Delhi

Govt. College For Women, Parade Ground, Jammu

Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University

Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University For Women

Jharkhand Raksha Shakti University

Madan Mohan Malaviya University Of Technology

Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Rohilkhand University

Sardar Patel University Of Police Security And Criminal Justice

Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University

University Of Jammu

Vikram University

Deemed Universities

Avinashilingam Institute For Home Science And Higher Education For Women

Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth

Dayalbagh Educational Institute

Footwear Design And Development Institute

Gujarat Vidyapith

Gurukula Kangri

Lakshmibai National Institute Of Physical Education

Manav Rachna International Institute Of Research And Studies

Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational And Research Institute

Shobhit University

Tata Institute Of Social Sciences (TISS)

The Gandhigram Rural Institute (DTBU)

Private Universities

Apeejay Stya University

Apex University

Arunachal University Of Studies

Asbm University

Bahra University (Shimla Hills)

Bml Munjal University

Career Point University

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj University

G D Goenka University

Galgotias University

Geeta University, Panipat, Delhi-Ncr, Haryana

Gla University Mathura

Himalayan University Itanagar

Ies University

Iilm University, Greater Noida

Iilm University, Gurugram

Iimt University

Invertis University

Jagan Nath University Bahadurgarh Haryana

Jagannath University

Jaypee University Of Information Technology

K.R. Mangalam University

Lovely Professional University

Manav Rachna University

Mangalayatan University Jabalpur

Mangalayatan University, Aligarh

Mewar University

Mody University Of Science And Technology

Nicmar University, Pune

Niit University

Nirwan University, Jaipur

Noida International University

Rnb Global University

Sangam University

Sanskriti University

Sharda University

Shoolini University

Sikkim Professional University

Srm University

Suresh Gyan Vihar University Jaipur

Teerthanker Mahaveer University

Upes - Dehradun

Usha Martin University

Vivekananda Global University

Update: This copy has been updated to include JMI's admission policy for CUET 2023.

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