How Delhi University will admit students via CUET

With the government having made the Central University Entrance Test (CUET) compulsory across all central universities, it will change the way undergraduate students are admitted to Delhi University, which attracts candidates from across the country, and which so far had been admitting them based on their Class 12 scores. A look at how DU will use CUET now to admit students this year:

What is the format of the CUET paper?

CUET 2022, open to students who have passed Class 12, is a computer-based test with three sections. The first section, with multiple choice questions, tests a candidate’s language skills based on her understanding of passages. This section is of two parts: 1A and 1B.

Section 1A has 45-minute papers in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Urdu, Assamese, Bengali, Punjabi and Odia. A DU applicant must take the test for at least one of these languages.

Section IB has to be attempted only if a candidate wishes to pursue an degree in any one (or more) of 19 other languages: French, Spanish, German, Nepali, Persian, Italian, Arabic, Sindhi, Kashmiri, Konkani, Bodo, Dogri, Maithili, Manipuri, Santhali, Tibetan, Japanese, Russian and Chinese.

Section II will test a candidate in the core subjects she wishes to study. She can appear in up to six papers (as long as she studied each in Class 12) out of 27domain subjects – 18 in Section B1 and 9 in B2.

Subjects listed under B1 are: Accountancy/ Bookkeeping; Biology/ Biological Studies/ Biotechnology/ Biochemistry; Business Studies; Chemistry, Computer Science/ Informatics Practices, Economic/Business Economics; Geography/ Geology; History; Home Science; Legal Studies; Environmental Studies; Mathematics; Physics; Political Science; Psychology; Sociology; Anthropology; Sanskrit.

B2 contains Engineering Graphics; Entrepreneurship; Knowledge Tradition and Practices in India; Fine Arts/Virtual Arts (Sculpture/Painting)/Commercial Arts; Teaching Aptitude; Agriculture; Mass Media/Mass Communication; Physical Education/NCC/Yoga; Performing Arts – (i) Dance (Kathak/ Bharatanatyam/ Kathakali/ Odissi/ Kuchipuri/ Manipuri (ii) Drama – Theatre (iii) Music General (Carnatic/ Rabindra Sangeet/ Hindustani/ Percussion/ Non-percussion).

Section III, which will test the candidate’s general knowledge, quantitative reasoning etc, is not compulsory: a student needs to take the one-hour paper only if it’s a requirement for the programme she is applying to.

What if a subject a candidate studied in Class 12 is not among the 27 domain subjects?

Candidates should only appear for CUET domain papers in subjects that she has passed in Class 12. If a student is unable to find a particular subject in the CUET list, she will have to choose the domain paper that is most similar to the subject she studied in class 12. For example, students who studied Biochemistry in Class 12 will have to take the Biology test in CUET, since Biochemistry is not among the 27 domain subjects.

How will DU calculate CUET scores?

DU has said it will continue to honour the “best performance” of applicants in the new system. In the cut-off system, admission was based on an applicant’s performance in the four subjects with her best scores. Now her best performance in domain papers of CUET will be the determining factor.

For example, to enrol in BA(Honours), applicants need to appear for one language test from Section I and at least three subjects from Section II. However, they can choose to sit for five subjects from Section II. The final CUET score will be decided on their performance in the language test, and their top three scores in the five domain subjects.

For BSc, DU will calculate merit based on the score in one language (from Section I) and three domain subjects from Section II. A minimum score of 30% in the language test is compulsory.

Eligibility criteria for each programme is now available at

What are these criteria?

■ For BSc(Hons)in Physics or Chemistry, candidates will have to sit for Physics, Chemistry and Maths from Section II, and also obtain 30% marks in one language. For Maths and Computer Science, BSc candidates will have to appear for a language test from Section IA, Maths test from Section II, and another two subjects of which at least one should be from B1.

■ For BA including Political Science, History, Sociology, the candidate must appear for one language paper from Section I, any two subjects from B1 and one more subject from either B1 or B2. So, for BA(Honours) Economics, the requirement is a language test from Section1A, Maths test from Section II and any two domain papers out of which at least one should be from Section B1.

■ For B Com (Hons), the criteria is the same as for Economics, except that applicants also have the option for appearing for Accountancy instead of Maths.

■ For undergraduate language programmes, if an applicant wants to study Punjabi but hasn’t studied it in Class 12, she can still attempt a language paper from Section 1A. But DU will give preference to students who have studied the concerned language in Class 12. An applicant will have to take the Punjabi test in CUET under Section 1A, two domain papers from B1 and another paper from either B1 or B2. Those who haven’t studied Punjabi in school can appear for any other language test from 1A, while the rest of the criteria remain the same.

■ For B El Ed, candidates must have scored at least 50% in Class 12. In CUET, candidates will have to appear for one language from Section IA, any two subjects from B1 list of Section II and any one subject from either B1 or B2 list of Section II.

■ For physical education or music-related programmes, the candidate will be assessed based on CUET score and also on performance/ trial/certificates. There will be equal weightage for both. For Music, applicants will need to sit for one language test from 1A, Performing Arts paper from B2 and any two subjects, of which at least one has to be from B1. If a student has not studied Music in school, she can take one language test from 1A, any two subjects from B1, plus any one subject from either B1 or B2.


Frequent Answer Questions (FAQs):

 Can students apply for programmes outside of their stream at school?

Like earlier, a student who studied science in high school is eligible to pursue humanities – based undergraduate programmes. However, candidates will have to ensure that they check the eligibility criteria of the desired programme, and make sure they choose domain and language courses accordingly.

 Can students who have dropped a year apply?

Yes, there is no bar. But this time, they too will have to appear for CUET.

Will entrance exams for professional programmes such as BBA, BBE and BMS still continue?

No, these are no longer valid. Admissions for these courses will also be done through CUET scores. For BBA, BBE and BMS, candidates will have to appear for one language test from Section 1A, Maths from Section II and the general ability test (aka Section III).

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