"I got a second chance, thanks to CUET. I scored 89 percent in board exams, and if the admissions were to take place on the basis of those results, I wouldn't have got into North Campus," says 17-year-old Divyansh Chaturvedi.
Hailing from Madhya Pradesh, Divyansh scored 99 percentile on the General Test and over 96 percentile in the rest of the subjects. He has now secured a place in the BSc Physical Science course at Delhi University's Kirori Mal College.
The University of Delhi (DU), unlike other years, conducted its undergraduate admissions this year based on the newly introduced Common University Entrance Test (CUET). The test was held by the National Testing Agency (NTA) earlier this year in July and August, and the results were declared in September 2022.
Every year, thousands of students from different parts of the seek admission to DU, which is among the most prestigious central universities. Up until last year, DU's North Campus would have sky-high cut-offs due to the high demand.
The CUET exam was made mandatory for undergraduate admissions to central universities. This meant that while other universities began their admission process, central universities had to wait till the CUET results were out in order to start their process.
For some students like Divyansh, CUET came as a saving grace. But that wasn't the case for many others. The whole admission process has been 'anxiety-inducing,' they say.
'Took Admission in Other Universities Because of the Delay in Process'
Seventeen-year-old Shritanuka Manda from Kolkata took admission to Calcutta University's Bethune College because of the delay in the CUET admission process. A few days into her course, she found out she got into BSc Statistics at Ramjas College.
"I took admission to Calcutta University and even attended classes for 8-9 days. Then, the Durga Puja vacation happened, and after that, the CUET results were out. I got through to Ramjas College, so I decided to come here."Sritanuka Mandal, a first-year student at Ramjas College
Even though she had paid the fees and started attending college, she decided that Ramjas was a better option for her. She says, "I felt bad leaving that college because I had made a few friends there. Even my professors were very nice."
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Bhoomika Gupta from Punjab, who's found a seat at Delhi University's Miranda House, tells The Quint, "I performed better in my boards. Had the admissions taken place based on board results, I would have been more relaxed. After CUET exams, and especially after they normalised the score, I got very anxious about making the cut."
She adds, "The admission process was a little anxiety-inducing because there was so much uncertainty. It wasn't possible to have just one option. We had to have backups."
Her new friend – 18-year-old Yushvita Sharma from Jaipur – adds, "The admission process was not very difficult, but it was very time consuming and frustrating... Right from NTA to CUET to DU, the deadlines were never followed."
"I would say the CUET was pretty useless. We wasted three months because of it. The problem with board exams was that the cut-offs were very high. Now, the CUET cut-offs are very high. But there's a limited number of seats – and that hasn't changed."Yushvita Sharma, a first-year student at Miranda House
'CUET Gave Us a Second Chance'
On the contrary, Yash Tamta from Delhi, who has got admission to BSc (Hons), Kirori Mal College, says he would not have got admission to a North Campus college if it was based on board results.
"I got 82 percent in boards. I did not think I would make it to the North Campus. I improved my score in CUET, so it was like a second chance. When I took CUET, I had to travel quite far and there were some technical issues. But it all went well in the end."Yash Tamta, a first-year student at Kirori Mal College
Subhiksha – a 19-year-old from Ghaziabad who got into Daulat Ram College – says, "CUET was a good thing, as I wouldn't have gotten into a North Campus college based on my board results."
Another student, Anjali Pradhan, a 17-year-old student from Delhi, who got admitted to the BA Programme in Miranda House, says, "CUET helped me get into such a good college. I cried when I found out that I'd made it here. My father was teasing me and saying, 'Are you sure this is your name on the list?'"
She adds, "I would have got in through boards as well. Because once you believe in yourself and work hard, you make it through. I was never so studious. And it was only after Class 10 that I was sure what I wanted to study and what I wanted to do, going ahead."
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