An entrance exam serves as a stepping stone for students. Education institutions use it to choose qualified and worthy students for admission. Currently, several entrance exams are held to fill seats in engineering, business, law, medicine, media, and other fields. Examinations are held at the national, state, and university levels, and the scope of these exams vary by course and college.
Here is a list of some of the most commonly taken entrance exams in India, with details that you should keep in mind if any of these are applicable to you.
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Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Examination
Lakhs of students who aspire to get into civil services like IAS, IFS, IRS, and IPS among others have to take the Union Public Service Commission test every year. The exam has three stages – Preliminary, Main and Interview. In 2018, the government opened 780 seats across these positions for which 8 lakh candidates had applied, making it one of the most competitive exams in India.
Eligibility: Graduate with a minimum age of 21 years as of August 2022.
Preparation time: Given the competitive nature, most people take at least two years to prepare for this exam.
Exam date: June 2022 for preliminary and September 2022 for the main exam.
Last date to apply: February 2022
Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Mains
This entrance test is the gateway to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). 9.65 lakh candidates will appear for JEE Main exam in January 2019 and close to 2 lakhs are expected to make it to JEE Advanced. From these, approximately 11,000 will be chosen for the IITs.
The JEE percentile is also used for admission in other private engineering colleges other than the IITs.
Eligibility: 75% marks in class 12th or equivalent (65% for SC/ST).
Preparation time: Best to begin soon after class 10th board exams.
Exam date: February, March, April, May 2022
Last date of registration: December 2021, March, April, May 2022
Last date of registration: 1st week of June 2022
Exam date: 3rd week of June 2022
Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)
Those seeking a Master’s or doctorate post studying engineering or architecture are required to appear for the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering. It would soon be compulsory as an exit test after completion of B.E. or B. Tech., which means you will receive a graduate degree in engineering only after you clear GATE.
Eligibility: B.E., B.Tech. or B.Arch
Preparation time: The syllabus consists of what you have been taught during graduation. To clear GATE you need to be thorough with the subjects taught in college.
Exam date: February 2022
Last date of registration: September 2022
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National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET)
Close to 13 lakh candidates appeared for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance test conducted in 2018. The cut-off for qualification is 50 percentile for the general category and 40 percentile for SC/ST/OB categories to get admitted in medical colleges all over the country.
Eligibility: Completed age of 17 years and not over 25 years on or before December 31, 2022, and minimum 50% marks in 12th.
Preparation time: Most students begin preparations after the 10th results.
Exam date: May 2022
Last date of registration: November 2021
Common Admission Test (CAT)
The Common Admission Test for MBA is a prerequisite to enter the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other top management colleges in the country. Close to 2.41 lakh candidates appeared for the exam in 2018. Out of which only most of those scoring 99 percentile have a chance of getting admitted in the IIMs.
Eligibility: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent passed with a minimum of 50% marks.
Preparation time: 3-6 months with 25-30 hours dedicated per week for preparation.
Exam date: December 2022
Last date for registration: September 2022
Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
Those eyeing business schools abroad are required to take the Graduate Management Admission Test. Quite a few Indian business schools also accept GMAT scores. Your GMAT scores are valid for 5 years and are accepted across 600 management and business programmes all over the world.
Eligibility: At least 18 years of age. Not more than five attempts in a year and not more than a total of eight attempts.
Preparation time: Six months
Exam date: Throughout the year
Common Law Admission Test (CLAT)
While law can be pursued as a postgraduate course, if you have decided to become a lawyer, you can appear for the Common Law Admission Test to enrol in a law college right after your 12th. Close to 40,000 students appear for this exam and the top 1600 are granted seats in National Law Universities in India.
Eligibility: Must have passed 12th or equivalent with a minimum of 45% marks.
Preparation time: Ideally should begin after the 10th board exams.
Exam date: May and December 2022
Registration: January – March 2022
Common Proficiency Test (CPT) – CA
For becoming a Chartered Accountant (CA) in India you have to clear the Common Proficiency Test (CPT), Integrated Professional Competency Exam, 3 years of articleship and the CA Final Exam. Clearing the CPT exam is step one. Around 30% of candidates who appear for this test clear it.
Eligibility: 10+2 and registration for the Common Proficiency Test with the Board of Studies of the Indian Chartered Accountancy of India
Preparation time: Approximately four months.
Exam date: June 2022
Registration: April 2022
Those wanting to serve in the armed forces need to appear for the UPSC NDA entrance exam conducted twice a year. Last year, 4 lakh students competed in the test for approximately 350 seats across the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Eligibility: 10+2 or equivalent (with Physics for Navy and Air Force), age should be minimum 16.5 years and maximum 19 years as on the first day of the month the course is due to begin.
Preparation Time: Ideally should begin after the 10th board exams.
Exam date: NDA 1 – April 2022; NDA 2 – September 2022
Last date of registration: NDA 1 – January 2022; NDA 2 – June 2022
State-level Common Entrance Tests (CETs)
While all the above are common entrance tests on an all-India, CETs are conducted on state levels too for various streams like medicine, engineering, agriculture and so on. It is a common practice to appear for an all-India entrance and a state-level entrance as a backup and to have more options to choose from.
All the above entrance tests are competitive, requiring a lot of hard work and dedication to qualify and get into your desired college. To make the most of these opportunities, start studying early to dissipate the pressure, and keep time for revision.
However, before you select the entrance exam you want to appear for, make sure that the career you choose is best suited for you. Not sure how? Let Mentoria help you!
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