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TOP 10 Entrance Exams in India [WHAT and HOW]

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By Swati Parvatham:

In India, career is one very important issue that gives both children and their parents many a sleepless nights. What career to choose, how to get to the best institution ensuring a bright future in the chosen career and finally how to prepare oneself for the entrance exams are few questions that create a storm in the minds of the candidates.

Here is a small attempt on our part to give the students an idea about the major entrance exams that are conducted in the country and their respective details.

1) Common Admission Test (CAT):

Common Admission Test, better known as CAT is an all- India test conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) to shortlist the best managerial brains from all over the country for its 7 (seven) business schools. But the results of this exam are the benchmark for many other business schools in the country as well.

It is now a computer based exam with multiple choice questions to test the aptitude of the candidate in Mathematics, English and Data Interpretation (Logic based questions). The pattern of this test is such that it can test the students’ proficiency with the fundamentals of the subjects they are tested on.

Since CAT 2009 it has been announced by the IIM’s that there will be 60-70 questions. The test taker will have 2 hours and 15 minutes to attempt the test. A 15 minute tutorial will be given to familiarize the test taker with the computer test taking environment.

The announcement for CAT 2010 came out in the papers on 22nd August, 2010 and CAT vouchers were available from 30th August to 27th September, 2010.

For further information related to CAT, please refer to the official website of CAT (http://www.catiim.in/index.htm)

2) Xavier’s Admission Test (XAT):

XAT is another reputed management entrance exam conducted by the Xavier’s Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur in the month of January every year for admission in its post graduate management courses. The results of this exam are not only considered for admissions by XLRI and Xavier’s Institute of Management, Bhubaneshwar (XIMB) but also by more than 70 other B-schools.

The test paper for XAT has been divided into 3 parts-

  • Reading Comprehension and English,
  • Quantitative Ability
  • Data Interpretation and Reasoning and
  • An Essay on the topic assigned

The time limit for this test is 2 hours for the multiple choice questions and 20 mins for the essay section.

The strategy for testing the candidates in CAT & XAT varies from year to year based on the discretion of the body setting the paper. There is negative marking in these exams, the pattern of which varies almost every year.

The eligibility criteria for appearing in this examination is a minimum of 50% marks in graduation. Final year students can also apply provided they deposit a provisional certificate.

3) IIT-JEE:

Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) are world class institutions offering courses leading to Bachelor’s degree in a number of engineering, technological and scientific disciplines. M.Sc. Integrated courses in pure and applied sciences and M.Tech. Integrated courses in a few disciplines are also offered by some of these Institutions. In addition, some IITs offer Dual-Degree M.Tech. programmes, wherein both B.Tech. and M.Tech. degrees are awarded.

There are 15 IITs all over the country and the admission selection to the undergraduate courses is done through the all India Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) which tests the students on their aptitude in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.

There will be two question papers, each of three hours duration. Both the question papers will consist of three separate sections on Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. The questions will be of objective type, designed to test comprehension, reasoning and analytical ability of candidates. The answers for each of the questions are to be recorded on a separate, specially designed, machine-gradable sheet of paper (ORS — Optical Response Sheet).

The online application process starts around November each year and the test is conducted in April. The Architecture or Design Aptitude Test for students interested in courses in Architecture is conducted in June.

The minimum marks in the qualifying examination (MMQE) for writing the JEE will depend on your category. It is 60% for GE/OBC and 55% for SC/ST/PD category.

The detailed syllabi for the test along with the other details are clearly mentioned in the official website (http://jee.iitd.ac.in/).

4) All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE):

All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE)  is conducted each year around the month of April- May to churn out the best of candidates for the B.Tech & B.Arch/ B.Planning in various institutions, namely National Institutes of Technology, IIITs, Deemed Universities, Technical Institutions, Delhi Technological University, Delhi and other Govt. funded Institutions.

A centralized online counseling is organized after the examination for filling up the All India seats by the Central Counseling Board. Some states or institutes like West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Punjab University, Chandigarh, Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, Delhi Technological University, Delhi and N.S.I.T, Delhi under Delhi University use AIEEE ranks to fill seats through their own counseling.

The test is conducted with two 3-hour papers on the same day. Paper 1 consists of Objective Type Questions with equal weightage to Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics and is mandatory for students interested in courses in B.E./ B.Tech and Paper 2 is sub-divided into a) Mathematics b) Aptitude Test and c) Drawing Test and is for students interested in B.Arch/ B. Planning. Part a and b of Paper 2 also consist of objective type questions while for Part c questions are designed to test the candidates’ drawing aptitude.

The eligibility criteria for appearing the examination are given in details in their official website (http://aieee.nic.in/aieee2011/aieee/InfoGlance.htm#req).

5) All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Medical Entrance Exam:

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) conducts a separate exam for admission to their MBBS course. Every year a large number of candidates (more than 80,000) apply for MBBS course in AIIMS for nearly 70 seats which makes it one of the most difficult entrance examinations.

The application forms for this examination are available tentatively around mid-january and the exam is held somewhere around June every year.

To get admission in MBBS course in AIIMS a candidate should have attained 17 yearsof age by 31st December of the previous year and also has to pass class 12th with atleast 60% aggregate in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English. For SC/ST candidates the minimum aggregate required is 50%.

The entrance exam for MBBS is of three and a half hours duration having 200 multiple choice and reason-assertion type questions. There are 60 questions each from Physics, Chemistry and Biology and 20 questions from General Knowledge. There is negative marking for incorrect answers.

Further information is available from the official websites (www.aiims.edu, www.aiims.ac.in.)

6) Common Law Admission Test (CLAT):

The Common Law Admission Test is an all-India law entrance conducted by 11(eleven) National Law Universities for admissions to their under-graduate and post graduate degree programmes (LL.B & LL.M).

Institutes That Participate In The Entrance Exam
National Law School of India University, Bangalore (NLSIU)
NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad (NALSAR)
National Law Institute University, Bhopal (NLIU)
The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (WBNUJS)
National Law University, Jodhpur(NLU)
Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur (HNLU)
Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar (GNLU)
Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow (RMLNLU)
Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala (RGNUL)
Chanakya National Law University, Patna (CNLU)
National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi (NUALS)

For the undergraduate programme, it is a 200 marks papers with 200 questions testing the candidate on English including Comprehension (40 Marks), General Knowledge/Current Affairs (50 Marks), Mathematics (20 Marks), Logical Reasoning (45 Marks) & Legal Aptitude/Legal Awareness (45 Marks).

For the LLM course, the paper is of 200 marks spread over 2-hours. 100 marks consists of objective type questions testing the student on sunjects like Law of Contracts, Law of Torts, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law and Legal Theory; while the next 100 marks is for writing 2 essays of 50 Marks each.

The eligibility criteria to appear for undergraduate programme through CLAT-2011, a candidate should have passed his/her Higher Secondary School/Intermediate Examination (10+2) or its equivalent examination with not less than 50% marks in aggregate (45% in case of SC/ST/OBC and persons with Disability). Candidates who have appeared in the 10+2 examination and are awaiting results are also eligible to appear in the test.

The eligibility to appear for 2-year L.L.M. Degree course, a candidate should have obtained a LL.B/B.L. Degree or an equivalent degree from a recognised University with not less than 55% marks in aggregate (50% in case of SC/ST /OBC and persons with Disability).

The application forms for CLAT are available from January and the test is held around May.

7) Graduate Record Examination (GRE):

GRE is a standardized admission test offered as a computer-based, computer adaptive exam administered by selected qualified testing centers and it is mandatory for admission in many graduate schools over USA and other English speaking countries across the world.

Created and administered by Educational Testing Service (or ETS), the exam aims to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing and critical thinking skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study.

The cost of the general test varies between US $160 and $210, depending on the country of taking the test. The FRE test results are valid for a period of 5 years from the year fo taking the examination after which the records are erased by ETS.

There are a number of preparatory materials available online that are greatly helpful for preparing for the exam.

8 ) Graduate Management Test (GMAT):

GMAT is a computer adaptive standardized test that is mandatory for admission in most B-School outside India for the business administrative programmes like MBA, Masters in Accountancy etc.

It is conducted once or twice a year depending on the location of the test. As of September 2010, the fee to take the test is US $250 worldwide.

It tests the candidate on verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills that the examinee has developed over a long period of time in his education and work. Test takers answer questions in each of the three tested areas, and there are also two optional breaks; in general, the test takes about four hours to complete.

Scores are valid for five years (at most institutions) from the date the test taker sits for the exam and the maximum score that can be achieved on the exam is 800. Yet the average scores that are required for selection in most of the top B-schools is between late 600 to early 700. But it is possible to overcome low scores through extraordinary extra-curricular achievements.

9) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL):

TOEFL is an internet based test that measures the ability of an individual to use English as a language in the academic setting. It is considered as a must for candidates applying to English native colleges, universities and public sector settings from non- English speaking countries.

The test is conducted many times a year at many locations across the world and the results of the test are valid only for a period of 2 years from the year of appearing for the test. Yet, most colleges and universities only consider the most recent TOEFL results.

Now the test can be taken within one to four weeks in most countries. The four-hour test consists of four sections, each measuring one of the basic language skills — Reading, Speaking, Listening and Writing (while some tasks require integrating multiple skills) and all tasks focus on language used in an academic, higher-education environment. The test cannot be taken more than once a week.

The details about the registration and other assistance can be available from their website (http://www.ets.org/toefl)

10) Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT):

SAT is a standardized test for college admissions in the United States. It is conducted by the College Board in USA to test the readiness of a student to enter college so as to ensure his academic level is fit for college level studies. In other words, it measures the literacy and writing skills that are needed for academic success in college. It is mostly taken by high school pass-outs in USA and from all over the world who want to take admission in any college in USA.

The three hour and 45 minutes test judges the test taker on how well they analyze and solve problems–skills they learned in school that they will need in college. SAT consists of three major sections: Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. Each section receives a score on the scale of 200—800. All scores are multiples of 10. Total scores are calculated by adding up scores of the three sections. The questions range from easy, medium, and hard depending on the scoring from the experimental sections.

The questions are all multiple choice questions with 5 options to choose from. Negative marking of 0.25 is there for each wrong answer.

The SAT is offered seven times a year in the United States; in October, November, December, January, March (or April, alternating), May, and June.

So here we come to the end of this highly informative article. Now it is solely on the candidate to choose which exam they want to appear in and which way to take their career.

ALL THE VERY BEST TO YOU!!

You must be to comment.
  1. bharathi

    good assessment

  2. Umamahesh

    good

    1. vasu

      why gate is not there…. based on GATE so many psu’s offering good no of jobs with high saliries. It is top
      one.

  3. dsew

    /

  4. Sahil Shinde

    How come CPT is not on this list?

  5. ravinder kumar

    why civil service pre exam not included in abov list

  6. AIIMS MBBS 2015 Exam Pattern

    Excellent post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog and I’m inspired!

    Very helpful info specially the final section 🙂 I deal with such info a lot.

    I used to be seeking this particular info for a very long
    time. Thank you and best of luck.

  7. Parinda

    Such a nice and informative article. My suggestion is, SSC CGL and CHSL can also be included in this list by making the list longer. Every year, more than 30 lacs Indian students give this exam and recruitmentfor more than 20,000 Government Of India jobs is done on the basis of these exams .

  8. Chandan G A

    Enthusiastic I hope you are with me until my success in a wading something great
    Thank u so much ma'am

  9. Chandan G A

    It s enthusiastic and I hope you are with me till achieving goal by your suggestions,
    It's awesome ma'am
    Thank u

  10. Tejaswini Reddy Theju

    Really nice I’m counting Actually
    How silly I’m

  11. Ravi Mahawar

    Thanks sir for sharing us the detailed information about the top most entrance examination in India.
    But you have forgotten about IIT JAM (Joint Entrance Examination). It’s also one of the toughest and reputed exam which is conducted by IITs and IISc on rotational wise.
    Candidate can complete their post-graduation by taking admissions in one of the reputed institute in India.
    The examination is conducted for providing admission for M.Sc., Joint M.Sc – Ph.D, M.Sc. – Ph.D Dual degree and for other post-bachelor’s programmes.
    Every year IIT JAM Examination is conducted in month of February. Candidates who want to appear in this exam can apply through the official website.
    According to latest news the notification for IIT JAM 2018will be appear soon.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
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