DU introduces common test for English (Honours):CATE generates mixed reactions

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Just when the dust was beginning to settle after last year’s rather controversial decision to obliterate the English honours test held individually for different colleges with the university deciding to grant admission to this undergraduate course solely on the basis of marks scored in the twelfth class examination, another twist was added to the tale this year. All English (Hons) aspirants will now have a chance to sit for an entrance test in a manner similar to the one that the university had been following with the exception of last year. This has only lead to immense confusion because colleges are still divided over this issue of a common entrance test for selection to one of the most sought after courses that the university has to offer. However, many colleges will not be participating in the test. `Many top notch colleges like LSR, Miranda House, Hansraj, Sri Venkateswara college are waiting to see the modalities of conducting a common test and the individual freedom granted to colleges subscribing to this test.

An open day session was also held recently, on May 29, to disseminate information on the course and the CATE and prevent unnecessary confusion.

Although about over 30 colleges will take students on the basis of marks obtained by them in Class XII exam, a total of 12 colleges have decided to participate in the Common Aptitude Test For English (CATE).

The test, to be held on the 17th of June, will be of one-and-a- half hours duration, and will evaluate candidates’ aptitude for the B.A ,(Honours) English .course. It will comprise multiple-choice questions to assess vocabulary, grammar, language skills and literary knowledge of candidates as well as questions in comprehension and essay -writing.. Part I will test the linguistic skills, while Part II will evaluate their imaginative writing.

Colleges which have decided to participate in CATE :

• Delhi College of Arts and Commerce

• Hindu College

• Indraprastha College for Women

• Kamla Nehru College

• Maharaja Agrasen College

• Ram Lal Anand College – Evening

• Satyawati College – Evening

• Shivaji College

• Shyam Lal College

• Swami Shraddanand College

• Zakir Hussain College

• Zakir Hussain College-Evening

DU Beat Take: A test on one’s aptitude in the language , rather than the aggregate percentage, would and should weigh much more on the scale of procedure for selection. However, the university should streamline the entire procedure and pursue all colleges to participate in this exam keeping in mind that the AISSCE marks in the English language are not always the best parameter as in actuality; the course entails studies which are a far cry from what is usually taught at the school level. Something like the CATE would test the student’s aptitude for the particular course rather than mere fluency in the language. Last year , when the written test was scrapped off , we at DU Beat had protested vehemently , evening launching a petition for its return. It pleases us immensely to see this more appropriate mode of selection back in action and we sincerely hope to see CATE being adopted by even more colleges next year.


1. Application forms for the CATE are available at the office of the Department of English, Arts Faculty Building, Room number 52, University of Delhi (North

Campus) from June 1st. Each candidate for the test is required to submit at the same office, along with the completed application form, two passport-size photographs, a copy

of his/her Class XII mark-sheet and a sum of Rs.100/- in the form of a demand draft in favour of The Registrar, University of Delhi as a test fee. Students scoring at least 60 per cent in English and in the best of four subjects in Class XII can apply for CATE

2. Upon registration, each candidate will be given a counterfoil of the application form which will serve as his/her receipt-cum- test admit card as well as mention

his/her roll number for the test and test venue.

3. There will be no interviews.

4. A list of all candidates who take the test along with their scores will be made available to the 12 colleges, which will then decide the criteria for admitting students.

5. Students belonging to the reserved categories, such as SC/ST/physically handicapped and foreign students, whose admission is done directly by the university, need not appear for CATE.

6. Please note that you have to submit ONLY ONE form irrespective of the number of colleges you are applying to.

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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