As many as 9,000 students took their first step towards admission to the coveted English (Honours) course in Delhi University as they appeared for the Combined Aptitude Test for English (CATE) on Wednesday.
Most students found the one-and-a-half hour test paper easy but lengthy at the same time. The paper was divided into two parts – Part A which consisted of objective questions and Part B, which had subjective questions. While Part A had 50 multiple-choice questions of one mark each, Part B had two questions of 25 marks each. One of the questions in Part B was a set of five questions from a poem from the Class XII Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) English syllabus and the second was a book review of the applicant’s favourite book.
“The exam was quite easy as most questions were from the Class XII English course but it was lengthy,” said Bhavna Jain, a CATE applicant at Lady Shri Ram College.
Manu Srivastava, another applicant agreed. “I did not get the time to revise the paper as I finished just before time,” she said.
The first part that had questions about books and authors, left some students stumped. “I don’t know much about authors and found the first part difficult. I’m not very hopeful about the results,” said Sandra Gomes, who appeared for the exam at Jesus and Mary College.
The subjective part also proved to be a problem for some. “I was able to complete the objective part easily but the subjective part was way too lengthy,” said Mandira Narayan, who appeared for CATE at Hindu College. But for some like Ira Anjali Anwar, “It was a very easy paper and it was fun answering the questions.”
Sumanyu Satpathy, head of the department, English, Delhi University, said, “The exam went off smoothly and there were hardly any absentees this year. Most students found the paper easy but some complained of it being lengthy. This is an issue of time management on the part of the student.”
Last year, when CATE was introduced for the first time, the question paper stressed more on facts and grammar while this year it was more analytical, added Satpathy.
The university will upload the CATE results on June 21 on its website and the colleges will declare their individual cut-offs on June 22.
“The CATE cut-offs should not be compared with those of the non-CATE colleges which will declare the cut-offs according to the CBSE results. They will definitely be higher than the cut-offs declared by CATE colleges. So, students should not judge the colleges through cut-offs,” added Sathpathy. This year, 17 colleges conducted the CATE as compared to 12 last year.