An analysis of the Combine Aptitude Test for English (CATE), the common English entrance exam for 12 Delhi University colleges, indicates that high CBSE scores do not prove a student’s aptitude to study literature.
Several students who scored over 90 per cent in English had appeared for the exam. “Some of the highest CBSE scorers have done poorly in CATE, while the lower scorers have done well,” said Tapan Basu, associate professor, Hindu College.
“This means that students who do well in English at school will not necessarily do well in English honours, which is purely a literature course.”
To calculate the CATE score, 70 per cent weightage is given to marks scored in the CATE exam, and 30 per cent weightage is given to Class 12 marks.
“The highest score was around 89 per cent. Those students who have a CATE score above 80 per cent will be in with a good chance of admission to colleges that accept the CATE score,” said Sumanyu Satpathy, head of the English Department, DU.
Approximately 6,089 candidates appeared for the exam, which conducts admissions for 350 seats in the 12 colleges.
Each of these colleges will decide their individual cut-offs.
However, as several elite colleges, such St. Stephen's, Lady Shri Ram College, and Jesus & Mary College opted out, several teachers feel not everyone who scores well in CATE might end up taking admission.
“Some students who do well may not take admission in colleges which take the CATE score. However, we feel a significant number of students who get admission through CATE will take it up,” said Sumanyu.
The CATE admissions committee is pleased with the results of the exam. “I feel the exam will continue to be conducted for years to come,” said Basu.
Meanwhile, colleges that do not accept CATE scores are predicting a general rise in cut-offs. Our cut-offs are likely to go up by 2 to 3 per cent,” said Debraj Mookerjee, associate professor, English. “Students have better marks in English this year. Plus, we are being very strict and we do not want to increase our sanctioned strength.”