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CATEway to English Hons

Seventeen Delhi University colleges offering English (Honours) are keen on separating wheat from chaff. And they are hoping to achieve this through a common admission test next month.

delhi Updated: May 23, 2010 23:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Seventeen Delhi University (DU) colleges offering English (Honours) are keen on separating wheat from chaff. And they are hoping to achieve this through a common admission test next month.

Scheduled on June 9, the entrance examination or the Common Aptitude Test for English (CATE) is the single channel to secure a seat in English (Honours) at some of the best DU colleges (See Box).

And here’s how you can gear up for the same.

Application process

CATE forms are already on sale and are available at all the seventeen participating colleges. Sale counters are open between 10 am and 1 pm at day colleges and between 4 pm and 7 pm at evening colleges.

Just one CATE form is good enough for the 17 institutions admitting students on the basis of the test. For the non-participating colleges, candidates need to apply through the common pre-admission form.

“A candidate can get the CATE form once you produce a demand draft of Rs 300 drawn in favour of The Registrar, University of Delhi, payable at any branch of State Bank of India. The DD includes the cost of the form and registration fee,” said Sumanyu Satpathy, Head of English department, DU.

Applicants will have to submit one passport size photograph with the form. Last date for submission is May 31. “Candidates seeking admission under the SC, ST, sports ECA and physically handicapped category need not appear for CATE as their admission is done directly by the varsity or the respective colleges,” said Tapan Basu associate professor of English at Hindu College, which is one of 12 colleges participating in CATE.


Any candidate scoring at least 60 per cent in English and 60 per cent aggregate (best of four subjects) in the Class XII Board examinations are eligible to appear for the test. “There is no discrimination between Core, Elective and Functional English. So, any student with 60 per cent in any one of the three is eligible for CATE,” added Satpathy.


The examination will carry 100 marks and is of one-and-half-hours duration. The questions will assess a student’s language skills in terms of vocabulary, grammar construction of sentences as well as basic knowledge of literature (such as authors and genres).

It’s unlikely that the pattern questions will be similar to last year’s as the Department of English wants to discourage students from going to coaching centres or follow guidebooks. “It’s not preparation but aptitude that we will be testing through CATE. The exam is divided into two parts. Part A will carry objective type questions and Part B subjective,” said Basu.

This time, Part A of the question paper will serve as an elimination round, that is, if a student does not secure the cut-off mark in Part A then his/her Part B answers will not be checked by the examiner.

Examination centres

The examination will be held across 23 centres. The university will upload the candidate’s admit card along with information of his/her test centre on its official website on June 3. The students can either take a printout of the online admit card or collect it from his test centre between June 3 and June 8.

Results and admission

The results for the test will be declared on June 21 on the DU website. But admission will not be done solely on the basis of test scores.

Participating colleges will give 70 per cent weightage to CATE score and 30 per cent to Boards performance. “Instead of the university allotting seats to the candidates on the basis of performance and preference mentioned in the CATE forms, the admission autonomy remains with the students,” added Basu.

“The 17 colleges will declare separate cut-offs on June 22. The student needs to factor in 70 per cent of test score and 30 per cent board score to see if he/she has qualified for a seat in any of the colleges.”

Cut-off relaxation for OBCs will be up to 10 per cent as against general category performance.