Encouraged by the success of common entrance examinations such as the JEE for engineering colleges and the NEET for medical colleges, the government now proposes to bring the same concept to employment.
The Central Government is all set to implement the Common Eligibility Test (CET) to fill vacancies / positions in Public Sector Banks, Railways, SSC and other State & Central government bodies. Since the exam dates for 2020 have already been announced, the new system will be implemented from 2021 onwards.
The CET will replace the first level tests conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) and the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).
A National Recruitment Agency will be formed and under the new NRA system, candidates will apply through a common registration portal, paying a single entrance fee. They will prepare from a common curriculum. Examination centres will be set up in each district, with the Centre committing to invest in the necessary infrastructure for 117 aspirational districts. A standardised question bank with multiple questions of similar difficulty levels will be created in a central server. An algorithm will be used to jumble and dole out different questions, so that each candidate receives a different question paper, reducing the chances of cheating and paper leakage.
Scores will be generated quickly, delivered online and be valid for a three-year period. Students can write the test multiple times as long as they are within the eligible age limit, with their best score being taken into account. Ultimately, the aim is to allow examination by appointment at the convenience of candidates. For now, however, the examination will be held once a year.”
While the details of the test areas in the proposed CET have not yet been shared, they are not likely to be very different from the areas that such exams currently have – English Language, Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning Ability, General Knowledge and Awareness etc..
So, what does this mean for you, the potential job seeker? Well, once the system is in place, it means that you can heave a big sigh of relief, and not just because you’ll be saving on exam fees. Instead of having your attention, focus and preparation spread across different exams, you can put all your effort into one, knowing that a good performance here can help you apply for a variety of jobs over a three year period. You have the time to firm up the basics, identify areas of strength (so that you can boost them) and areas of weakness (so that you can improve in them). You have the time to take a fair number of practice tests, so that you can sharpen your approaches and time-management.
This, then, will be a blessing in disguise !
Source: The Hindu of 13th of March 2020