CUET Passing Marks: Know the Score You Need to Clear the Test

March 10, 2023 | By: Extramarks

CUET Passing Marks

University applications can be an extremely taxing and time-consuming process. As a student, you need to research each institute and course you are applying to and understand their eligibility criteria and application process. A number of institutes also conduct entrance exams. Preparing for each exam separately can be a nightmare since the syllabus, examination format, and marking scheme of each exam can be extremely different. Wouldn’t it be easier if there was just one exam you could attempt which would serve as your application to all the universities you wish to apply to? 

To reduce the strain on both students and universities, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has introduced the Common University Entrance Test (CUET). The CUET is a national entrance exam conducted for entrances to Undergraduate, Postgraduate, and Integrated programs across 44 central universities as well as 28 other universities. This enables students to focus their attention on scoring the passing marks for the CUET rather than preparing for multiple different exams.

The CUET is held every year, in over 500 cities across the nation. It is organised by the National Testing Agency (NTA). In 2022, over 14 lakh students registered to appear for the CUET. As a result, CUET is India’s second largest entrance examination after NEET(UG), surpassing JEE mains. These students applied to a variety of undergraduate courses including BA, BCom, BSc, engineering, biomedical, pharmacy and other vocational courses as well as a number of masters courses. While the programmes these candidates applied to required that they attempt the same entrance exam, many of the courses had distinct eligibility criteria. They were also required to attempt various subjects in the exam depending on the course they were applying to. Let us take a look at what you need to be eligible to sit for the exam, as well as the examination pattern, the marking scheme, and passing marks for the CUET. We have also included some tips and FAQs to help you understand the way forward while registering to appear for the test. 


Eligibility for CUET 2023

Since the CUET is used by most universities to assist with undergraduate admissions, a fierce competition is expected. This is why the eligibility criteria to appear for CUET are pretty stringent. Students from the general category need to secure a minimum of 50% in their Class 12 examinations to be eligible to appear for the CUET. On the other hand, SC/ST students need to secure 45% in their Class 12 examinations to be eligible.

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In addition to the minimum marks, students also need to take particular subjects in their Class 12 examinations to be eligible for certain courses. For example, a student applying for a BA (Hons.) course in a language like French will need to pick French as a subject in the exam. Similarly, students applying to engineering courses will need to pick Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics while students applying to biomedical courses will need to pick Biology.

While a good Class 12 score is essential to secure admissions through the CUET, it is not enough to guarantee a seat. Students will need to achieve a qualifying score in their CUET and meet additional course-specific criteria to succeed in attaining a seat. Let’s discuss the exam pattern and passing marks needed for getting admission through the CUET.

CUET 2023 Exam Pattern and Qualifying Marks 

The Common University Entrance Test is a computer-based online test which consists of multiple choice objective questions. The entrance exam takes place in two slots. The duration for each slot is as follows: 

Slot 1: 3 Hours 15 Mins (195 Mins)

Slot 2: 3 Hours 45 Mins (225 Mins)

The CUET exam pattern consists of 4 sections, namely, Section IA, Section IB, Section II and Section III. 

Section IA is the language test and consists of 13 languages from which the candidate may choose one. These languages include Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Gujarati, Odia, Bengali, Assamese, Punjabi, English, Hindi and Urdu. 

Section IB is the optional language test and consists of 19 languages apart from those available in Section IA. These languages include French, Spanish, German, Nepali, Persian, Italian, Arabic, Sindhi, Kashmiri, Konkani, Bodo, Dogri, Maithili, Manipuri, Santhali, Tibetan, Japanese, Russian and Chinese.

Section II consists of 27 domain-specific subjects. These need to be chosen carefully based on the course the candidate wishes to apply to. Many undergraduate courses have specific subject requirements and students need to choose their subjects based on these requirements. These domain-specific subjects are as follows: 

1. Accountancy

2. Biology/ Biological Studies/ Biotechnology/Biochemistry

3. Business Studies

4. Chemistry

5. Computer Science/Informatics Practices

6. Economics/Business Economics

7. Engineering Graphics

8. Entrepreneurship

9. Geography/Geology

10. History

11. Home Science

12. Knowledge Tradition – Practices in India

13. Legal Studies

14. Environmental Science

15. Mathematics

16. Physical Education/NCC/Yoga

17. Physics

18. Political Science

19. Psychology

20. Sociology

21. Teaching Aptitude

22. Agriculture

23. Mass Media/Mass Communication

24. Anthropology

25. Art Education Sculpture

26. Environmental Studies

27. Performing Arts

Section III is a General Test which is required to be cleared for some undergraduate courses. It consists of questions related to general knowledge, current affairs, general mental ability, numerical ability, quantitative reasoning, and logical and analytical reasoning. 

Each CUET exam slot also has a different exam structure. Students can choose one of the two slots or attempt both depending on their course requirements. The morning slot, Slot 1, consists of one language subject from Section IA, two domain-specific subjects from Section II and the general test from Section III. On the other hand, Slot 2 consists of two language subjects, one from Section IA and one from Section IB, and 4 domain-specific subjects from Section II. Students are not permitted to repeat the language test attempted in Slot 1 in Slot 2. 

Marking Scheme for CUET 2023

To get familiar with the CUET exam pattern, it is vital to understand the marking scheme of the CUET. It should be noted that the CUET does contain negative marking. In order to avoid losing marks, you should get familiar with how the exam is scored.

Both slots of the CUET follow the same marking scheme. This makes it easier to get familiar with the scoring pattern for each section. One of three scenarios is possible when answering a question. The marks allotted for each question are based on the student taking one of these actions: 

1. If you skip a question = 0 marks

2. If you mark the correct answer = +1 marks

3. If you mark an incorrect answer = -0.25 marks

It is important to consider negative marking while attempting the CUET. Too many wrong answers put the student at risk of diminishing their score considerably. If you are not sure of the answer to a particular question, it may be wise to consider skipping a question and moving forward with zero marks rather than risking a negative marking.

Passing Marks for CUET 2023: Section-wise

Since universities look for proficiency in particular subjects to consider whether students are suitable for admission to their undergraduate courses, the minimum marks required to clear the CUET are split into section-wise passing marks. Students need to pass each section separately to be considered eligible for admission to the undergraduate course of their choosing. It is wise to know about the passing marks for each section before attempting the CUET. 

These are as follows: 

Section I: Language 

Section I of the CUET allows students to choose up to three languages. Of these, the third language to be chosen must be a domain-specific language. The domain-specific language chosen in Section IB cannot be the same as the languages chosen in Section IA,

The language section of the CUET syllabus tests the student’s language efficiency. This is evaluated by testing for reading comprehension in that subject. The section tests one’s ability to comprehend facts from literary passages. It also assesses their literary ability and vocabulary. The total marks for section A and B are 200 each which bring the total marks for Section I up to 400. Students are afforded 45 minutes to answer a minimum of 40 out of the 50 questions in the language of their choice. The minimum passing marks for each CUET language section are 80-90 marks. This means students need 160-180 marks as passing marks for Section I of the CUET. 

Section II: Domain-specific subjects

Besides three languages, students can also choose up to six domain-specific subjects. The list of 27 subjects they can choose from has been mentioned above. Each student needs to attempt 40 out of the 50 questions from each subject. Each subject has an allotted time of 45 minutes. The CUET syllabus has been limited to questions from the Class 12 syllabus of each subject. Studying solutions designed by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) can be beneficial for students. A total of 300 marks can be scored in this section. The passing marks for CUET Section II are 120-135. Take practice tests on the Extramarks app to check if you can secure the required score. 

Section III: General Aptitude Exam 

Section III helps universities assess the general aptitude of candidates applying to their courses. Questions in this section are related to general knowledge, current events, general mental aptitude, numerical skills, and quantitative reasoning. Students are given 60 minutes to answer at least 60 out of 75 questions. They are expected to score 120-135 marks to qualify in this section.


To qualify for the CUET, each student needs to score a total of 300-400 marks; however, particular universities have specific eligibility criteria. Before filling up your CUET application form, it may be wise to check the CUET eligibility criteria for the course you want to apply for. 

Set your own targets based on the requirements of the courses you want to seek admission for. Keep in mind that most universities afford only a certain weightage to the CUET marks of candidates. This is usually around 85%. Universities also conduct interviews which are used to determine the rest of the candidate’s score. 


Section I

1. It is the language section of the CUET

2. Students are allowed to choose a maximum of three subjects

3. The section is divided into A and B

4. Candidates need to answer 40 out of 50 questions for each subject

5. A total of 45 minutes are allotted to each language

6. Total marks: 400

7. Minimum passing marks per sub-section: 80-90

8. Passing marks: 160-180

9. 5% relaxation is offered to candidates from reserved categories

Section II

1. This section contains 27 domain-specific subjects

2. Students are allowed to choose a maximum of six subjects

3. Candidates need to answer 40 out of 50 questions for each subject

4. A total of 45 minutes are allotted to each domain

5. Total marks: 300

6. Passing marks: 120

Section III

1. It is the general aptitude section of the CUET

2. Students must answer 60 out of 70 questions in this section

3. A total of 60 minutes are allotted for the section

4. Passing marks: 120

Additional Tips

Here are some additional things to keep an eye out for before you attempt the CUET: 

1. Make sure your understanding of the CUET syllabus and marking scheme is thorough. As per the current marking scheme, one mark is awarded for every correct answer and 0.25 marks are deducted for every incorrect answer. Unanswered questions will remain unmarked. 

2. Create a proper list of colleges you want to apply to. Once you have done this you can figure out the CUET passing marks required by each course you are applying to. You can also use this information to evaluate the scores you need to target in CUET 2023 and prepare accordingly. 

3. When you are filling up your CUET application form, keep all your documents by your side. Fill up the application form carefully, cross-referencing with your documents after each answer. Avoid making mistakes because you don’t want any discrepancies to cause issues for you on the day of the exam. 

4. Double-check your CUET admit card before the day of the exam. Use your documents to cross-check the information on the admit to avoid any discrepancies. This will help you ensure that there are no problems before the exam. 

5. When answering the exam, ensure that you read each question before answering them. Several questions may be worded in a tricky manner. The only thing worse than not knowing an answer is answering incorrectly when you know the right answer. 

6. Solve the latest CUET sample papers before the exam dates to get familiar with the question formats and gain confidence towards answering each question. These are not only going to help you cover your syllabus effectively but will also ensure that you have the most updated material for CUET 2023. You can gain access to unlimited sample questions on the Extramarks platform.

FAQs about CUET 2023 

1) What is the purpose of the CUET exam?

Answer: The Common University Entrance Test (CUET) is conducted to provide a single exam for admission into undergraduate programmes conducted by over 90 universities nationwide. 

2) How are CUET marks calculated?

Answer: A glance at the CUET marking scheme will show students that they will be awarded 5 marks for every question they answer correctly, whereas 1 mark will be deducted every time they answer a question incorrectly. No marks will be awarded or deducted if a question is skipped.

3) When can I submit the CUET 2023 application form?

Answer: CUET registrations are already underway and will continue till June 2023. Be sure to fill up the application form to ensure that you do not miss out on your chance to appear for the examination.

4) What is the medium for the CUET exam?

Answer: The CUET exam is a computer-based test. The candidates will have to visit an exam centre where they will have to answer the exam on a LAN-connected computer. It is wise to attempt CUET sample papers on a computer before appearing for the exam, especially if you are not familiar with computers. 

5) What is the exam date for CUET 2023?

Answer: For undergraduate courses, CUET 2023 will be held in the first week of July 2023. Stay tuned to this space to learn about any changes in the date for the CUET 2023 examination. 

6) What passing marks do I need to obtain to qualify for CUET?

Answer: Each university has its own criteria of CUET passing marks for students applying to their undergraduate courses. Applicants should inquire with the particular universities they wish to apply to, to determine exactly what score they need to attain to secure admission to the university. Improve your chances to score well in the CUET by taking a crash course from the Extramarks platform.

7) Has the CUET UG 2023 exam pattern been changed this year?

Answer: Yes, the National Testing Agency (NTA), has revised the exam pattern for CUET 2023 for the undergraduate entrances. The CUET entrance test 2023 now comprises four sections. These include Section IA (Language), Section IB (Optional language), Section II (Domain specific test) and Section III (General Aptitude test).

8)  What is the total number of questions asked in CUET 2023?

Answer: A total of 175 questions will be asked in the CUET 2023. Prepare to solve these by signing up for the lecture series on Extramarks. 

Last Updated on November 30, 2023

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