CATE 2012- What to and What not to Believe.

On a sultry Wednesday morning some 22 days ago when most of us were busy adjusting temperatures on our Air Conditioners and planning summer vacations with family, one Pritika Ghura decided to sweat it out and sat down to key in false information about Delhi University’s Common Aptitude Test in English 2012 (CATE, as it shall be abbreviated here on) or so a chafed acquaintance declared to the whole wide world on Facebook via an impassioned status message.
The Article posted on LearnHub, that caused much anxiety among aspiring candidates caught my attention while surfing Google for various college admission details. Now LearnHub happens to be a big player in the online career counselling/consultancy market. The chances of it then displaying false information with such great detail were slim. One look at the Author’s Profile and the chances matched Kareena Kapoor’s size : ZERO!
Another catch is, The article appears to have been posted 22 days ago which would be the 2nd of May. BUT, It carries information about sale of CATE application forms which it says begun on 20th of May. HOW? A prediction perhaps? A prophecy?
Jokes aside,  It really got me thinkin, “what is this article all about? And why is it here?”

The only plausible explanation I could come up with is that the article was posted in the year 2010 and the computer data base just re-uploaded it this year or shows the wrong year of publication. Now, I am no computer geek (not even close) which means I have no idea if such an error is possible but something I did work out is
The inaugural CATE was held in 2009. If we go by the article, May 20th is a Thursday. But May 20th was a Sunday this year, a Friday in 2011 AND a THURSDAY in 2010.
Another Google search and A The Times Of India article confirmed my suspicions. The availability of CATE forms in the year 2010 was, indeed, from the 20th of May to the 31st of May which coincides with the information available in the aforementioned article.
The conclusion I finally arrived at is, if humans are bound to err then the internet and all the information on it is nothing but human creation. The article contains correct information.. but for the year of 2010.

So where is the correct information for this year, you ask? On the Delhi University’s official website, of course! Years of looking up and filling college application forms has taught me that for correct information you should trust no one but the official website of the institute, university or college. And with a University as sought after and renowned as The Delhi University you can be sure of timely updates and announcements.

Without any more delay, let me have you know that the Sale of CATE 2012 Application forms begins on 25th May, which is a Friday and will go on till the 4th of June, Monday which is also the last date for receipt of completed application forms. You can purchase the forms from any of the 21 Participating College(link mentioned at the end of this post) between 10am-1pm and 2pm-4pm for Day Colleges and 4pm-7pm for Evening Colleges on days between 25th May and 4th June (excluding Saturdays and Sundays)

To obtain the application form, You will need to sumbit a Demand Draft (DD) of Rs. 350 in favor of The Registrar, University of Delhi
Drawn on any one of the following banks:
State Bank of India
Punjab National Bank

The Date of Test is Saturday, 9th June 2012 (11am-1pm)

The Date for Declaration of CATE Merit lists(on University Website) is Latest by 25th June 2012.

Eligibility Criteria for 
DU CATE 2012

  • For general category, the eligibility criteria is 45% marks in 4 main subjects in Std XII.
  • For OBC category, the eligibility criteria is 40.5% and for physically challenged students it is 40%. The SC/ST students must have passed class XII to be eligible for the exam.

How to prepare yourself for CATE 2012? 

Another thing you should not believe about CATE is that there is/are a particular book/s to prepare you for the exam. As is clear from the name, It is an aptitude exam. The very word implies that this exam is in place to test your aptitude for taking an Under graduate course in English. Mugging up a fixed set of questions is not going to help for the simple reason that there is no fixed set of questions from which questions shall be asked in the CATE. But that does not mean you have to turn up clueless for the exam. Let me run you through a basic pattern of the paper and what you can do in this short span of time to do well in the exam:

CATE is a 2 hour examination. The paper will consist of 2 section. Part ‘A’ will comprise Multiple Choice Questions (or MCQs) and Part ‘B’ subjective or descriptive answer type questions(comprehension and essay/creative pieces). Both sections are to be attempted in the same sitting and in a specified time span of 2 hours.

Now there is one little detail you should be aware of. Although there is no Screening or Elimination round for this exam as such, the Part ‘A’ of the paper will act as screen for your qualifications. How?
While all candidates will attempt both parts of the paper, only the scripts of those students who qualify in Part ‘A’, as per standards laid down by the university, will have their scripts for Part ‘B’ evaluated.
In simple comprehend-able English it means if you secure certain qualifying marks in the Objective Part ‘A’ only then will your Part ‘B’ script be evaluated. That translates- it is imperative you do well in Part ‘A’ to pass the exam.
Moving over to how you can best paper yourself for the exam..
I think, and this is my personal opinion entirely, that in the 10-15 days one has before the test date no ground breaking improvement in ones overall prospects to qualify the examination can be made. Nonetheless, you can start by picking up a habit for reading books (which trust me, will prove to be a very useful habit in the future if you plan to take English Literature seriously). You must start following at least 1 daily newspaper and acquaint yourself with the current style of writing and presentation. One, albeit unrelated but very wise decision would be to start substituting sms lingo in your daily conversations- online and on text message- with properly spelled, complete words. It barely takes a few more seconds to type the entire word but puts you at ease in writing better creative pieces in exams like the CATE where proper grammar is of paramount importance.

Furthermore, you could find out about popular literature online such as Famous Authors and Poets and their works. Some knowledge about 19th and 20th century literature could come in handy as well. Although there are no sample papers or previous year question papers issued by the university, a friend who wrote the exam last year shared that the objective section consisted primarily of Popular Literature and related items.
In all, a good base and firm understanding of the English Language and some knowledge in Popular English literature could sail your boat. Like I said, aptitude matters.

List of participating colleges and other details are available on

If you have any trouble finding the correct details on the university website just click on or copy paste the following link in your web browser address bar and you’ll find a PDF file containing all the necessary information. The link to copy paste is:
I hope that answers some of your questions. If you have any further queries feel free to leave a comment or email me at and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.
All the best for your future plans. I do hope you clear the CATE with flying colors and any other exam you want to clear, including the exam called life 😀
Carpe Diem.

PS: For my blogger friends outside India, I know this post had no significance for you. Sorry about that. But I have a lot of posts lined up for the weekend. Here is saying Hello to you 🙂 hope you’re doing fine.
Take care.