The need and history of CTET

The Ministry for Human Resource Development (MHRD) recognised some years back that the quality of teachers at government and government aided schools especially at primary and middle school level was degrading day by day. The chief reason was the recruitment of under-qualified and unskilled teachers. These ‘bad’ teachers were the result of unchecked and brazen distribution of educational degrees and diplomas by private colleges and ‘brokers’ who in exchange for money were freely black marketing these degrees.

So the MHRD decided to come up with a filter for such practices. They formulated the concept of a level which every aspiring teacher should pass. A certain level which is the basic requirement for any person to become a teacher. So the TET was introduced. The level was set at 60%. An aspiring teacher has to get minimum 60% marks to be CTET qualified.

A central test, the CTET, was formulated if an aspiring teacher wishes to apply for jobs in the Kendriya Vidyalas, the Navodaya Vidyalas and other central government managed schools and institutions. And on the same lines, for state government school jobs, state TETs were introduced. These tests replaced all the other state level examinations conducted for the recruitment of teachers. For instance, in Delhi, the DSSSB has been replaced by the CTET, likewise different states have their own TETs, viz. UP-TET, Punjab TET etc.

The CTET is conducted by CBSE and the state TETs by the states’ respective boards.

The differences between the CTET and the state TETs are because of the regional languages of the states and some differences in the curriculum of other subjects. Some states like Delhi prefer CTET. CTET is slightly tougher than state TETs when compared on the common subjects.

The first CTET was conducted in June 2011 and since then CTET has been conducted 3 more times mostly after a gap of 6-7 months. Below are the details of the exams:


Total Appeared

Pass %age













As you can see, even though many lacs of people appeared for each test, only very few thousands could clear the 60% cut-off. This dismal performance actually proved that the quality of applicants was way below the required proficiency! There is something seriously wrong with the College system which provided Education and Teacher training. These alarming numbers however, dipped to record low figures in the Nov-12 test. The CBSE realised that maybe the exam too had to be changed and has thus modified the structure, which actually showed results in the Jul-13 test when the numbers shot up again.

On Sep 4th 2013, Times of India reported:

According to chairman of CBSE Vineet Joshi, nothing much has changed in the exam. “Probably candidates have understood the pattern better after the initial attempts. Probably they are better prepared. But we are happy that more candidates have managed to clear the test despite the difficulty level being maintained,” he said.

The underlined words show how aspirants need to be better trained to crack this tough yet critical test.

CTET eligibility does not guarantee a job in a government school but it qualifies you to apply for the job. After applying, one needs to prepare for secondary written exams and interviews.

But if you CTET eligible today, then you have great opportunities waiting for you in the private sector as well because many good private schools have made CTET eligibility an unsaid norm for teacher recruitment.

So if you wish to become a school teacher today, make sure you are CTET qualified because CTET is here to stay for the betterment of students, teachers, education and the nation.

For more information like the eligibility, syllabus, structure and content of CTET exams, please visit,

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