NRA CET 2021: Common Eligibility Test by National Recruitment Agency

Find everything you need to know about the National Recruitment Agency – Common Eligibility Test, NRA CET 2021 on this page. Check all important details and latest news updates.

Union Cabinet has given the approval on a proposal shared by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions on 19th August 2020 to start the formation of a new Recruitment Agency for managing the recruitment of already existing government recruiting agencies at the initial level.

The newly formed agency will be responsible to arrange a single primary level (Tier 1) examination. Common Eligibility Test will be common for all recruiting agencies at the initial level.

nra cet

What is the Common Eligibility Test?

Common Eligibility Test is a national-level competitive exam conducted by a multi-agency body National Recruitment Agency to shortlist candidates at the Tier-I level for Non-Gazetted, non-technical Group ‘B’, Group ‘C’ posts of the central government.

To begin with, Common Entrance Test will be conducted for the central level posts in Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railway Recruitment Board (RRBs), and Institute of Banking Personnel (IBPS).

The test will be conducted from September 2021.

What is the full form of CET?

CET full form in English: Common Eligibility Test.

CET full form हिंदी में: “सामान्य पात्रता परीक्षा”

Which exams will be conducted through the Common Eligibility test?

Initially, below given exams may be conducted by National recruitment agency.


Common Eligibility Test

Exam NameCommon Eligibility Test
Exam Conducting BodyNational Recruitment Agency
Year StartedSeptember 2021
Exam LevelNational
Exam TypeObjective type test
Exam Language12 languages including English and Hindi
Types of CET examThree types (10th class, 12th class, graduate-level)
Exam FrequencyTwice a year
Exam Purpose Shortlist candidates for Tier-2, Tier-3 exam for Group-B and Group C non-technical posts
Number of attemptsNo restrictions
Validity of CET scoreThree years
Official Websiteto be updated

What is the National Recruitment Agency?

National Recruitment Agency is a newly established central level multi-agency body that will conduct a Common Eligibility Test for the Tier-I screening of Group B, Group C posts for the SSC, IBPS, and RRB.

NRA was founded on 19th August 2020. It would be registered as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. It will have six regional offices in East, West, South, North, Central, and North-East and headquarter will be in New Delhi.
It will have 7 functional Divisions such as Controller of Examination, Strategic  Directions, IEC, Finance and  Research, IT Solutions, Administration, Content Development.

National Recruitment Agency

Name of the agencyNational Recruitment Agency
Organization typeCentral-level recruiting agency
Establishment19th August 2020
ResponsibilityTo conduct the Common Eligibility Test for the Group ‘B’ and Group ‘C’ (non-technical) staff for SSC, IBPS, and RRBs
HeadquarterNew Delhi
Departments7 functional Divisions
Official websiteWill be updated

National Recruitment Agency is set up by the Union Cabinet chaired by the honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to conduct the Common Eligibility Test. Now candidates will appear for a single exam.

NRA members will be selected from the participating recruiting agencies such as IBPS, RRB, SSC, and some members will come from central level ministries such as Railway and Finance Ministry. It is expected that the National recruitment agency will bring a solid technical foundation and best practices to help the Central Government recruitment for different verticals.

What is the full form of NRA?

NRA Full form in English: National Recruitment Agency.

NRA full form हिंदी में: “राष्ट्रीय भर्ती एजेंसी”

Why National Recruitment Agency formed?

One of the most obvious questions comes to everyone’s mind that Why there is a need for one more government hiring agency if there are already many existing organizations managing the central level recruitment.

The main issue is that these existing organizations are not performing as per the expectation and the current situation is getting worst. For example, SSC has not released the Combined Graduate Level 2018 exam result yet.

It’s been two years and Railway Recruitment Board has not completed the recruitment process for RRB NTPC 2018 exam. This two-year-long recruitment process is something that is totally unacceptable.

One more major problem is that candidate have to face the same situation again if he/she applies for any other exam such as exams conducted through Railway Recruitment.

The major task was to minimize the total time taken in the overall recruitment process for government jobs. National Recruitment Agency is constituted after considering this long-duration process.

Now there is no need to attend multiple examinations for different departments in the central government. CET will replace the initial level shortlisting and it will drastically reduce the total time and overall cost.

Candidates will also get the benefit of a reduced time cycle the total recruitment takes for any exam. Generally, A total of 6 months’ time is taken currently from the notification release date, Application process to the Tier-1 exam. This 6 months’ time will be reduced to 1 month’s time and will help in the announcement of the final result sooner than the current system.

Salient features of the National Recruitment Agency – Common Eligibility Test:

  • There will be a common registration portal for all candidates and only one-time registration is required to submit the online application form to apply for the exam. All important notifications will be released through this registration portal.
  • The Agency is planning to conduct the test twice a year which will be further scaled to multiple times a year as per the candidate’s preference.
  • New Recruiting Agency will introduce three CET level exams and different level exams will be conducted for 10th pass, 12th Pass, and graduate pass candidates to facilitate recruitment to vacancies at various levels and at the same time maintain the difficulty level of the exam according to the candidate’s qualification.
  • There is one more major change proposed to conduct the CET test in 12 major Indian languages including English and Hindi and later on increase the number of languages to make it easier to attempt by all people from different parts of the country.
  • Initially, the CET test will cover the central government recruitment for three agencies that is Railway Recruitment Board, the Staff Selection Commission, and the Institute of Banking Personnel. More agencies will be included later.
  • CET test will be held in 1,000 centers across India and there will be an examination center in every district of the country.  There will be a special thrust on creating examination infrastructure in the 117 aspirational districts.
  • All shortlisted candidates will get a CET score which will be valid for three years. After the test candidates will have to apply for exams separately to SSC, IBPS, and RRBs for the higher-level tests such as Tier-2, Tier-3, Interview, Physical Test, etc.
  • CET Score will be shared with the candidates as well as to the recruiting agencies.
  • There shall be no restriction on the number of attempts to be taken by a candidate to appear in the CET test subject to the upper age limit. Age relaxation for SC/ST and OBC candidates as per existing rules will apply.

Update (24th August 2020): The Indian government on 24th August 2020 shared a video on @mygovindia’s Twitter handle about how Youth is appreciating the Government’s decision of setting up #NationalRecruitmentAgency as it will simplify the recruitment process and more job opportunities can be explored easily. Watch this video to know more.

Update (24th August 2020): The Indian government on 24th August 2020 shared a video on @mygovindia’s Twitter handle about the CET recruitment process and how Women can easily apply for government jobs.

Update (19th August 2020): The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has expressed happiness over setting up of National Recruitment Agency. The Prime Minister said, “The National Recruitment Agency will prove to be a boon for crores of youngsters. Through the Common Eligibility Test, it will eliminate multiple tests and save precious time as well as resources. This will also be a big boost to transparency.

Benefit of the Common Eligibility Test

Benefit to Candidates from Rural Areas:

Now candidates from rural areas can compete for many posts by just appearing in one examination. Till now candidates from rural could not afford to appear in multiple examinations due to financial constraints.

Now they can appear for a single Tier 1 exam which will be conducted by the newly set up recruiting agency.

CET Score will be valid for three years:

The CET score of the candidate shall be valid for a period of three years from the date of declaration of the result. Candidates can appear for as many tests as they want and improve their scores.

There is no limit on the number of attempts. A higher CET score from multiple exams will be used for the further recruitment process. An example is given below.

CET examScore percentile in a different sessionPercentile considered for Tier-2, Tier-3
September 20218080
February 20228585
September 20227085
February 20239090

Standardised Testing:

The agency shall conduct a separate test each for the three levels of 10th Pass, higher secondary (12th pass), and graduate pass candidates for the non-technical posts.

Currently, The recruitment for non-technical posts is carried out by the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs), the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), and by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).

Candidates will be shortlisted based on the CET test score and final selection for recruitment shall be made through separate specialized Tiers (II, III, Medical Exam, etc.) of examination which shall be conducted by the respective recruitment agencies.

A single Exam Pattern and Syllabus:

The syllabus and exam pattern for the Common Eligibility Test would be the same. This will remove the extra burden of candidates who will have to prepare separately for different exams due to the difference in the Exam Pattern and Syllabus.

Exam Pattern and Syllabus would be different for different levels of CET Test such as the 10th level, 12th level, and graduate level.

Scheduling Tests and choosing Centres:

Now there would be a single portal for the registration and candidates can choose the exam center of their choice. Based on availability, they would be allotted Centres.

The government has planned to open the exam centers in every district of the country. The ultimate aim is to reach a stage wherein candidates can schedule their own tests at Centres of their choice.

CET Test Score access to multiple recruitment agencies:

Initially, the scores would be used by the three major recruitment agencies SSC, IBPS, and RRBs. After some time this score can be shared with other Central Governments, State governments, Union Territories, and public sector companies.

Further, Any recruitment agency can adopt recruitment through the CET score if they choose to do that. This would help such organizations in saving costs and time spent on recruitment.

Earlier, On 2nd December 2019 Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions (Department of Personnel & Training) has shared a proposal with the government and asked for their comments on the proposal to set up a specialized agency for government recruitment.

The objectives of the proposal are as under:

  • (a) To mitigate the hardship faced by candidates who have to appear for multiple examinations conducted by multiple agencies, where similar eligibility conditions have been prescribed.
  • (b) To bring in savings to the candidates towards multiple application fees and travel costs to appear in these examinations.
  • (c) To improve access to rural candidates by setting up at least one test center in every district.
  • (d) To facilitate candidates to schedule tests and choose an examination center of their choice.
  • (e) To reduce the time taken in the selection process.
  • (f) To facilitate employment generation.

NRA CET official website

The official website is not available yet. There is no official information about the availability of the online portal. The official website is most likely constructed by the NIC and information about the Common Entrance Test will be uploaded. NIC is responsible for the new government website design, updating the necessary data, and website overall maintenance such as server upgrade, etc.

After the website development candidates can check the website domain which may be similar to the…


Note: Please check that the domain has or at the end of the domain name.

As there is no official website information as of now so candidates are advised to avoid any fraud website which claims to be an official website.

Madhya Pradesh will use CET score for their recruitment:

CM Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan announced after one-day of the approval of the National Recruitment Agency that Madhya Pradesh will use the CET score for the hiring of Group C and Group D vacancies.

Madhya Pradesh became the first state which will use the CET score. He added that this will reduce the time taken in the total recruitment process and saves job aspirants time for their exam preparation.

Frequently asked questions

What is the syllabus of Common eligibility test?

As of now, there is no syllabus issued by the government. The syllabus will be issued later after setting up the official examination portal. All official information will be listed on the official website.
The Syllabus would be similar to the Tier-1 Bank Exam, SSC Exam, and RRB exam. In the syllabus, questions may be asked on topics such as Reasoning, Mathematics, and English. The difficulty level would be different for the 10th class, 12th class, and graduate-level CET.

What is the exam pattern of the Common eligibility test?

Exam pattern will be made available by the National Recruitment Agency when it starts the examination process. The only available information right now is that the Exam pattern for different levels such as 10th class, 12th class, and graduate will be different. Exam pattern will be made available on the official website which is currently under construction.
CET exam pattern will be similar to the Bank, SSC, and RRBs Tier-1 exam where candidates answer objective type of questions with Multiple choices and will have three sections as Reasoning Ability, Quantitative Aptitude, and General English. There may be some differences in the exam pattern for class 10th level, class 12th level, and graduate level.

What is the eligibility for NRA CET Exam?

Any candidates who have passed 10th class, 12th class, and graduate can appear for different levels of CET exams such as 10th class level, 12t class level, and graduate-level. Age criteria will be similar to SSC, IBPS, and RRB Tier-1 exams. Age relaxation will be applicable as per the existing rules of the Government of India.
Official Eligibility Criteria and details such as Age limit, Nationality, Educational qualification will be updated after the launch of the official website.

Which exams will be conducted by the National recruitment agency?

Initially, The agency will cover the examinations of Group B and Group C posts for Railway Recruitment Board, Staff Selection Commission, and Institute of Banking Personnel. It will conduct the Tier-1 Common Eligibility Test for the popular examinations such as RRB NTPC, RRB Group D, RRB JE, IBPS RRB, IBPS Clerk, IBPS PO, IBPS SO, SSC CHSL, SSC CGL, SSC JE, SSC Stenographer, SSC JHT, etc.

How many times CET exam is conducted?

Initially, The Common Eligibility Test will be conducted two times a year. NRA shall enhance the frequency of the exam at each level in a planned manner so as to reach a stage where it shall afford the opportunity for a candidate to book and take the test on the date and time requested by him.

Will NRA CET exam replace CTET, TET exams?

Common Eligibility Test will be conducted for Group B non-Gazetted, Certain Group B Gazetted, and Group C non-technical posts. This test will not replace the CTET and TET exam and These exams will be conducted by their respective exam authority departments.

Will the ssc cgl 2020-21 also be conducted by national recruitment agency ?

Yes, CET will come into force in 2021 and a common eligibility test will be conducted for all participating government recruitment agencies including the Staff Selection Commission. Agency will release its first notification for the test in 2021. All important information such as eligibility criteria, syllabus, exam pattern, etc will also be made available by the Recruitment Agency along with the official notification.

What is the age limit for OBC category writing for common entrance test?

The age limit will be similar or 1 year more or less to the current examinations conducted by the different government agencies such as SSC, IBPS, and RRB. The age limit will also depend on the exam level. The age limit will be different for all CET levels such as the 10th level exam, 12th level exam, and graduation level exam. For example, the Age limit in the SSC CHSL exam is 18 to 27 years so for the 12th level exam we can expect the age limit from 18 to 27 years. Please note that it is just an assumption and the actual Age Limit will be informed after the release of the official notification in 2021.

Is UPSC under NRA?

UPSC and NRA both are different recruitment agencies. UPSC is responsible to manage the central-level recruitment for mostly Group A and Group B such as the Civil Services exam. NRA is another recruitment agency that will manage Group C and Group D recruitment for the central government.

What is HSSC CET (Common Eligibility Test)?

Haryana staff selection commission has launched a one-time registration portal to recruit candidates for the Group C and Group D posts. This one-time registration portal will be used to conduct a common eligibility test, the Haryana CET exam. Haryana government will use this one-time registration portal and will not take any help from the National recruitment agency for their hiring.


  1. Union Cabinet approves setting up of National Recruitment Agency, Press Information Bureau, Aug 19, 2020. Accessed on: Aug 20, 2020. [Online].
  2. Union Cabinet approves setting up of National Recruitment Agency, Press Information Bureau, Aug 19, 2020. Accessed on: Aug 20, 2020. [Online].
  3. @mygovindia, Youth is appreciating the Government’s decision of setting up #NationalRecruitmentAgency as it will simplify the recruitment process and more job opportunities can be explored easily. Watch this video to know more!, Twitter, Aug 24, 2020. Accessed on: Aug 26, 2020. [Online]. Available:
  4. @mygovindia, Watch this video to know how the recruitment process and applying for jobs is easier for women with the set up of #NationalRecruitmentAgency, Twitter, Aug 24, 2020. Accessed on: Aug 26, 2020. [Online]. Available:
  5. @narendramodi, The #NationalRecruitmentAgency will prove to be a boon for crores of youngsters. Through the Common Eligibility Test, it will eliminate multiple tests and save precious time as well as resources. This will also be a big boost to transparency, Twitter, Aug 19, 2020. Accessed on: Aug 26, 2020. [Online]. Available:
  6. Public Notice F. No. 39020/01/2017, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Dec 2, 2019. Accessed on: Sep 6, 2020. [Online]. Available: Protection Status