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NRA Common Eligibility Test 2021

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CET exam to be conducted in early 2022. The Central Government has recently approved the setting up of the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) on 19th August 2020. The function of this National Recruitment Agency (NRA) will conduct the Common Eligibility Test (NRA CET). This exam was proposed in the Rajya Sabha way back on 14th March 2018 whereas the concept of NRA was first proposed in the Union Budget 2020. This exam will be conducted for the selection of aspirants to the various non-gazetted Group B and Group C posts in the Central Government, State/UT Government, and the Public Sector Banks.

The idea behind this exam is to replace various other exams for the said posts with one single exam. Currently, these exams are being conducted by different hiring organizations like the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS), Railways Recruitment Board (RRB), etc. The scores of this exam will be valid for three years. There will be no limitations on the number of attempts and the best among these scores will be considered valid. 

National Recruitment Agency And Common Eligibility Test

There seems to be a lot of confusion among the candidates in regards to these new terms i.e. NRA and CET. In simple words, the Common Eligibility Test will act as one single screening/shortlisting test for various Group B and Group C exams. Generally, for most of the exams, the selection takes place through multiple stages i.e. preliminary exam, main exam, skill test/interview. The NRA CET will replace the preliminary stage for all the said exams. On the other hand, the multi-agency body called the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) will be responsible for the conduction of this NRA CET. The candidates who will clear this NRA CET will be assessed further through specialized tiers (i.e. tier 2, tier 3 exams) by the respective organization i.e. SSC, IBPS, etc.

CET Major Highlights

NRA Full Form

National Recruitment Agency

CET Full Form

Common Eligibility Test


Twice a year

Exam Language

12 Major Indian Languages

Score Validity

3 years

Number Of Attempts

No bar on attempts

Exam Centres

1000+ (every district of the country)

Mode of Exam

Computer-Based Online

Posts Covered

  • Group B (Non-Gazetted)
  • Group B "Gazetted" (exempted from the consultation of UPSC)
  • Group C


NRA CET Exam Dates

The National Recruitment Agency (NRA) will conduct the Common Eligibility Test (NRA CET) from September 2021. This announcement was made by the Union Minister Jitendra Singh in the Lok Sabha. This exam will be conducted to screen candidates for various jobs in the Government Sectors which are currently conducted by SSC, RRB & IBPS. You can check the details of this announcement in the Press Release Note below.



Starting For Online Registrations

To be announced

Deadline For Online Registrations

To be announced

Admit Card Release

To be announced

Examination Date

Early 2022

Exams To Be Replaced By The NRA CET

As discussed earlier, the NRA will replace the Staff Selection Commission, Railways Recruitment Board & other such Govt exam conducting bodies for the conduction of preliminary tests or the screening/shortlisting test only. The final appointment or the selection will be carried out through a domain-specific exam to be conducted by respective agencies (i.e. SSC/RRB/IBPS). The NRA CET will replace the examinations from agencies:

A. Staff Selection Commission

The SSC conducts various crucial examinations for students hailing from different educational backgrounds like class 10th, class 12th, and graduate level. These various examinations like Combined Higher Secondary Level, Combined Graduate Level, Central Police Organization Exam, etc. are conducted across various stages like Tier 1, Tier 2, and so on. The first tier for all of these exams has a somewhat similar exam pattern or syllabus. The NRA CET will replace all these tier 1 exams.

B. Railways Recruitment Board

Indian Railways is one of the largest employers in the country when it comes to Govt jobs. The RRB too conducts various examinations like NTPC, Group D, etc. across various CBTs i.e. Computer Based Tests. The Common Eligibility Test will replace the CBT 1 stage for all the exams. 

C. Institute of Banking Personnel Selection Board

The IBPS conducts examinations for the recruitment of various banking posts like Clerk, Bank PO, Bank SO, etc. For all such examinations, the IBPS arranges a preliminary exam. The NRA CET will replace all these preliminary examinations for all such banking posts. The further stages of selection i.e. mains, interviews, etc. will be conducted by IBPS only.

D. Graduate & Undergraduate Level Jobs

The NRA CET will be applicable not just for Central Govt job exams but also by recruitments conducted by various State Governments and Union Territories. The State/UT Governments also need candidates belonging to every educational background like graduate, 10th pass, and 12th pass. The respective exam conducting body can directly conduct the advanced selection stage once the NRA CET has been cleared by the applicant. The press release regarding the same was released recently:

State/UT Govt Recruitments Through NRA CET

Here are some of the exams for which the initial selection stage might be replaced by the NRA CET:

Sr. No.

Exam Conducting Bodies

Matriculation Level

Higher Secondary/ Intermediate Level

Graduate Level


Staff Selection Commission


SSC Selection Post





Railways Recruitment Board

RRB Group D






Institute of Banking Personnel Selection



IBPS Clerk,


Advantages of NRA CET Exam

NRA CET Exam will have some major advantages which can be summed up below:

  • NRA CET will reduce the number of exams conducted by the various exam conducting bodies.
  • The candidate has to pay multiple application fees and has to travel to numerous examination centres in order to appear for multiple exams. This initiative will hence resume the financial burden on the student.
  • It is possible that NRA CET scores may be further used by State Governments in the future if they desire to use it for short-listing candidates for employing them.
  • The NRA CET can curb corruption and scams to a great extent.
  • There will be no restriction on the number of attempts. Hence the candidate can appear for the exam as long as he/she satisfies the age limit.
  • NRA CET majorly aims to bring transparency in various government procedures, to ease the difficulty faced by the candidates after failure in the proper conduction of various exams. In the past, SSC CHSL 2013, CGL 2014, SSC Constable (GD), CAPF 2016, etc. have been cancelled due to a number of reasons.

NRA CET Exam Pattern

The NRA has not declared any specific exam pattern or syllabus for this Common Eligibility Test. The details regarding the same will be released in due course of time. The National Recruitment Agency will however conduct the following three types of NRA CETs:

  • Matriculation Level (10th class)
  • Higher Secondary Level (12th pass)
  • Graduation Level 

The syllabus for these exams will be as per the Tier I/CBT 1/ Preliminary stages of the various exams which are conducted by the SSC, IBPS, etc. for respective educational levels. Hence the recruitment will be taking place in two phases i.e. NRA CET & Specialized Tiers by respective organizations.

Challenges of NRA CET Exam

Though NRA CET is a major initiative taken by the Indian Government, yet there are few challenges that the exam may have to face after the process gets implemented.

  • The major challenge in conducting the NRA CET will be the exam pattern & syllabus. As this will be a common exam for SSC, Banking, RRB etc. then there will be big difficulty in following a single syllabus & pattern and deciding a standard pattern for NRA CET.
  • There is uncertainty about whether the NRA CET will be qualifying or its marks will be added in the Mains exam & final score.

NRA CET Preparation Tips 

These are a few preparation tips to achieve your goal. It is important to stay dedicated and work towards the results. Don’t forget to solve online test series, attempt mock tests, solve practice sets, etc for self-evaluation. These tips will help you excel in NRA CET 2021. 

NRA CET Books For Preparations

These are some of the books that can be referred to while preparing for NRA CET 2021. 



How will the Books Help?

A Modern Approach to Verbal Reasoning by RS Agarwal

RS Agarwal

This book will cover all the reasoning topics. 

Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examination by RS Agarwal


RS Agarwal

Quantitative Aptitude gives a complete conceptual overview and a lot of questions to practice.

High School English Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin

N D V Prasada Rao

For a complete Grammar guide, candidates can choose this book.

Hopefully, this article on the NRA CET was informative for all the Govt job aspirants. Now such aspirants might be having a better understanding of the new recruitment process which will be brought into practice by 2021. For the preparation of various Govt job examinations, the candidates can download to Testbook App.


When was the concept of setting up the National Recruitment Agency finalized?
The Cabinet had approved the setting up of NRA on 19th August 2020.
When will the Common Eligibility Test be conducted?
The NRA is expecting to conduct NRA CET in early 2022.
For which all posts will the NRA CET be conducted?
The NRA CET will be conducted for Group B (Non-Gazetted), Group B "Gazetted" (exempted from the consultation of UPSC) & Group C posts.
How many times does NRA conduct the NRA CET exam each year?
The NRA CET will be conducted twice a year.
What will be the language of examination for NRA CET?
The NRA CET will be conducted in 12 major Indian languages.
What will be the validity of NRA CET exam scores?
The NRA CET scores will be valid for 3 years.
What will be the mode of examination for the NRA CET?
The mode of exam will be Computer Based (Online).
What will be the maximum number of attempts for the NRA CET?
The NRA has set no bar on the number of attempts.
Will the NRA CET replace SSC, IBPS, and other such bodies completely?
No, the NRA CET will only conduct the preliminary/screening/shortlisting examination. The advanced tiers will be conducted by the respective organization only (i.e. SSC, IBPS, etc.)
Will there be NRA CET for Govt jobs after class 10th too?
The NRA will conduct three different types of NRA CET i.e. for 10th pass, 12th pass, and graduate-level exams.