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CUET vs JEE Mains: A Detailed CUET vs JEE Mains Analysis

Author : Akash Kumar Singh

Updated On : November 16, 2023


Overview: Discover the differences between India's two most important admission exams, CUET and JEE Mains. Evaluate their structures, syllabi, and distinct needs to determine which provides the larger challenge to pupils. Give yourself the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about your academic journey. 

Every year, competitive admission examinations shape the academic and career paths of millions of students in India. The Common University Entrance Test (CUET) and the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Mains are two of the most well-known. Both are important entry points to prestigious schools, although they serve slightly different academic markets. 

With the CUET 2024 exam dates announced and the JEE 2024 to be announced soon, it's natural to wonder which one to go for.

With a storm of arguments regarding their level of difficulty, many candidates are left wondering: which of CUET and JEE Mains actually tests students' abilities? In this article, we delve deep into the structures, syllabi, and distinct needs of both tests in order to shed light on this very subject. 

Key Contents

  1. Introduction to CUET and JEE Mains as Crucial Admission Exams in India
  2. Comparison of CUET and JEE Mains, including their structures and admission scopes
  3. Analysis of the key differences between CUET and JEE Mains
  4. Evaluation of the difficulty levels of CUET and JEE Mains
  5. Detailed examination of the syllabi for both exams, including subjects and topics
  6. Strategies for preparing for CUET and JEE Mains, emphasizing conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills

Learn More: What Is CUET General Test?

CUET vs JEE Mains: What's the Difference?  

JEE Mains, administered by the National Testing Agency (NTA), is a highly competitive national-level test that serves as a gateway to prestigious universities such as IITs, NITs, and CFTIs. CUET, on the other hand, is also administered by the NTA and provides admission to many topics in central institutions, such as engineering, technology, humanities, and commerce. 

While JEE Mains focuses mostly on engineering and technology programmes, CUET offers a larger range of possibilities for students interested in a variety of fields of study. 

An overview of CUET vs JEE mains is provided in this table. 



JEE Main 

Full Name 

Common University Entrance Test 

Joint Entrance Exam 

Conducting Authority 

National Testing Agency (NTA) 

National Testing Agency (NTA) 

Exam Frequency 

Once a year 

Twice a year 

Admission Scope 

Offer admission to a wide range of universities 

Offers admission to NITs, CFTIS, and IITS 

Examination Mode 


Online & Offline 

Exam Structure 

Single exam 

Two parts: JEE Main and JEE Advanced 

Difficulty Level 




Relatively less competitive 

Highly competitive 


Provides alternative options for admission 

Key exam for engineering and technology aspirants 


Various undergraduate programmes 

Engineering and technology programmes 


Class 12 pass 

Class 12 pass with minimum 75% marks in PCM 

Career Prospects 

Diverse career opportunities in multiple fields 

A strong foundation for engineering and technology careers 

Application Fee 

General/OBC- Rs. 800 

Other Category - Rs. 350 

General/EWS/OBC - Rs. 1000 

Others/Females - Rs. 500/- 

Official Website 



Read About: CUET Courses List

Which is the toughest CUET or JEE Mains?  

When it comes to difficulty, JEE Mains clearly takes the cake. JEE Mains necessitates substantial preparation and a thorough comprehension of the disciplines, making it a difficult nut to crack. CUET, on the other hand, is thought to be simpler. 

However, keep in mind that the difficulty level is subjective, and your personal circumstances and goals should lead your decision. If you want to study at a prominent engineering college, JEE Mains is the way to go. However, if you desire more flexibility in picking your subject of study or are concerned about your JEE performance, CUET can open doors to different alternatives. 

Know About: CUET Universities

Syllabus: CUET and JEE Mains  

The syllabus additionally differentiates CUET from JEE Mains. JEE Mains consists of two papers, each concentrating on a distinct undergraduate programme discipline. CUET, on the other hand, is held in two slots with three portions. Candidates' subject combinations influence the amount of tests they must take in a slot! 

Common Subject: Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics 

Physics, chemistry, and mathematics are all important in both the CUET and the JEE Mains. Here's an overview of what these topics cover: 

  • Physics: Mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, optics, and modern physics are key topics that require a solid understanding of concepts, formulas, and their applications. 
  • Chemistry: Inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry are the branches covered in both exams. Chemical reactions, equations, periodic trends, and various concepts within these branches need to be grasped. 
  • Mathematics: Algebra, trigonometry, calculus, coordinate geometry, and statistics are the mathematical areas you'll need to master. A strong foundation in these topics, along with problem-solving techniques, is essential. 

Learn More: CUET City Slip

The table below explains the differences in the syllabus pattern and the various sections involved: 


JEE Main 

Section IA and Section IB 

Reading Comprehension (different types of passages like Literary, Factual, and Narrative will be considered) 

Paper-1 (B.E./B/Tech) 

  • Mathematic 
  • Physics 
  • Chemistry 

Section II 

Domain Specific Knowledge 

Note – The syllabus will remain the same as the Class XII (NCERT) syllabus. 

Paper 2 (B. Arch/ B.Plan) 

Paper 2A- 

  • Awareness of persons, places, buildings, materials 
  • Visualising different sides of 3-D 
  • Visualising 3-D from 2-D objects Analytical reasoning 

Section III 

General Test- 

  • Current Affairs 
  • General Knowledge 
  • Numerical Ability 
  • Quantitative Reasoning 
  • Logical and Analytical Reasoning 

Paper 2B- 

  • Design and drawing of geometrical shapes 
  • Transformation of forms 
  • Development of surfaces and volume 
  • Creating 2-D and 3-D compositions Sketching of scenes 

Conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills 

Both the CUET and the JEE Mains put emphasis on conceptual understanding over rote memory. To effectively address complicated problems, it is critical to understand basic principles. Strong problem-solving abilities are also required to pass both tests. The key to improving these skills is practise, practise, and more practise. 

Learn More: CUET New Exam Dates

Preparation strategy for CUET exam 

Preparing for CUET and JEE Mains necessitates discipline and commitment. Here are some strategies that will help you succeed: 

Common Strategies 

  • Study Materials: Thoroughly study NCERT textbooks for a strong foundation and refer to recommended reference books for deeper insights and practice. 
  • Practice: Solve a variety of practice questions and previous years' papers to improve understanding and problem-solving skills. 
  • Strong Foundation: Focus on understanding fundamental concepts rather than relying on rote memorization. 
  • Language: Write answers and responses in English. 

Strategies specific to CUET 

  • Understand the syllabus and exam pattern to prioritize topics effectively. 
  • Practice solving multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and develop logical reasoning skills. 

Strategies specific to JEE Mains 

  • Cover the entire syllabus, including Class 11 and Class 12 topics. 
  • Practice solving complex, application-based problems and develop systematic approaches. 
  • Manage time effectively and take regular mock tests to improve speed and accuracy. 

Read More: CUET Results

Key Takeaways

  1. Understanding the Purpose: CUET and JEE Mains serve different academic markets. CUET offers a wider range of undergraduate programs, while JEE Mains primarily focuses on engineering and technology.

  2. Exam Differences: CUET is conducted once a year, while JEE Mains is held twice a year. JEE Mains is highly competitive, and its difficulty level is generally considered higher than CUET.

  3. Syllabus Variations: JEE Mains has two papers, each concentrating on specific disciplines, whereas CUET has three sections, including domain-specific knowledge and general tests. Both emphasize conceptual understanding over rote memorization.

  4. Preparation Strategies: Regardless of the exam you choose, studying NCERT textbooks, practicing with previous years' papers, and developing a strong foundation in subjects like physics, chemistry, and mathematics are essential.

  5. CUET Specific Strategies: For CUET, understand the syllabus, practice solving multiple-choice questions (MCQs), and develop logical reasoning skills.

  6. JEE Mains Specific Strategies: For JEE Mains, cover the entire syllabus, practice complex, application-based problems, manage time effectively, and take regular mock tests to improve speed and accuracy.

  7. Individual Decision: Your choice between CUET and JEE Mains should align with your academic goals and preparation approach. Consider factors like the syllabi, exam patterns, and career possibilities to make an informed decision.

Check: CUET Exam Pattern 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CUET?

How often is JEE Mains conducted each year?

Which exam is tougher, CUET or JEE Mains?

Can I apply for both CUET and JEE Mains?

Is CUET only for engineering?

How is the examination mode for JEE Mains?

What is the eligibility criteria for CUET?

How should I choose between CUET and JEE Mains?