Admission to professional courses at the first degree and postgraduate degree levels are governed by several factors. First, qualifying in the admission or entrance tests. The second one is the reservation of seats for students belonging to several specified categories of castes. Besides such reservation, there is also a system according to which a specified quota is earmarked for several categories of student, e.g., students sponsored by Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), physically handicapped persons, student excelling in sports. And finally, fulfilling domicile requirements specified by the State Governments for admitting students in institutions located in the respective states.
There was a time when admission to different courses, particularly in the field of professional education, was based entirely on the marks obtained in the preceding qualifying examinations. With the ever-increasing number of students trying to get admission to professional courses, admission tests were introduced to screen candidates to fill up the limited number of seats.
The different types of test conducted can be broadly grouped into following categories:
1. Tests at All-India level
2. Tests at the State level for admission to first degree level of professional courses conducted by State Government
3. Tests for admission to professional courses at postgraduate level conducted either by State Governments or jointly by several universities in a State
4. Tests for admission to colleges affiliated under them
5. Tests conducted by independent Testing Services.
In addition, many private autonomous management institutions conduct their own tests.
Entrance Tests, in fact, have triggered off a lucrative coaching business.