CTET or STET: Choosing the Right Teaching Eligibility Exam

CTET or STET: Choosing the Right Teaching Eligibility Exam


When it comes to pursuing a career in teaching, clearing the appropriate eligibility exam is crucial. In India, two prominent exams are the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) and the State Teacher Eligibility Test (STET). Understanding the differences between these exams, their eligibility criteria, exam patterns, and career opportunities can help aspiring teachers make an informed choice. In this article, we will explore the intricacies of CTET and STET, providing valuable insights to help you decide which exam suits your aspirations and goals.

ctet or stet

Understanding CTET and STET

What is CTET?

CTET, short for Central Teacher Eligibility Test, is a national-level exam conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). It serves as a qualifying exam for candidates aiming to become teachers in central government schools, such as Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas.

What is STET?

STET, which stands for State Teacher Eligibility Test, is a state-level exam conducted by respective state education boards. It is designed to assess the eligibility of candidates aspiring to become teachers in state government schools.

Eligibility Criteria

CTET Eligibility

To appear for the CTET exam, candidates must meet certain eligibility criteria. They should have completed their graduation with a minimum of 50% marks and should have pursued a teacher training program recognized by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE).

STET Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for STET vary from state to state. However, in general, candidates are required to have a graduation degree along with a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree from a recognized university.

Exam Pattern and Syllabus

CTET Exam Pattern

CTET consists of two papers: Paper-I and Paper-II. Paper-I is for candidates aspiring to teach classes I to V, while Paper-II is for those aiming to teach classes VI to VIII. Both papers comprise multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and assess candidates’ proficiency in subjects like child development and pedagogy, mathematics, environmental studies, social studies, etc.

CTET Syllabus

The CTET syllabus covers various topics related to education, child development, language comprehension, mathematics, and environmental studies. It is important for candidates to familiarize themselves with the prescribed syllabus to prepare effectively for the exam.

STET Exam Pattern

The exam pattern for STET may vary across states. It typically consists of two papers: Paper-I for primary level (classes I to V) and Paper-II for upper primary level (classes VI to VIII). The papers assess candidates’ knowledge in subjects such as child development, language, mathematics, and science or social studies.

STET Syllabus

The syllabus for STET includes subjects like child development and pedagogy, language I and II, mathematics, environmental studies, and social studies. Aspirants should refer to the official syllabus provided by their respective state education boards.

Validity and Importance

Validity of CTET

The CTET certificate is valid for a period of seven years from the date of declaration of the result. This validity ensures that candidates can apply for teaching positions in central government schools during this period.

Validity of STET

The validity of STET certificates varies across states. Some states offer lifetime validity, while others have a validity period ranging from three to five years. Candidates should verify the validity period as per the guidelines of their respective state education boards.

Importance of CTET and STET

Clearing CTET or STET is an essential requirement for aspiring teachers. These exams provide credibility and recognition to candidates, enhancing their chances of securing teaching positions in government schools. CTET and STET scores also serve as benchmarks for various private schools during their hiring processes.

Career Opportunities

CTET Career Opportunities

Qualifying CTET opens up numerous career opportunities for candidates. They can apply for teaching positions in central government schools like Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas, and schools under the Ministry of Education. CTET also acts as an eligibility criterion for several state government teaching jobs.

STET Career Opportunities

STET paves the way for teaching careers in state government schools. Candidates who clear STET can apply for teaching positions in primary and upper primary levels in their respective states. It offers a gateway to become a recognized teacher and contribute to the educational system at a local level.

Preparation Tips

CTET Preparation Tips

  1. Understand the exam pattern and syllabus thoroughly.
  2. Create a study plan and allocate time for each subject.
  3. Refer to recommended books and study materials.
  4. Solve previous years’ question papers and take mock tests.
  5. Focus on pedagogy, child development, and subject-specific concepts.
  6. Stay updated with current educational reforms and policies.

STET Preparation Tips

  1. Know the specific exam pattern and syllabus of your state.
  2. Gather study materials and reference books.
  3. Solve previous years’ question papers and practice mock tests.
  4. Emphasize subject knowledge and pedagogical concepts.
  5. Stay updated with state-specific educational policies and reforms.


Choosing between CTET and STET depends on various factors, including your career goals, the level at which you want to teach, and the geographic scope of your aspirations. CTET offers national-level opportunities, while STET provides access to state government teaching positions. Both exams hold significance in the teaching profession, ensuring credibility and opening doors to fulfilling careers in education.


FAQ 1: Can I appear for both CTET and STET exams? Yes, you can appear for both exams if you meet the eligibility criteria. CTET is a national-level exam, while STET is conducted at the state level.

FAQ 2: Is it mandatory to clear CTET or STET to become a teacher? While it is not mandatory to clear these exams, they enhance your chances of securing teaching positions in government schools and serve as benchmarks for private school hiring processes.

FAQ 3: How often are CTET and STET exams conducted? CTET is conducted twice a year, while STET exams are conducted as per the schedule decided by individual state education boards.

FAQ 4: Can I teach in a different state if I clear CTET? Yes, clearing CTET allows you to apply for teaching positions in central government schools across different states.

FAQ 5: Can I teach in a different state if I clear STET? STET eligibility is typically limited to the state in which the exam is conducted. However, some states may allow candidates to apply for teaching positions in other states as well.

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