CUET UG Result 2023: Confused with marks? Know how to read scorecard, what next? - Hindustan Times

CUET UG Result 2023: Confused with marks? Know how to read scorecard, what next?

By, New Delhi
Jul 16, 2023 01:14 PM IST

CUET UG Result 2023: The scorecards have percentiles and normalised scores, creating confusion about what will decide admissions, how it has been calculated.

The National Testing Agency (NTA) on Saturday released the results of the second edition of the common university entrance test for undergraduate admissions (CUET-UG) paving the way for undergraduate admissions to begin in 249 participating universities.

CUET UG 2023: Which score is important for admissions -- normalised or percentile? Know how to read scorecards (HT archive)
CUET UG 2023: Which score is important for admissions -- normalised or percentile? Know how to read scorecards (HT archive)

The scorecards students have received have percentiles and “normalised scores”, creating confusion about what exactly will decide admissions, and how it has been calculated. HT explains how NTA has scored students, and what will happen next.

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How to read the score cards?

The score cards issued by the NTA carry the percentile of the students and their “normalized score”. While the normalized scores are just like the marks one gets while the percentile gives the position of a student among a group of students.

For instance, if a candidate's percentile is 95, it will mean that there are 95 people who got less than that candidate’s marks. The person might have got 62 out of 100 and his or her percentile can be 95.

However, in case of university admissions only “normalized score” will be considered.

What is a normalized score? How does the NTA calculate it?

Since the exam was held over multiple days and sessions, students sat for the same subjects in different shifts, with different questions, the NTA has normalized the scores in order to statistically remove any differences in difficulty levels between these shifts to make the performance of all students comparable, irrespective of which specific questions they attempted.

The NTA uses the “equi-percentile method” wherein normalized marks of each candidate have been calculated using the percentiles of each group of students in a given session across multiple days for the same subject.

Explaining the process, a senior NTA official said that due to difference in difficulty levels of question papers in different shifts it is possible that students having the same percentile have scored very different marks. “Now, how do you compare these two students? Although both have the same percentile, one student has 58 marks and the other has 70. So, here, we used the equipercentile method to normalize the marks to bring difficulty levels across the sessions on the same scale. That will give you the normalized score,” the official said.

Why do some students express concerns over normalized scores?

Some students are complaining that their normalized scores are lower than the raw marks calculated by them using answer keys.

Explaining the reason behind that difference, University Grants Commission (UGC) chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar said that a total of 841 sets of question papers were administered over 34 days and 93 Shifts.

“If the test in a given subject is conducted in multiple shifts, there will be a difference in the difficulty level of the question papers. Since the tests are conducted on different days and in multiple sessions for the same subject, it will give rise to multiple percentiles for each group of students. Comparing their performance using only percentiles or raw scores will become problematic. A solution to this situation is using a method called the equipercentile method. In this method, the normalized marks of each candidate are calculated using the percentiles of each group of students in a given session across multiple days for the same subject. Therefore, a student's raw marks may differ from the normalized score,” he said.

“In the equipercentile method, which is a scientific method, we use the same scale for all candidates independent of in which session they have appeared in a given subject, making their performance comparable across sessions. Universities can use these normalized marks the same way we use the raw marks of a conventional single-session examination to prepare merit lists for admission,” he added.

What do students have to do next?

The NTA has already shared the normalized scores of students with the participating universities. These universities will now start their admission process and release merit lists using these scores. Some universities, including the Delhi University and Banaras Hindu University, have already started their registration process. The NTA has advised students to visit the websites of the universities they have registered for further information.

Presently, the NTA does not conduct any common counselling for CUET admissions. However, it is looking at the possibility of having common counselling for all central university UG admissions. “Such a system will provide a single window for admissions, and students can give their choices on a single portal instead of applying to different CUs separately. Non-filling of seats will be avoided. The academic sessions in all CUs will be synchronized,” the UGC chairperson said.

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    Fareeha Iftikhar is a Special Correspondent with the national political bureau of the Hindustan Times. She tracks the education ministry, and covers the beat at the national level for the newspaper. She also writes on issues related to gender, human rights and different policy matters.

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