regular-article-logo Thursday, 07 December 2023

Why and how are CUET-UG scores normalised? UGC chief M Jagadesh Kumar explains

The results for CUET-UG, the gateway for undergraduate admissions to over 200 universities across the country, were announced on July 15

PTI New Delhi Published 15.07.23, 09:06 PM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture

Performance of every candidate in the Common University Entrance Test (CUET)-UG is evaluated using equi-percentile method and the marks reflected in the score card are normalised scores, according to UGC chief M Jagadesh Kumar.

The results for CUET-UG, the gateway for undergraduate admissions to over 200 universities across the country, were announced on Saturday.


"What is important to note that CUET-UG has been conducted over a period of 6 weeks with tests in a given subject held on different days. So naturally the question that arises is how are we going to compare the performance of different students on a common scale since they have written the test in the same subject but on different days.

"We need to ensure that the admissions are made based on a score that accurately compares the performance of the students," Kumar said.

Asked why normalisation is done for CUET-UG and not all entrance exams, he said unlike CUET-UG, other entrance examinations are limited to fewer subjects.

"In single session entrance tests, one common statistically established method is to transform the raw marks into a common uniform scale using the percentile method so that the performance of students can be compared to each other.

"But in entrance tests such CUET-UG since the test is conducted on different days and in multiple sessions for the same subject, it will give rise to multiple percentiles for each group of students. In addition to the above difficulty another problem with using only percentiles is that in subjects such as Sports or Fine Arts, some weightage is given to the skill component by some universities," he said.

"But, addition of raw marks in the skill component and the remaining weightage (75 pc) of percentile cannot be done to prepare the rank list because it would be similar to adding oranges to apples," he added.

In the equi-percentile method, percentile for each candidate is calculated using the raw marks of the candidate as compared to the raw marks of others in the same session. This is done for every session across multiple days for the same subject. These percentiles are then equated, and converted into normalised marks. For sessions with smaller number of candidates, these are clubbed with bigger sessions.

"In which session they have appeared in a given subject making their performance comparable across sessions. These normalised marks of the candidates, obtained using equipercentile method, in different sessions in a given subject can be used in the same way we use the raw marks of a conventional single session examination.

"Therefore, in a particular university, if the raw marks of the skill component has certain weightage it can be added to the remaining weightage of the normalized marks to prepare the rank list," Kumar said.

The CUET-UG is the second-largest entrance exam in the country in terms of the number of applicants. In its first edition, 12.5 lakh students had registered for the exam and 9.9 lakh had submitted their applications.

The second edition of the crucial exam witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of applications, with over 14 lakh students applying for the CUET-UG, a 41 per cent rise compared to the previous year.

Unlike the previous year, this year's examination was conducted in three shifts.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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