Post the statement of the results by the National Testing Agency early on Friday morning, M Jagadesh Kumar, chairman, the University Grant Committee said universities will build rankings for RUG admissions based on “normalized” scores and not on percentile or “raw numbers.”
The scorecard released by NTA had two components – the percentile score and the normalized score.
Kumar said the scores have been normalized to provide a level playing field for students who wrote the exam in the same subject on different days or in different shifts.
This hinders candidates for some, the normalized scores are lower than the percentile and vice versa.
The UGC chairman said that since the levels of difficulty vary from session to session in the same topic it is quite possible that in the scorecard one can see that in one topic the percentile is higher than the normalized numbers and in another topic the percentile is lower than the standard brands.
“How can we compare the performance of different students on a common scale without normalizing? We need to make sure that the admissions are made based on a score that accurately compares the performance of students,” said Kumar.
The UGC chief added: “The CUET scorecard contains both percentile and normalized grades of the student in each subject. Percentiles indicate the relative performance of a student among a group of students who have written the test in a particular shift in a subject. Using the equipercentile method, students’ percentiles are converted into normalized numbers, taking into account the difficulty levels of multiple sessions. The levels of difficulty vary from session to session in the same topic. That is why it is quite possible that you will see on the scorecard that the percentile of one subject is higher than the normalized grades and that in another subject the percentile is lower than the normalized grades. Students need not worry about these differences as the CUET normalization formula was determined by a panel of experts from Indian Statistical Institute, IIT Delhi and Delhi University. Universities can use these normalized numbers to build admission rankings.”
Kumar states that the scores have been normalized to provide a level playing field for students as they wrote a test on the same subject on different days, saying, “Unlike CUET-UG, other entrance exams are limited to fewer subjects. Single-session admission tests use one common statistically established method to convert the raw grades into a common uniform scale using the percentile method so that students’ performance can be compared.
“But in admission tests like CUET-UG, because the test is done on different days and in multiple sessions for the same subject, it will lead to multiple percentiles for each group of students,” he added.
Another problem with using percentiles alone is that some universities give some weight to the skill component in subjects like sports or fine arts, Kumar explains.
“But adding raw numbers in the skill component and remaining weight of the percentile cannot be done to prepare the rankings because it would be similar to adding oranges to apples.