A score of 90% may look very good on paper but the top colleges of Delhi University remain unimpressed.
With cutoffs ranging between 95% and 99%, students who score well find themselves out of contention in these institutes.
Take the case of Riya.
The 19-year-old, who did not reveal her last name, scored 93% in humanities but was not able to study psychology in a college of her choice.
“I wanted to study at Lady Shri Ram College for Women. I thought I had done my part by getting above 90%, but I did not get through even by second or third choice. I finally chose BA programme in a north campus college,” she said.
The number of students who are scoring above 95% has been consistently rising over the past few years. In 2013, this figure for Delhi was 1,523. In 2014, it shot up to 2,423.
The CBSE did not disclose how many students managed this feat in 2015 and 2016.
With the marks rising, the Delhi University cutoffs are also going up.
DU does not restrict the number of students who can take admission in a particular course if the seats are full.
If a student has met the cutoff, the colleges are bound to keep admitting students even if the seats are full. This is what makes DU colleges wary.
“We are forced to declare prohibitive cutoffs. The school boards have started doling out marks and we need to keep up. There have been cases where colleges have slipped up and ended up admitting five times the sanctioned strength of students,” said a DU college principal who did not want to be named.
It is not just the CBSE students, who have been getting high scores over the past decade.
When SRCC had set 100% as the cutoff for economics (honours) in 2011, two students from Kerala had walked in with the perfect score.
Shivani Mohan, 19, had realised that her score of 92.5% would not get her admitted to SRCC or Stephen’s College. She decided to go to the US to continue her studies.
“The cutoffs initially surprised me. But I realised that there were several students who were scoring much higher than I did. I decided to go to California to continue my education,” said Shivani.