It’s that time of the year, again. As you read this, the much-awaited first cut-off list of the University of Delhi (DU) would have been declared, leaving candidates with feelings of either elation or despair. With the university doing away with the pre-application process from 2011, determining the cut-offs has been a daunting task for colleges. If you wonder how the cut-off marks were determined this year, here are some answers.
“Aspects such as Class 12 results, previous years’ cut-off trends, the number of seats and the popularity of the college and courses are taken into account.
There’s a lot of analysis and study that goes into it,” says VK Srivastava, principal, Hindu College. Besides considering Class 12 results across various boards, officials also rely heavily on the popularity of courses in different colleges.
“We examined the trends of the past few years and analysed how many students were admitted on the basis of the first cut-off list. We have also factored in the withdrawals after the first list last year,” adds Srivastava.
Focus on infrastructure
Infrastructure in colleges also plays a crucial role when it comes to student intakes. College officials also hold discussions with departments in other colleges to know the response to their cut-off scores.
This time, the cut-off marks had to be worked out carefully to ensure that colleges did not end up admitting more students than they could manage.
“To avoid such a situation, we kept our first cut-offs competitive but we will try to be realistic and pragmatic with the subsequent lists,” says PC Jain, principal, Shri Ram College of Commerce.
Apart from the cut-offs, additional eligibility criteria becomes a filter for colleges to pre-empt over-admissions. “While the cut-offs set the standards, the additional criteria help us keep a check on the flow of students in a particular course. It is a very important factor in the admissions process as it helps us get the right number of students with the right aptitude for a certain course,” says Sunil Sondhi, principal Maharaja Agrasen College.
Science students better?
It has been obseved that students with a science background applying for economics (hons) in DU are given a relaxation of 2% in the cut-off marks in certain colleges. In its additional eligibility criteria submitted to the university, Kamala Nehru College’s economics department justifies the move by stating: “The faculty has witnessed that historically students from the science background perform relatively better, due to better analytical and mathematical skills. The lower cut-offs for science students are to, therefore, facilitate a higher entry of science students.”
Mind your language
The additional eligibility criteria works at two levels – one is to eliminate students as well as to select the ones with the right aptitude for the course.
“The requirements for many humanities courses will, in their additional criteria, stress on English language proficiency. It is absolutely essential because most humanities subjects require one to be expressive, and unless the student expresses himself or herself well, he or she won’t do justice to the course,” says Geetesh Nirban, media spokesperson, Kamala Nehru College.
But students need not despair if they haven’t made it to their dream college in the first cut-off round. “The university has allowed colleges to release up to five cut-off lists this time. So, those who don’t qualify for admission in the first list need not feel sad because they can make the cut in the subsequent lists,” says Srivastava.