Why CET MBA aspirants want justice

  • Gauri Kohli, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 01, 2015 18:22 IST

Over 50,000 students who appeared for the Maharashtra MBA Common Entrance Test 2015 are a worried lot. Ever since the exam was conducted on March 14 and 15 across four slots and two days, students have been voicing concerns regarding several discrepancies in the exam, including errors in the paper and evaluation. The results of the CET declared last week have also been questioned.

Ruhesh Shaikh, who took the MBA CET 2014 (online exam) and solved nearly 40 mock tests before taking the final test, says he fell short by five marks and couldn’t make it to the cut-off list of Sydenham College, Mumbai. “This time, I was allotted slot one on the first day. When I reached the exam centre, there was chaos as the computers were not working. The interface was very poor and the server was slow. It took me five seconds to go to the next question and it affected my speed as I had to solve 200 questions in 150 minutes. There were around 20 mistakes in the question paper (some questions were not printed properly, some didn’t have the correct option while others had multiple right answers. As more questions were wrong in our slot as compared to other slots, we spent more time in cross-checking those questions. The Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) announced that these questions will not be considered for evaluation. I attempted all 200 questions and was quite confident about the results. But I was shocked because I just scored 123.73 (out of 200) and I expected at least 160,” says Shaikh.

Aspirants are also worried about the normalisation process which, they say, was applied for the first time. “This creates a huge difference in percentile obtained for the same marks of the students from different slots. I scored 141/181 and my percentile was 92.003. Another candidate from slot four with the same score got 99.788 percentile. There is a difference of more than seven percentile and for some students, the difference is more than 15 percentile,” he adds.

Students say that though the method implied is correct, the application of the method in the CET is incorrect. Mayank Bajpai, another aspirant, suggests that the number of questions must be equal in each slot and there should be negative marking.

For Veedhi Parikh, final-year engineering student, this was the first attempt at CET. “I was in slot one and I am extremely unhappy with the way things have turned out. I have applied to Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies for the MMS/Msc programme for the year 2015-2017. My raw score is 152 and my equalised score is 141.19. Thus, for being in slot one, my percentile is 97.756 which could be anywhere between 99 and 99.9 had I been in any other slot. I understand that we got a paper that was relatively easy and the normalisation method seems fair. But we didn’t ask for it and I am very sure I could have scored as well in every other slot. It just doesn’t seem fair that an equi-percentile method is used for papers with considerably varying difficulty levels, that we get almost 10% of the questions in the exam misprinted or that our equalised scores drastically reduced from our raw scores unlike other slots.”

The exam was conducted all over Maharashtra in four slots across two days earlier this month. Ruta M Kulkarni says: “I have secured 116 marks out of 181 (but 19 questions being incorrect have been deleted by DTE) and my equated score has been reduced to 100 marks and my percentile is 75, whereas the person with the same marks in the another slot has secured 93 percentile. This is not fair to students who took the exam in the first slot.” Candidates who appeared in the first slot are now demanding re-evaluation of marks. Some students are also being denied admission by colleges till the issue is resolved.

What students suggest
The number of students in every slot must be equal. The number of questions must also be equal in each slot
The DTE should consider the raw score than give percentiles
The answer key should be shown to candidates and details of the wrong questions scrapped by DTE should also be available

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