The cut-offs in the first list for bifocal (vocational) courses in the city have increased between one to three percentage points over last year. So far, this is the effect of the Best-5 policy, which pushed up students' scores as high as 100 per cent.
"The cut-offs are a little higher than last year," said Shobana Vasudevan, principal, R A Podar College. "The second and third list will be more telling on cut offs because they would fall to the early 90s, which a lot of students have scored."
At Jai Hind College the cut off for science (with electronics) rose from 92.76 per cent last year to 93.81 this year. Similarly, at SIES College the difference was of two percentage points and at Mithibai, a mere rise of 0.5 percentage points. Ruia College in Matunga and Birla College in Kalyan, the most coveted for vocational courses, had the highest jumps of three percentage points.
Principals reasoned that the effect of the Best-5 policy would kick in fully only in the later lists when a larger chunk of students with lower scores would compete for fewer seats, and would be more apparent in the general list which has more than two lakh applicants.
Also, students in the higher score bracket have done well in all subjects so the Best-Five policy has made only a marginal difference to their percentage. It is those with lower scores who will have a vast difference between their total scores and best five scores.
"Most of the 13,000-odd SSC students who score above 90 per cent are probably in the 90-94 per cent range, which is why the cut-offs may not have been pushed up by that much," said Swapna Durve, vice principal, Mithibai College in Vile Parle.