Cut-offs for arts, commerce and science streams in junior colleges in the city jumped by one to three percentage points compared to last year.
On Monday, the first general merit list of coveted colleges left students squirming. Even with a score of 94.55 per cent, Jainika Shah (16) missed getting into the science stream at her preferred college, Ruia, by 0.5 per cent.
The cut off for Sathaye College's science stream rose from 93.5 per cent last year to 95.45 per cent. "It is scary how cut-offs seem to rise year after year. Several students in had 100 per cent," said Kavita Rege, principal, Sathaye College.
The Best-five policy has led to scores soaring. Principals said that the effect of the policy would be more pronounced in the second list when more students with lower scores compete for fewer seats. "The first list has an overlap of students who applied for vocational courses, but did not make it to big colleges. The second list will reflect the real cut-offs," said Swapna Durve, supervisor, Mithibai College.
At DG Ruparel College in Matunga, cut-offs rose by two percentage points in science to 95.45.
"The two percentage point rise translates into 11 marks," said R.K Pagdhare, who is in charge of admissions. With students scores separated by decimals, cut-offs are unlikely to drop in the second list, said Father Frazer Mascarenhas, principal, St.Xavier's College.