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Delhi University cutoffs set to soar as over 70,000 score over 95%

Every year, over 70% of students who take admissions to the DU are from the CBSE board.
By Kainat Sarfaraz, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 31, 2021 04:59 AM IST
It is to be noted that the number of students appearing for Class 12 assessment has also increased — from 1,192,961 to 1,369,745 this year.(HT Photo)

With over 220,000 students scoring 90% or more marks -- over 70,000 of them securing 95% or more -- in the Central Board of Secondary Education Class 12 results announced on Friday, securing a seat in Delhi University (DU) this year will become all the more difficult as DU officials anticipate a steep rise in the cutoff marks for most undergraduate courses.

Every year, over 70% of students who take admissions to the DU are from the CBSE board.

A total of 220,156 students scored 90% or more this year, as compared to 196,620 in 2020 — a jump of nearly 12%.The number of students scoring 95% or more has almost doubled to 70,004 from last year’s 38,686. However, those scoring in the 90-95% range decreased by about 5% — from 157,934 last year to 150,152 this year.

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It is to be noted that the number of students appearing for Class 12 assessment has also increased — from 1,192,961 to 1,369,745 this year.

In 2019, when the board managed to conduct exams for all papers without hindrance, 94,299 students scored in the 90-95% range while 17,693 students scored above 95%. The number of high scorers jumped by over 96% between 2019 and 2021 – indicating the impact of the revised assessment schemes on board results.

For the past two academic sessions, the board devised an alternative assessment pattern to evaluate Class 12 students, as exam schedules were interrupted or disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the February 2020 riots in north-east Delhi. While all exams for classes 10 and 12 were scrapped this year on account of the second wave of the pandemic, in 2020, the board cancelled exams of 23 Class 12 papers in view of Covid-19 and the February riots.

Several school administrators said the jump in pass percentage was mainly due to the 30% weightage given to class 10 and 11 scores. Ashok Pandey, director of Ahlcon Group of Schools, said the results this year, too, are a continuation of the trend of high scores. “Also in previous years, the actual pass percentage was without the compartment exam results. This year, students who could have got compartment did not because 60% of their marks came from class 10 and 11 scores, which they already cleared, and their best scores were taken. Another reason for an increase in top scorers is that internal test scores and practicals were used to calculate results. Students generally do better in unit tests,” he said.

Several educationists said the criteria were more empathetic this time. Ameeta Wattal, former principal of Springdales, Pusa Road, said, “The jump in scores is due to the revised marking scheme. But in the prevailing scenario, the assessment criteria were the best possible outcome and there was no other way. The board had formed a strict moderation policy for a holistic assessment of students.”

The increase in pass percentage and the number of top scorers may affect the cutoffs for undergraduate courses in Delhi University, which are likely to come out by the second week of September. Former dean (admissions) Shobha Bagai said, “The increase in pass percentage was expected. The number of high scorers nearly doubling was unexpected. Colleges will face challenges in deciding cutoffs and may have to decide on whether to leave seats empty or risk over-admissions.”

In Delhi University, colleges are supposed to give admission to all applicants who meet the announced cutoffs; there is no “first come first served” policy. Several times, colleges have to increase seats to accommodate all eligible students. The university will begin registrations for undergraduate courses from August 2.

Rajeev Gupta, chairperson of admissions, said, “If (pass) percentage has increased this year, it will also impact the cutoffs. But several entrance examinations are also in the pipeline. Once those examinations are conducted and certain students move out, that too will impact our admissions.”

Miranda House principal Bijayalaxmi Nanda said, “Cutoffs in popular courses will increase as per our calibration. In certain subjects, cutoffs may remain the same as per the choices of students. We will also be analysing the admissions data of previous years to ascertain the more popular courses.”

Hindu College principal Anju Shrivastava said they are waiting for admissions data to analyse how many top scorers have applied for different courses over the years. “The first cutoffs will be on the higher side. As far as cutoffs of 100% are concerned, we have to see how many students scoring above 99% have applied and take a call accordingly,” she said.

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