22,836 CUET-UG aspirants in 100 percentile this year
The results of the common university entrance test for undergraduate courses (CUET-UG) in India showed an increase in students scoring in the hundredth percentile compared to last year. A total of 22,836 students were in the topmost performance band, suggesting tougher competition for college admissions. Over 1.1 million students took the test, with the maximum number of hundredth percentile scores in English, followed by Biology, Economics, and other subjects. The results will be used by 249 universities for their admissions process. The scores were normalised to account for variations in difficulty levels across different test sessions.
There has been an increase in the number of students scoring in the hundredth percentile of the new, all-India entrance examination for college admissions this year, according to the results of the common university entrance test for undergraduate courses (CUET-UG) that was declared on Saturday, showing 22,836 were in the topmost performance band.
Last year, when the test was held for the first time, 21,159 scored in the hundredth percentile, suggesting this year, college admissions will see a tougher competition than last time.
A total of 1.1 million students — 513,978 women and 602,028 men — took the test, which was held over multiple sessions between May 21 and July 5. In all, 249 universities will hold their admissions on the basis of applicants’ CUET-UG performance — this includes all central government-run universities, and some private varsities.
To be sure, the 22,836 number represents multiple hundredth percentile scores being counted separately even if attained by the same student.
Unlike last year, the National Testing Agency (NTA) did not provide the number of students scoring hundredth percentile in more than one subject to up to five subjects. It did not announce the names of toppers either.
The maximum number of hundredth percentile scores were in English (5,685), followed by Biology (4,850), Economics (2,836), Business Studies (2,357), Political Science (1,796), History (1361), and Accountancy (1074).
A percentile represents the relative performance of a student — being in the hundredth percentile means they were virtually better than 100% of the others (this number is in reality likely to be a minute decimal point away from 100). For college admissions, a second metric will come into play: the “normalised score”.
Since the exam was held over multiple days and sessions, students sat for the same subjects in different shifts, with different questions. Normalising scores is meant to statistically remove any differences in difficulty levels between these shifts to make the performance of all students comparable, irrespective of which specific questions they attempted.
Officials called this the “equi-percentile method”. “The performance of every candidate has been evaluated using the equi-percentile method wherein normalised marks of each candidate have been calculated using the percentiles of each group of students in a given session across multiple days for the same subject,” the NTA said in a statement.
“The results of candidates have also been shared with the Universities where the candidates had applied…The participating universities will now prepare their own merit lists, and conduct their individual counselling on the basis of the CUET score cards provided by the NTA,” the agency said.
Vikas Gupta, the registrar of the Delhi University, said: “Since the results have come out now, we aim to start Phase II on the Common Seat Allocation System (CSAS) portal on Monday. Students will be asked to fill in their college and course preferences.”
Dean of Admissions at DU, Haneet Gandhi said, “Normalised scores will be considered for admissions at Delhi University. If there are two students who have the same college and course preferences and the same scores, we will use a tie-breaker formula and look at their Class 12 results.”
Delhi University offers 78 undergraduate programmes and 198 BA programme combinations in 68 colleges. In the second phase on the CSAS portal, candidates are supposed to fill in their preferences on the portal. Candidates will be allocated their highest possible preference based on programme-specific merit, category and availability of seats.
University Grants Commission (UGC) chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar, who is coordinating CUET with NTA, said the agency involved 2,200 subject experts and 800 translators in preparing 2,305 question papers and 148,520 questions this year.
“In subjects such as Accountancy, Biology, Business Studies, Economics, English, History, and Political Science, more than 1,000 students got 100 percentile scores. NTA will provide normalised scores to the 250 participating universities. They can use these scores to prepare the merit list for admission to UG programmes,” he said.
Like last year, humanities and commerce subjects had more 100 percentile scores than science subjects, excluding biology. For instance, in mathematics, 251 students were in the hundredth percentile, while in physics, this number was 83 and in chemistry 233.
While the exam was conducted in 13 languages, the maximum number of candidates took the test in English followed by Hindi.
The CUET-UG exams were stretched by over two weeks this year due to issues encountered in three states including Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and Manipur. There was an unprecedented increase in the number of applications from J&K and Jharkhand this year due to which NTA fell short of examination centres in these two states.
The agency had to postpone exams in these states to arrange for extra centres. In the case of Manipur, the NTA had to reschedule the exams due to the law and order situation in the state.
While 91,425 candidates appeared in J&K, 183,852 candidates appeared in Jharkhand and 3,225 candidates took the examination in Manipur’s Imphal.
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