Hyderabad: The new method of ‘normalisation based on percentile scores’ in the Joint Entrance Exam-Mains (Paper I) has left many students and parents confused.
Percentile scores are based on the relative performance of all students who take the exam.
Many students calculated their raw score with the regular procedure and were in rude shock with their ranks after normalisation.
As a result, the top 30,000 were distributed in the 100, 99 and 98 percentile scores.
The National Testing Agency, which conducted the JEE-M took the score till the around 7 decimal point to avoid a tie.
For example, student Tanishq Vaishnav from Ajmer, secured 97.0630038 percentile and got the 33,281 rank. He got 159 marks in January and 183 in April.
He told this newspaper: “For the same marks, my friend got the 12,000 rank. I expected to get least 15,000. I wanted to get into NIT Jaipur. Now, I won’t be able to make it.”
Parents, too, were confused. “My daughter got 222 marks in January and 98.88 percentile. Her rank come to 12,900. It is for the first time in history that someone is getting such a rank after scoring over 200. Almost every child is disillusioned by the percentile system. We request you to kindly disclose the marks, percentile and rank of all the students from all the shifts,” a parent, Mr Antan Raj Dev, said on a social media platform.
As there were two attempts in different difficulty levels, students secured better marks and were expecting better ranks but it was not to be.
Even scoring 98 percentile has become useless as there are thousands of students with 99 percentile, said Mr Siddharth Jain, an NIT graduate and a trainer to JEE students. Till last year, there was only one shift, and the ranks were based on marks.
Explaining the system, the National Testing Agency said: “The normalisation procedure based on percentile sector would be used for ensuring that candidates are neither benefited nor disadvantaged due to the difficulty level of the examination. With the objective of ensuring that a candidate’s true merit is identified, and that a level playing field is created, this method is being employed.”
It added that candidates were given different sets of questions per session and it is quite possible that the difficulty level may not be exactly the same. Some candidates may end up attempting a relatively tougher set of questions and may get lower marks. Normalisation is an established practice for comparing candidate scores across multiple sessions, it said.
Mr K. Lalith Kumar, IIT JEE Forum convener, said, “It’s a standard method but, as students and parents are not aware of the method of calculation, there is a lot of confusion.
“With the multiple shifts in different difficulty levels, large number of students were able to score better.”
An expert from a renowned IIT on the condition of anonymity said this has been introduced to filter the students in the best level possible.
“Often the students are lacking the conceptual understanding of the subject when they come to first semester in the IITs and are failing here, as a result the quality of the engineers is coming down in these institutes. Most of the private institutes are spoiling students by rote learning methods and are making them unfit for the best and tough methods that are being taught in the IITs.”...