CUET UG 2023: Equi-percentile mechanism not unfair; has been in use for years, says UGC Chairman

Since the CUET-UG results were announced on Saturday, July 15, few students have been complaining about their scores being brought down
File photo of M Jagadesh Kumar | (Pic: Express)
File photo of M Jagadesh Kumar | (Pic: Express)

According to the Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) M Jagadesh Kumar, the equi-percentile method used in the Common University Entrance Test Undergraduate (CUET UG) for normalising scores is a fair method where luck plays no role, reports PTI. He made this statement on Monday. July 17. 

The results for CUTE UG, which serves as the gateway for undergraduate admissions to over 200 universities across the country, were announced on Saturday, July 15. Since the announcement of the results, few students have been complaining about their scores being brought down. 

"First, we must remember that we were required to conduct CUET in multiple shifts in a given subject due to the large number of students participating in the test. For example, if the test is in economics, NTA experts prepare multiple economics papers for use in different shifts. Despite our best efforts, the difficulty level of each paper will slightly differ from the other. Therefore, one needs to use normalised scores instead of scores obtained by a student," Kumar told PTI. 

He further added, "For this purpose, we use a scientific method called the equi-percentile method for normalising the difficulty level across different shifts. In the process, the normalised scores for some students will be less than the obtained score; for others, it may increase. This method has been in vogue for decades globally and is a statistical procedure for establishing correspondence between scores on different tests. Therefore, there is no luck or unfairness. Students need not worry about it.”

Summary of CUET UG
CUET UG is the second-largest entrance exam in the country in terms of the number of applicants. In the first edition, 12.5 lakh students registered for the exam, with 9.9 lakh submitting their applications. The second edition witnessed a remarkable increase, with over 14 lakh students applying for CUET-UG, marking a 41% rise compared to the previous year. Unlike the previous year, this year's examination was conducted in three shifts.

What si equi-percentile method?
In the equi-percentile method, each candidate's percentile is calculated by comparing their raw marks with the raw marks of others in the same session. This process is repeated for every session conducted over multiple days for the same subject. The percentiles are then equated and converted into normalised marks. Sessions with a smaller number of candidates are combined with larger sessions to ensure comparability across sessions.

"In which session they have appeared in a given subject making their performance comparable across sessions. These normalised marks of the candidates, obtained using equipercentile method, in different sessions in a given subject can be used in the same way we use the raw marks of a conventional single session examination. Therefore, in a particular university, if the raw marks of the skill component has certain weightage it can be added to the remaining weightage of the normalised marks to prepare the rank list," Kumar said.

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