CUET-UG 'Normalizes'​ Marks To Ensure Level Field: NTA Director, Vinayak Joshi

  • CalendarOn October 4, 2022

Recently, during the months of July to September 2022, Common University Entrance Test for Undergraduate courses or the CUET-UG was conducted across the country.

Over 15 lakh aspirants registered for the test, whose scores will be utilized by colleges functioning under 90 universities, including 44 Central, 19 private, 11 deemed, and 12 state institutions. 

Because the CUET-UG was conducted over a period of 6 weeks with tests in a given subject held on different days, the question of comparing the performance of different students on a common scale arises since students have written the test in the same subject but on different days. 

NTA Director Vinayak Joshi’s Statement

To ensure that the college admissions are made based on a score that accurately compares the students’ performance, director Vineet Joshi, director of the National Testing Agency (NTA), declared that “normalization” of marks will be followed. 

“Because it takes into account variables that could result in one group of students performing better for reasons other than academic proficiency, the normalization technique utilized by NTA will promote equity. The difficulty levels of a question paper on the same subject may vary from one session to another. But the normalization process offers a level playing field”, Joshi said. 

Reason for Normalization of Marks 

In entrance tests such as CUET-UG, since the test is given on separate days and in multiple sessions for the same subject, the result will be multiple percentiles for each group of students. In addition to this challenge, another issue with utilizing percentiles is that some universities give the skill component in courses like sports or the fine arts significant weight (for example, 25%). However, combining the raw scores from the skill component and the remaining percentile weight (75%) cannot be done to create a rank list because it would be like combining apples and oranges. 

How is Normalization of Marks Carried Out?

NTA uses the percentile score of a candidate based on the relative performance of all students who've appeared for the examination. 

1: Distribution of Candidates in Two Shifts

The candidates who have attended the examination are divided into two sessions, with roughly equal numbers of candidates in each session. To avoid discrimination, the candidates will be divided in accordance with whether there are more days or fewer shifts.

2: Arranging CUET percentiles

For each session, the exam results would be prepared as raw scores and percentile scores of the overall raw scores. The following formula is used to determine the percentiles for each candidate in the session:

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3. Compiling the NTA score

As calculated, all the percentile scores of the sessions would be combined, and these scores would then be known as the NTA scores. These scores would then be utilized for the compilation of results and additional processing to determine the allocation. 

Due to this decision of normalizing marks, selecting candidates would become a much faster and easier process for all governing boards of India as students who appeared in exams with difficult and easier levels would now be considered on a single platform. 

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