Student Question CAT Shortlist Criteria

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Student Question CAT Shortlist Criteria

With shortlists for the group discussion/interview stage for four IIMS announced, some students question the criteria of Class X and Class XII marks used for the process.

Aneesh Bangia, who has scored in the 99.34 {+t} {+h} percentile in CAT 2009, says the calculation of SSC and HSC scores is a problem.

IIM Calcutta allots 75 marks for CAT score, 10 marks each for secondary and higher secondary (SSC and HSC) scores and 5 marks for work experience, and based on these criteria, it has published a cut-off of 61.50 for those shortlisted in the open category [56.35 in the OBC category].

“The process gives a score of 8 for marks percentage between 90 and 95 and 6 for marks percentage between 85 and 90. As I scored 89.6 per cent in the ICSE exams that means a swing of 2 [out of a maximum 10] for being 0.4 percentage points lower,” he says.

As he scored 79.2 per cent in the CBSE Class XII exams, he scores 2 points less for a shortfall of 0.8 percentage points, and the cumulative effect is a difference of 4 out of 100 in the overall score. He suggests that a linear scaling of marks to arrive at the final score would make the process more fair.

Shobhit Bansal, who has scored in the 99.08 {+t} {+h} percentile, says the use of board examination marks presents a problem for students.

“There are a number of boards in the country and the maximum scored varies based on the board one studies in. The use of non-normalised marks to come up with a criterion is unfair,” he says.

S. Balasubramaniam, director, T.I.M.E, Chennai, says “It is easy to score high marks in some boards. But the IIMs have been using these criteria for the last few years, tweaking only the details. So it is difficult to comment on the problem.” He adds that no student from T.I.M.E’s coaching centres has reported a problem because of this issue so far.

Aneesh and Shobhit, both of whom have not been shortlisted by any of the four IIMs whose results have been announced so far, are weighing other options, even as they wait for the other IIMs to announce their shortlists.