Kozhikode: There have been criticisms that students of Kerala board who wrote the plus two exam this year ended up in relatively lower spots in the recently published Engineering entrance rank list. The government was quick to reject these claims saying that the students of Kerala board didn’t suffer any losses. However, the numbers do not go hand in hand with what the government says. The entrance exam commissioner had explained that students who followed Kerala syllabus didn’t have any problems, citing the entrance exam score of those who found spot in the first 5000 ranks and also by comparing the number of students from Kerala board with the students of other boards. However, the numbers and reports show that candidates of Kerala board who wrote the entrance exam this year and had scored higher ranks got pushed to relatively lower spots in the rank list.
The highest rank a student of Kerala syllabus, who had scored full marks for the plus two exams and entrance exam, could have got is 41.
The candidate who had won rank 4 in engineering entrance test in 2020 had passed the plus two exam too in the same year. So, it is pretty evident that the students who had written the plus two exam this year are the ones that got lower spots in the rank list.
After normalisation, the marks of a candidate who had scored full marks (360 marks) for Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics would go down to 257. Even if he/she scores full marks for the entrance exam, the total marks scored would be 557 out of 600. As per the rank list, the highest rank a candidate who scores 557 marks could get is 41. The students of Kerala board say that a grave injustice has been done to them.
Meanwhile, the candidates who wrote the Kerala board plus two exam last year but took the entrance test this year do not complain of any such issues. Their mark normalization has been done by taking last year’s average marks. The list of first 5000 ranks, that the entrance commissioner had used to dismiss the criticism, had, in fact, included these candidates too.
Among the candidates from various school boards who earned a spot in the first 100 ranks, only 64 had written the plus two exam this year. Most of the Kerala board students who scored higher ranks had in fact written the plus two exam last year.
Average marks backfire
The changes that various school boards had made, apparently to help the students, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, had backfired for the candidates who follow Kerala syllabus. Providing more number of questions in the question paper and liberal valuation had resulted in the number of students who scored A plus grade of all the subjects, sky rocket. This in turn increased the average marks too.
In 2020, the average marks of Mathematics for all the students were 59.95. This year, it rose to 84.32. An increase of 25 marks had happened! Similarly, the average of Physics got increased by 9 marks while it was 12 marks for Chemistry. However, the average marks of these subjects in CBSE have increased only by 4 marks. This surge in the average marks had landed a blow to the prospects of the students of the Kerala board who had reached the schools to write the exams amid the pandemic. Meanwhile, no other school board had conducted public exams where the students were required to reach the exam centres.
The entrance exam commissioner had used the same formula for marks normalisation that has been using since 2012, this year too. As per this formula, if the average marks of the students who followed a particular board goes up; their normalized marks seem to have gone down.
Here is where the marks were lost
The following numbers show the marks lost by the students of Kerala board and CBSE, after normalization, despite scoring full marks for their respective board exams. The total marks are 300.