…the wanderings

100 Percent CAT

The morning article on CAT 2010 results declared a “cent per cent” marks result. This was something that needed a second glance. Not to wonder about abilities of Ankit Garg or his percentile-band-mates to reach there, but the scoring system itself that declared someone had reach a full score — a cent-per-cent, total 100! Or, maybe doubt secondary articles that reflect these results to the people.

I quote from a couple of articles that sample what you are probably reading today morning.

The CAT is out of the bag, and Ankit Garg is rolling in the satin. The 21-year-old from Chandigarh is among the rarest of the rare who landed cent per cent marks in the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2010, the entrance exam to India’s elite B-schools, including the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).

City lad Ankit Garg brought laurels to Chandigarh by scoring 100 percentile in the Common Aptitude Test (CAT). The result was declared on Sunday.

An examination system (and many a school exams will qualify to be quoted here) is not good enough if students score a 100. That is a reference point never to be touched. Just like your car has a 220 Kmph mark on the odometer and your music system has a 100-percent setting on the volume knob but you don’t go there (remember that old Michael Jackson video showing a volume knob with “Are you Nuts?”). When you need to touch that maximum number it means you need better technology. Likewise, if you see an examination being ‘cracked’ by someone with a 100 percent score, you need to upgrade the examination (of course laud the cracker too).

All this does not sound right for CAT, they should know this already. CAT scores are not disclosed, its the percentile that is declared. The result is therefore normalized within 1 and 99 percentile (not 100 as many would like to say).

How does one then interpret the Economic Times and the Indian Express articles? A “cent per cent” or “scoring 100 percentile” is actually to be (safely) taken as a 99 percentile score.

Congratulations to Ankit Garg, Vivek Gupta and the top-band scorers of CAT 2010. May you live in interesting times where our media can describe your achivements better.

March 1, 2010 Posted by | writing | , , , | 1 Comment