Private coaching institutes jump into SSC CGL 2017 marks normalisation bandwagon

Few candidates and private coaching institutes are running campaign for marks normalisation by suggesting that paper conducted pre August 16 had higher difficulty level compared to post August 16 exams.

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With the last date to challenge CGL 2017 answer keys ended on September 12 and days before CGL 2017 results, few candidates and private coaching institutes are running campaign to derail the CGL 2017 examination process by suggesting that paper conducted pre August 16 had higher difficulty level compared to post August 16, so the marks normalisation should be used before announcing the CGL 2017 results.

According to a report in Indian Express Online, a candidate named Raju Kumar has started an online campaign for marks normalisation and plans to file a case in the Central Administrative Tribunal, a government body established for adjudication of disputes with respect to recruitment exams. However, the news portal does not provide any link to the campaign and the information about when the case is likely to be filed.

To differentiate the story, India’s most trusted news organisation spoke to a private recruitment exam preparation firm Grade Up which claimed that they have compared the data and found that those who have appeared from August 5 to 18, their average marks comes around 120-122 marks while those who have given test from August 19 to 23, scores around 130 marks. Grade Up suggested that in CGL, even one mark makes difference in the “future of candidates” and therefore, “it is high time SSC starts normalisation of scores.”

In this campaign for marks normalisation, Grad Up is not alone, other private coaching institutes and online test preparation firms have also jumped in. Some of them are running campaign through their students and few of them including Adda247 have specially created videos and uploaded on YouTube to justify the demand. Most of them claimed that other recruitment exams such as JEE, CAT, IBPS, SBI, UPSC use normalisation, so SSC should also normalise the marks. SSC has not officially said anything on this.

But not all the candidates agree with score normalisation process, some of them see normalisation of score as unfair practice. “So called easy shifts had tough level of GS and English, but most of the students are bad at GS and English anyway. So, this normalisation method is against the genuine students with GS and English and in favour of students strong in Maths. It’s a propaganda,” commented a person on the Adda247 video.

The score normalisation is a process by which an exam conducting body tries to bring parity level especially in those examinations which are conducted in different shifts with different sets of papers. Usually, a simple formula and fixed parameter are decided in advance. After all the answers are checked, normalise marks are added to the actual marks.

This is not the first time that an examination has been embroiled in controversy for different difficulty level. More recently, an entrance examination for admission into MBBS and BDS courses, NEET 2017 was challenged in Supreme Court by students for having different types of question papers in different languages. NEET 2017 was conducted in 10 languages and different languages had different sets of question papers. Some students had challenged this pattern, arguing that by framing different question papers, CBSE had denied them a level playing field. They had said, instead, the Board could have translated a common question paper. They alleged that Indian language question papers were tougher than the English. The top court had allowed CBSE to announce the result but pulled up the board for setting different question papers in different languages and asked it to file an affidavit to conduct NEET with common difficulty level of questions for everyone.

Combined Graduate Level Examination, 2017 (Tier-I) was conducted by SSC from August 5th 2017 to August 23rd 2017. A total of 15,43,962 candidates appeared in this examination which was held in 43 batches across the country. As per notification Tier 1 result 2017 will be announced on October 31. All the candidates who clears Tier-1 examination will go to the next level, which is Tier-2. A final selection list will be prepared based on SSC criteria and SSC CGL Tier-2 result.

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