Sucheta Dalal :Exclusive: A student's anguish
Sucheta Dalal

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Exclusive: A student's anguish  

July 8, 2008

Intro: Prerna Gupta, a student who has just passed her tenth standard, writes about the blunders in normalisation of scores ordered by the Maharashtra government.


From: [email protected] on 29-Jun-08 

Subject line: The Maharashtra State circular on normalized scores 

Body: Madam,


The State circular on normalized scores is a Mommad-Bin-Tughlak order by the Government of Maharashtra. There has been no application of mind while considering the so-called normalization process. The specific points to corroborate my views are as under:


1. While Lakhs of students appear for the SSC, ICSE and CBSE examinations, the procedure takes into account the result of only top ten students to re-work the % of lakhs of students in that stream. How the fate of all students be decided based on only ten students. The process does not takes into account various factors such as pass % of students, no of students at various levels of scores i.e. dispersion of score, level of examination paper etc.


2. The so-called “normalized score” system is not fair and equitable to all the students of a given stream itself. [e. g. The average of top 10 students of SSC is 94%. Then, students getting 40%, 50%, 60%, 70% , 80%, 90% and 95% (1st topper) at SSC would have their normalized scores as 42.6%, 53.2%, 63.8%, 74.5%, 85.1% , 95.7% and 101.1%.  Thus, as per the Government

circular, marks of the same stream would increase from 2.6% to 6.1%.]. Thus, in a given stream, students scoring higher marks would get more than the double benefit as compared to the students scoring lesser marks in the same stream.  


3. While, with the “normalized score” based on toppers’ marks, the scores of other students would change, the score of the toppers would actually cross 100%. ? This is because the

individual score of the first 4-5 topper’s in any case is more than the average of 10 toppers in that stream. The formula when applied would convert their marks to more than 100%. (e. g. If 1st topper’s score is 98 and average of first 10 toppers is 97 then the normalized score of the first topper is 101.03%. ).  Ridiculous?


4. It appears that the ICSE board while calculating toppers’% calculates English + best 4 subjects. However, other Boards calculate all subjects. If this method of ICSE is considered,

then it is negatively biased against its own students. If “normalized score” is at all sensible, then while calculating top ten students, all 7 subjects’ score of theirs should be considered.


5. Ideally, the top 10 scores of all 3 streams should have been actually compared to see if at all there was any need to “normalize scores” if difference  was negligible.


6. It appears that from the next year, the SSC board is also shifting to 20 marks internal and 80 marks Board exam system. If that be so, for 1 year the Government should not have tinkered with the system at the last moment and should not have played with careers of lakhs of students.


7. The process has inherent lacunae which disregard the scope and vastness of syllabus, no. of subjects, etc. of the three streams.


8. No authentic data has been made known to us by the Policy changers to make us believe that a particular stream of study i.e. ICSE, SSC or CBSE is unfavorable to the interest of the students of other stream when compared on a common platform.


Sir, in view of the above, the present system should not be tinkered and experiment be not made on the students.




Prerna Gupta

Passed student of Std. X- aspirant of class XI.

[email protected]


-- Sucheta Dalal