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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

12th class performance of incoming batch at IITK

There has been a lot of debate about eligibility of students getting admission to IITs, whether it should stay at 60 percent, may be go up slightly, say 65%, or should it become 80 percentile, or may be a slightly lower percentile. But all this has been without any data on what would be the impact of any of these eligibility conditions on the selected students.

So, I got the data of 12th class performance of all JEE admitted students this year to IIT Kanpur, and tried to analyze it. Of course, we will not know the impact of 60% eligibility, since those who get less marks than that, perhaps don't even go for counseling, and most likely would not take admission, knowing fully well that they have to submit their mark-sheet by 30th September. But JEE office informally tells me that such students are very rare.

Since COBSE has announced percentage marks equivalent to 80 percentile only for General Category students, we looked at only those students marks in the 12th class. Since 80 percentile was given only for 2012, we have assumed that the marks would have been same in 2011 as well.

Out of 398 General Category students, 14 students would not have been eligible for admission to IITs. That is 3.5 percent.

And one may note that the current COBSE list is based on 80 percentile of all students registered for the 12th class board exam in that particular board. It has already been pointed out that the IIT Council decision was to consider 80 percentile of only successful students. It means that the cut-offs of eligibility in different boards would be higher by at least one percent, and a few more students would be then ineligible, say 4 percent. This is not a small number. Assuming that a similar fraction would be seen in SC/ST/PD/OBC candidates as well, we are talking about making 400 odd candidates (out of 10,000) ineligible for admission to IITs after they have performed well in JEE Mains and JEE Advanced.

I have said in an earlier blog that in the transition year, instead of doing too many changes at once, we should bring in changes slowly, and in particularly argued that a scheme which makes just 1 percent of candidates ineligible would put strong enough pressure to take schooling seriously. I have also argued that in view of lack of data on comparison between different boards, even if IITs want to change the eligibility condition to percentile format, it should be kept low at 70 percentile in the transition year. Well, it so happens, that if we look at the percentage marks corresponding to 70 percentile, and then see how many students would not have made it to IIT system, it would have been 4 out of 398, just one percent.

Another interesting point to note is that out of 14 students identified as below 80 percentile, 12 are from CBSE and 2 from Andhra Board. Now, we all know that CBSE board is much tougher than state boards. The standard of education is much higher, and  there is more than enough evidence to show that 80 percentile of CBSE actually has a much better academic preparation than 80 percentile in many state boards. We are just waiting for these 12 students to go to court next year.

Of course, there are too many variables that we don't know. What happens to the reserved category students. Is the statistics similar at other IITs (no reason to believe that it will be different). Because of additional coaching of 12th class this year, would most students getting through JEE advanced will also get 80+ percentile scores, or will because of additional coaching of 12th class this year, the 80 percentile cutoff will increase and there will be more students who would have been selected in JEE Advanced, but would be deemed ineligible.

Only time will tell how much chaos is waiting to happen in June-July 2013.

Added on 11th October: 

More data and interesting observations:

Out of 398 students whose data I have, 296 are from CBSE (74%), 76 are state boards (19%), 25 are from ICSE (6%), and one student from another board.

The distribution of percentile is more interesting. In CBSE, out of 296, 252 have 90+ percentile, 33 have 80-90 percentile, 9 have 70-80 percentile, and 3 have less than 70 percentile. In case of state boards, pretty much all students of all states have 90+ percentile, except AP board, where 2 students are in 80-90 range, 1 student in 70-80 range, and 1 student has less than 70 percentile. In ICSE board also, 24 out of 25 have 90+ percentile, and only one student is in 80-90 percentile.

What this means is that a student who can pass JEE with a top-5000 general category rank does not have to bother about getting 80 percentile in a state board at all, in fact, not even 90 percentile. But a CBSE student who can pass JEE with a top-5000 general category rank still has to worry about clearing the 80 percentile hurdle.

This also means that if students want higher percentile, they should leave CBSE board schools and join state board schools. This will not only help them in focusing on JEE and not worry abut 80 percentile at all, but it will also help them in getting higher ranks for NITs, where the percentile score is being included in the ranking.

What an interesting idea sir jee?
To improve the quality of school education, you incentivise people to leave better schools and better boards.
 


34 comments:

Umesh said...

@Prof Sanghi,
The sampled data is from a flawed implementation of IIT JEE. State Boards like Bihar, Jharkhand, UP Board make it tough to get 60% in board. (At least they used to 10 yrs back, I can't comment on that now.)
2nd, 1 yr drop rule has affected these boards must. IIT JEE syllabus and question pattern is now much aligned to CBSE/ICSE pattern and state boards are still primarily follow rote based learning. So, student's of these Boards have to satisfy two conflicting requirements. To get 60% in Board exam, specially in absence of good teachers, or with teachers who promote rote based learning, you need to mug up.
And to get into IIT, you need to develop the critical concept based reasoning, you need to go for further coaching or personal tution, most of times available in bigger towns and so you need a year extra for that.
This comes from a personal experience. There were at least 20 student's from my 12th batch, who were intelligent enough to make it to IIT. Only 2 cleared including me, majorly because of this conflicting priority. And I studied in a college which was ranked under 5 in Jharkhand Board (And profs bunked 80% of classes but were regular in private tutions. So we went by private tutions).
I was fortunate to discover a decent private tutor through who taught Physics from H C Verma (taught me free to top that). Most of my batch wasn't and they went by rote learning based medium. Most of my tutors really opposed my choice of Physics teacher because they felt I was going to ruin my 12th marks. ( I did scoring only 69% despite having 77% in 10th) and I cleared JEE only with 2 yr of break (didn't prepare also in current/first year).
This is the story of School Education in India. In a batch of 300, I knew personally 20 who should have made it to IIT JEE. But conflict in board/JEE syllabus, lack of proper faculty, and facilties, made it almost impossible to crack JEE for these guys. With 1 yr back rule, now they can't take a proper shot at JEE also. With 60% as minimum marks, they can't prioritize properly.
And then, we sample data from them and talk about 12 CBSE students who will go to Court because of not qualifying for JEE which is completely transparent. Hell, Bihar Board lost my Advanced Mathematics paper in 10th and gave average marks of 77 instead of minimum 95 that I would have got. (I did get 99 in other maths paper and I always got 99 in Maths from 8th onwards), and I couldn't do a thing about it. And I am not even talking about stinginess that State Boards show in awarding marks.
I feel, that it is good that 80 percentile is being used. I am definitely biased, because change in JEE's pattern and criterion in 2006 put State Boards in sever disadvantage. But CBSE/ICSE board already gets its fair share (and sometimes more) in almost everything. I would be happier if 70 percentile is used, because then State Board student's can prioritize better (specially relevant with 1 yr break rule)

Umesh said...

This is a paragraph from a non fiction book "The Reverse Journey"
As a middle-class student, I did not have many options of engineering colleges. My parents could not afford private colleges so I had to qualify for government engineering colleges, which were much less in numbers. I did qualify - little bit of luck and lots of labour helped me. I cleared IIT JEE.
When the results came out, I congratulated myself, felt a little arrogant at qualifying for the top engineering institutes of India. When, I came to know the list of people who could not make it - arrogance was replaced by the sheer feeling of being lucky. Indian examinations are competitive. You also need luck on your side. A lucky day can make all the difference.
Career Path of the Author Vivek Singh.
Netarhat (6th to 10th. Hindi Medium) --> Patna Science College (12th) --> IIT Kanpur
FYI, Netarhat has been indisputable Best School of Bihar Board for as long as I have known. It produces Bihar Board toppers consistently. Patna Science college is top most college of Bihar Intermediate board.

Umesh said...

Outside IITK, I have better part of my 6 yrs work experience in Search/IR/Text Mining/Cleaning. Nothing remarkable, nothing path-breaking, I just use available Open source implementations with a bit of my own heuristics and insights thrown in. And I have an analogy of IIT JEE with Information Retrieval.
IIT JEE's Past Qualifying data (12th marks etc and JEE rank) is like TREC data. IIT JEE's Goal is like a Search Engine. To rank as per relevance and take best result. Current IITs are like Google, with NITs/IIITs and some good state/private colleges playing Bing and rest of engineering colleges bringing the rear. IIT JEE entrance exam is like English Porter Stemmer (with fuzzy logic introduced by single day exam of 3-6 hrs in 3 subjects). A heavy stemmer, meant to reduce the noise and dictionary size. Languages are like state boards/socio economic backgrounds. English Porter stemmer doesn't work very well with all of them. Suggested JEE 2013 is like KStemmer or an attempt to introduce language model in Porter Stemmer. Major challenges of Stemming are balance between Precision and Recall and we have a bias towards reducing the false positives. So has IIT JEE.
Google is the best Search Engine, but it isn't because of just Page Rank/TF/IDF/CTR, there are hundreds of signals to its ranking algorithm and it continously improves, primarily because it has 10 billion in advertising revenues. But Google isn't the dominant player in China. It is Baidu. Quillpad is the considered the best transliteration tool for Indian Languages. Google has walked out of China because ROI (return on investment) is low, it isn't the market leader and it is not so good for its brand image, but China is a very big market. China and USA complement each other for growth and USA economy is as much dependendent on Chinese talent/labour as much China is on FDI.
Finally, at the end, this is just an Analogy and my personal opinion. A lot of context is needed to interpret it correctly. The aim is not to side track the questions about JEE, but to enrich is and primary topic still remains how to making JEE better.

Umesh said...

A slightly off topic but insightful video, on overall education system itself.

"If we study what is merely average, we will remain merely average.” (Shawn Achor)

http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work.html

iitmsriram said...

Dheeraj, why don't you tell us (perhaps at the end of the first semester), what is the academic performance of these "14 who would not have made it", especially in maths and physics? Isn't one of the hypotheses that it is these board exam laggers who are showing up as the 20% or so of the entire class who are having serious problems in Maths 1 and Physics 1?

Prashant said...

Two notes:

1) Assuming that around half of those 398 are CBSE students - the disqualification rate for CBSE is around 6%. If all boards are truly equal, surely their disqualification rates must also be comparable.

2) There is one thing which you may/may not have figured into calculation. For some boards (like I know for ICSE-ISC for sure) they don't really calculate a percentage on the marksheet (it is left for who ever uses those marks, to work out the scores in whatever subjects he/she finds important). So, mostly , the schools and candidates report their "Best 4" percentage wherever asked. (In fact, a student can get a Class-12 ISC Certificate by appearing for just four subjects.) This Best-4 percentage is often 3-5% higher than their all-inclusive-subject aggregate. I don't know if the 20 percentile cut-offs being used are best-4/aggregate/PCM+English. But if you're using the 20% aggregate cut-off against the Best-4-reported-percentages, that might conceal a few people who might have been disqualified on the basis of aggregate. While ICSE is a small board, the numbers might be high if some state board does something similar.

But it goes without saying that the institutes should make some sort of effort to at least look at the issues to prepare for and do a dry run on the last 2 batches. It is unfortunate that you are having to do this in your independent capacity, rather than the ones who came up with this formula.






Dheeraj Sanghi said...

Sriram, I will try to remember to post this data when it is available (mid-December), and if I think the information can be posted without revealing enough information on who got what grades.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Prashant, As you might have noticed, I have added some more bit of data and analysis to the post, after your comment made me think about it.

Umesh said...

@Prof Sanghi
I looked at the data of distribution of percentile in State Board Vs CBSE/ICSE, and again I repeat, the representative population is flawed.
Data is flawed for 2 reasons:
1. It is very difficult in some of the state boards to get 65% marks. Getting 65% in CBSE is a piece of cake. (I can vouch for Bihar/UP/Jharkhand and WB board 10 yrs ago)
2. One year rule affects State boards the most. State Board Syllabus and exam pattern is not aligned to IIT JEE syllabus, in addition they face issues because of language, so people between 70 plus percentile who are good but still need a bit of preparation for IIT JEE are not able to Qualify. By the time they gain enough understanding of subject material. IIT JEE's rule disqualify them.
I like the data driven approach taken by you. But the data available to you or at least used by you is biased. Marks in Board Exam and even extra curricular activities at school level are not true representative of intellect or potential. The state boards will score poorly on both count, and majority of rural and small town students will quote ploughing fields, helping in small kirana stores, tutoring, cooking in lodge, milking cow as their extra curricular activities. I did some of these and I know quite a few people who do this. Of course, IIT JEE won't give any weight for these activities.
You can gain a first hand experience of these by joining Shiksha Sopan and visiting the nearby villages. Even easier way is to download the 3-4 page monthly newsletter of Shiksha Sopan from http://www.shiksha-sopan.org/newsletter.php. Also, please note that all people mentioned in newsletter have been fortunate enough (1 of 1000) to get Shiksha Sopan.

Umesh said...

@Prof Sanghi
The data issue can be partially compensated for by including GATE in analysis. Can I request you to please do the same analysis for GATE/M.Tech students. Gate Qualifiers, B.Tech institutes, 12th Board, 12th Board Percentage, 12th Board Percentile, Years of Drop.

Siddharth Jain said...

I agree with Umesh in one of the points regarding poor show from state board students.Its really lack of facilities plus lack of awareness majorly that they don't even prepare themselves for this exam.I personally being involved in improving the awareness among such students in Ajmer. Due to some of our efforts and help provided for JEE coaching at very subsidized rates have been able to improve the show of such students drastically in JEE. That subsidized batch of students had the best success rate in IIT JEE this year. One of them has opted for CSE in your institute as well. So its not about Talent ots basically about awareness and facility.If you look at books and even question papers especially at school level of physics or chemistry of Rajasthan board they used to study 2-3 years back before NCERT curriculum was adopted you will perhaps loose interest in PCM

Prashant said...

Personally, I believe the 1 year disqualification rule was a very good rule.

If each batch in IIT is classified into three clusters - good,okay,mediocre
based on their general performance in 3 areas -
academic performance (CGPA - not claiming that it is perfect), kind of Universities they got MS/PhD offers from or the kind of companies and jobs which they stepped into after graduation
.. from my sample space across several batches my observation has been, that the ones who got through in the 1st attempt do much better , 2nd attempt ones do okay, 3rd attempt ones by and large fared badly - ended up with low GPAs, did not get into good universities or companies on graduation - such scarce seats would be better utilized on other students.

I understand that they often start off from a disadvantaged position, but in that case, 4 years of college is too late to do a quick fix for 12 years of problematic schooling. Those subsidized seats might be better spent on students are better equipped to take advantage of those 4 years in college.

In fact, by debarring such students, one is encouraging them to get into whatever BSc program they can - and after that they can come for perhaps an MTech to IIT. That is certainly a better use of their time than dropping 2 years to get into an undergrad course. The fix required over here is a long term one of fixing state board schools, and not one which requires IIT to relax its criteria for the sake of social eningineering.


I started my career at a well known investment bank (in the analytics software division) and then moved after a year to a core tech role in the US for a couple of years. Recruiters and hiring managers in both the companies held the number of JEE attempts against candidates. Anything more than a drop of one year was considered unacceptable.


There is a (somewhat related) discussion going on on Quora : Check out the answer given by the Anon User with 6 votes

Prashant said...

I like the data driven approach taken by you. But the data available to you or at least used by you is biased. Marks in Board Exam and even extra curricular activities at school level are not true representative of intellect or potential. The state boards will score poorly on both count, and majority of rural and small town students will quote ploughing fields, helping in small kirana stores, tutoring, cooking in lodge, milking cow as their extra curricular activities.

We need to ask an honest question here - do we need to do more social engineering here by accommodating these special cases (given that there is already some 30 percent or so reservation) or is IIT's task, to focus on picking up whoever is best suited for limited, subsidized seats ? Also, can 4 years of IIT really fix 12 years of bad schooling ? Students who needed to drop 2 years to make it - from my observation even those who did so with good ranks at JEE - by and large, ended up in the lowest GPA cluster at IITs.

It is very difficult in some of the state boards to get 65% marks. Getting 65% in CBSE is a piece of cake. (I can vouch for Bihar/UP/Jharkhand and WB board 10 yrs ago)
The question over here is about percentiles - it is easier to get a better percentile ranking in a state board as the data shows.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Umesh, So far, we have had a 60% rule. This rule hardly disqualified anyone in the last 6 years, whether from Bihar board, or from CBSE. If we look at 2012 marks distribution of Bihar board, more than 40% of the students giving 12th class from Bihar Board, got more than 60% marks. And quite frankly, if you are not in the top 40% of Bihar Board (or any large board, for that matter), the chances of your passing JEE is remote anyway. Perhaps the distribution of marks was different 10 years ago, when you gave your 12th class and JEE. (And looking at percentile cutoffs on COBSE site, I can guess that 60% rule would have been discriminating against some students in a few boards, primarily in the North East.) But in recent times, with the data available now, it is quite obvious that there must not have been any stress of not getting 60% marks in Bihar (and UP) Boards, if one was successful in JEE.

Also, in 2012 batch, no general category student of IITK, not even one, having marks between 60 and 67.80 (90 percentile cutoff), also shows that students capable of getting into JEE have absolutely no issues with school marks.

From 2013, the marks per se are not important, but percentile rank is. And the data again shows that every single Bihar Board student (in IITK) has 90+ percentile, while CBSE students have their percentile ranks all over the place. From this data, the only thing that I am concluding is that the academic preparation that Bihar board schools provides in general is poorer compared to academic preparation that CBSE schools provide. And, therefore, only the top few, that is, those who are in the 90+ percentile in Bihar Board can pass JEE, while from CBSE, even a 60 percentile student can pass JEE.

The reasons for this difference, I have written in another blog during the IIT JEE discussions, where I had said that state boards typically have affiliated schools which are poorly funded, government schools, with very little accountability. Also, interference in state boards is more than the interference in Central Board.

However, the admission process of the IITs have no way to improve the quality of education in state boards. That will happen only if the political leadership in that state considers it important to do so.

Since the only conclusion I am drawing is that CBSE students are, in general, better prepared academically, then the students of state boards, and you agree with that conclusion, where is the issue of data being biased.

I have personally been to the school where Siksha Sopan volunteers teach, and also visited Opportunity school on campus many times. I can imagine if the situation of schools in or near a big city is like this, then what will be the situation in remote parts of the country. But that is all not the focus of this blog article.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Umesh, The problem with studying GATE scores is that we have very small number of students giving a particular exam. While we admit 830 UG students, all giving the same JEE, we only admit about 500 MTech students, who are spread over some 20 odd GATE exams. So any analysis from that would be statistically insignificant.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Siddharth, I fully agree with you that there is native talent every where, and where ever we have had good education, we get students from that region. Efforts of Super-30 in Bihar have proven this beyond any doubt. And, therefore, the state governments should start taking education more seriously than they do currently.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Prashant, We now have 51 percent reservation. 15% SC, 7.5% ST, 27% OBC, and 3% horizontal reservation for Physically challenged, which translates to about 1.5% amongst the general category being reserved for these students.

Umesh said...

@ Prof Sanghi
If you see my comment in other post, I have supported the 1 year drop rule, because I strongly believe that the real cost of a degree from IITs is Opportunity cost. AIEEE and State Engineering exams have an exam pattern more aligned with State Boards and students can do B.Tech from there and later M.Tech from IITs. Now job opportunities are also more compared to 2000 when I passed on my B.E from BIT Sindri. So 1 yr is not detrimental for career of a person. I have seen at least 10 good examples of it. I would take that path now and will recommend it everyone. IITs are good, but they are not the end of life or career.
Your analysis showed that Students with 90 percentile or more qualified JEE. and CBSE students with 70 plus percentile also qualified for JEE. This seems to suggest that a student board student with 90 percentile is at par with say 80 student in CBSE or only student's with 90 percentile or more can qualify IIT JEE. I am refuting your data here. Reason being that 1 yr drop rule combined with the fact that State Board syllabus and exam patter is quite different from JEE doesn't give a chance to 80 percentile students. They would have cleared the JEE with 2 yr drop rule. I am firmly against 2 yr drop because of opportunity cost.
I agree that a student scoring 80 percentile in CBSE is better than a student scoring 80 percentile in State Board. But opposite is true for percentage marks. SCORING 70% marks in State Board (specially UP/WB/Bihar/JH) is significantly tougher than in CBSE. I am stressing out SCORING part, because of the way marks are awarded by the examiners. Too many copies to correct and too less teachers to do that. Please check Jaya Jha's blog regarding this.
http://jayajha.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/reduce-stress-really/
I brought out the milking cow/kirana shops etc in discussion, because that also affects the marks and training that students receive. If you include these factors than I would come in 99.9 percentile of student's from my background. I scored 77% (would have been 80% if maths paper was not lost) in Bihar Board in 10th Exam, was district topper and would easily have a 95 plus percentile (Year 1997, 6.35 lakh appearing, 40% passing, 70K 1st divisions, so 11 % 1st divisons ) http://biharboard.bih.nic.in/results.htm

Umesh said...

I came with a 2 yr break in IITK, reason was I didn't know what to do after 12th. Engineering was way too expensive, even for preparation u needed to go to Ranchi and not many succeeded in cracking it. It had nothing to do with talent.
I did badly in IIT if u count Fs. I did okay CPI wise (7.2/10 with 11 As). The reason wasn't again intellect. In Engineering Graphics, I wanted an A, so I failed it thrice. (not appearing for exam). I failed B.Tech Project thrice (not appearing for Presentation) because I wanted to learn and do excellent work. I didn't want to just pass. I scored a perfect SPI of 2 in 2nd semester, partly because IIT exam pattern with quizzes, assignment and sheer content and fast pace was new to me and I was used to annual exam of Bihar 10th and 12th Board. 2nd big reason was that I felt underdog in student's surrounded who had cracked NTSE and Olympiads.
But I had my moments of brilliance. I score an A in ESC101 without any prior programming experience at all and I had 1 of 13 As awarded. I scored a D in PHY101 and MTH101.
I will defy all data modelling exercises that you will do. But I will not want IIT JEE to be modified to accommodate me or 99.9 percentile people. And the reason, is that unlike data I am human. I will evolve, I will try to learn the SEO parameters and get better in Google rankings (if you compare IIT JEE with Google).
So, did IIT JEE add value to me. A DEFINITE YES. Did the society benefit from it. Yes. Back in my native and everywhere I stayed and lived, my example has inspired hundreds to walk the untreaded path. I myself was inspired by few people in this path.
Did I make best use of IITK. Yes, I might not be the person with greatest CPI, but I learned that CPI isn't the world. I learned to cope up with Failure. I learned the humility. I learned that world is bigger and people are different and it helped me grow personally/professionally and socially.
Will I be a good researcher. Nopes. An entrepreneur. I hope one day I will be. I have worked in start-ups primarily during my 6 yrs and I get more fascinated with a technology that adds value to society rather than a cutting edge technology.
Will I work for Investment Banks or settle in USA ? Nopes, I belong to India. People in USA are building the Brand India and Brand IIT there. Most of them are cream of IIT and probably made the most of IIT. But till they come back after 10-15 yrs, India will have to settle with someone like me, who has the passion and sheer hard work attitude with him.
So, do I want an opportunity to be in IIT. Yes. I would soil for it, sweat for it, study in Latern light, tutor juniors if needed to pay for coaching, ask for fee concession to coaching and private tutors, go to 10 different people and organizations across 10 towns and villages to get my IIT fees paid and I will do it all over again gladly. WHY ? To have a opportunity to be taught by the great faculty, study with some of the best minds coming from all parts of India and some overseas also, from different caste, religion and region, to experience the Unity of Diversity of India. To have a friend from Tamil Nadu liking Sambhar and knowing that he is not so different from me. I will be so proud to have JEE Rank 1 as fan of me on orkut, because I managed to impress him somehow. And hoping that one day, he will win a nobel Prize.
And I hope, IIT JEE will continue to give me a opportunity. I do not want a reservation, but just an opportunity and a door.
It is not just my story, but story of lakhs and crores of students. They don't have a voice, they will definitely not take IITs to court, and as political leader, they will just get the eccentric Mamta Banerjee to voice their concerns, who will be silently ignored.
PS: I know my comments are very emotional. So you have the flexibility to not to publish my comments. I am also not sure about whether to publish it with my name in it, yet I wanted you to know my feelings or my story from LENS.

Umesh said...

I found out about Avanti Fellows. It is great to know that some IITians are already on it :).

http://avantifellows.org/2012/why-social-development-how-i-found-my-passion/

Time to join the role. Thanks Prof Sanghi for bringing JEE topics so regularly in blogs. Else I won't have googled out about Avanti Fellows latest efforts.

Umesh said...

I came with a 2 yr break in IITK, reason was I didn't know what to do after 12th. Engineering was way too expensive, even for preparation u needed to go to Ranchi and not many succeeded in cracking it. It had nothing to do with talent.
I did badly in IIT if u count Fs. I did okay CPI wise (7.2/10 with 11 As). The reason wasn't again intellect. In Engineering Graphics, I wanted an A, so I failed it thrice. (not appearing for exam). I failed B.Tech Project thrice (not appearing for Presentation) because I wanted to learn and do excellent work. I didn't want to just pass. I scored a perfect SPI of 2 in 2nd semester, partly because IIT exam pattern with quizzes, assignment and sheer content and fast pace was new to me and I was used to annual exam of Bihar 10th and 12th Board. 2nd big reason was that I felt as underdog surrounded by some students who had cracked NTSE and Olympiads.
But I had my moments of brilliance. I score an A in ESC101 without any prior programming experience at all and I had 1 of 13 As awarded. I scored a D in PHY101 and MTH101. I bounced to 9 plus SPI after getting SPI of 2. And I scored at least one A and one B almost every semester. My grades were a matter of interest and prioritization.
I will most likely defy all data modelling exercises that you will do, unless you opt for an overly complex one with 100 plus variables. But will you modify IIT JEE to consider 100 variables. Point is that you need not. And the reason, is that unlike data I am human. Humans evolve, they try to learn the SEO parameters and get better in Google rankings (if you compare IIT JEE with Google).

Umesh said...


So, did IIT JEE add value to me. A DEFINITE YES. Did the society benefit from it. Yes. Back in my native and everywhere I stayed and lived, my example has inspired hundreds to walk the untreaded path. I myself was inspired by few people in this path. We all know stories of Super-30 and the inspiration it gives to people.

Did I make best use of IITK. Yes, I might not be the person with greatest CPI, but I learned that CPI isn't the world. I learned to cope up with Failure. I learned the humility. I learned that world is bigger and people are different and it helped me grow personally/professionally and socially.

Will I be a good researcher. NAH. An entrepreneur. I hope one day I will be. I have worked in start-ups primarily during my 6 yrs and I get more fascinated with a technology that adds value to society rather than a cutting edge technology.
Will I work for Investment Banks or settle in USA ? Nopes, I belong to India. People in USA are building the Brand India and Brand IIT there. Earning Huge salaries on the subsidized education is just side effect. Most of them are cream of IIT and probably made the most of IIT. And India doesn't offer opportunities or money to attract them. So till they come back after 10-15 yrs, India will have to settle with someone like me, who has the passion and sheer hard work attitude with him.
So, do I want an opportunity to be in IIT. Yes. I soiled for it, sweat for it, studied in Latern light, tutored juniors to cover my fees and pay for coaching, asked for fee concession to private tutors, went to 10 different people and organizations across 10 towns and villages to get my IIT fees paid (didn't know that banks were so keen on loans that time) and still it was all worth it.
WHY ? I had the opportunity to be taught by some of the best faculty of India and even worldwide, studied and competed with best student's coming from all parts of India and some overseas also, from different caste, religion and region, experienced the Unity of Diversity of India. Had a friend from TN who loved Sambhar and barely spoke hindi on joining. And I impressed quite a few people even JEE rank 1, perhaps with the background I came from.

I do hope, IIT JEE continues to give State Board an opportunity. We do not want a reservation and we do not need one, but just an opportunity and a door. And in terms of SELF Employment, we are far better prepared than the CBSE Board. We will start a Kirana Shop and plough fields if need be and from scratch and no capital. Let me see, how many CBSE students will be able to do that.

And it is not just my story, but story of lakhs and crores of students. They don't have a voice, they will definitely not take IITs to court. But they do get denied opportunities consistently, they will just elect Mamta Banerjee to as Mininstry of HRD. She may be eccentric and hated by the corporates and investment banks, but she will get the job done.

PS : My Story is from my LENS and biased by definition.

rahul said...

I like IITs' move to introduce 80% cut-off. I am also pleased at the fact that no language papers were introduced as the level of English taught in some state boards is very poor.

I don't know how people who dropped one or two years performed at IIT as very few people took 2 years off, but Prashant's thesis regarding poor performance of state boards does not hold water. The only disadvantage we faced is our English was a mess. I had a decent cpi (almost 9). Unlike my senior cambridge board friends, I did not join investment banking. Rather I remained in the engineering field. I am also thinking of pursuing PHD in future. One of my seniors was the topper of his batch and has already published a paper in his 1st year in a US university, although his English is horrible. I am really grateful to US universities that they are not as fussy about such petty things as Indians are.

In order to retain students in technical field and improve average gpa, please stop ur senior cambridge students from joining non-core companies just because of their English speaking skills. It is these people who always flaunt their extracurricular achievements, insist on neglecting academics and joining societies to boost CVs.

Milind Moghe said...

My son scored 79% in 12 board of maharashtra in 2011 .Hence he was disqualified for BITS inspite of scoring 382 in BITSAT .secured under 370 AIR in IIT JEE .

Strangly i found that in 2012 BITS reduced the eligibility criteria to 75% .
eventhough these two events may not be connecrted in any way .In my view it is progressive thinking.

Milind

Vihith K said...

Sir,
The COBSE data reveals that they have taken the candidates appeared. But the notification says the 20 percentile of the successful candidates in respective category. If category & only successful candidates are taken, the percentage may substantially go up. As per Q.No. 4 of FAQs, the foreign nationals need only 60%. But going by the COBSE data, taking into consideration of only successful candidates in the respective category for the CBSE students the percentage required may be more than 80%. Please inform me on my Mail (vihith@gmail.com)if I am wrong.

Dr.B. Venkateswara Rao said...

Dear Prof Sanghi
COBSE data of 20 percentile is based on the appeared candidates where as IIT JEE Advanced requires top 20 percentile of successful candidates of their boards in the respective category in such a event the cut off marks may go up kndly give the data if possible based on the succesasful candidates.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Dr. Rao, I do not have this data, but the 80 percentile numbers will go up slightly in case only successful candidates are considered. We have impressed up on the IIT Directors that it should be 80 percentile of appeared candidates, as is the case in GATE, and almost any exam which gives percentile score. Also, the pass percentage in some boards vary quite a bit, and hence 80 percentile will vary quite a bit from year to year which is not desirable. The IIT Directors had agreed to our suggestion verbally, but I haven't seen any action on that yet.

Prashant said...

Dr. Sanghi, 80 percentile of appeared candidates might be somewhat higher than 80 percentile of successful candidates. Anyway, who knows, unless IITs do a proper analysis of the data of their students and candidates.

Actually one technique might be to cap to absolute percentage at something reasonable like 70-75%.

So the cut-off criteria becomes (either absolute 70-75% ) or ( top 30% -- this will help in cases where some boards
make it too tough to score ).

Also, by providing most students with a fixed target, and a reasonable one, it doesn't cause too much stress.

I am quite convinced that the 80 percentile becomes a much bigger problem once the rule comes into force, because both competition and cheating will significantly increase. Using a rating exam on a ranking basis (percentile) doesn't seem to be a good idea unless the band is wide enough, like say 30-40%.




Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Prashant, 80 percentile of successful candidates have to be higher. Let us take an example of a board with 100 students. Being in top 20 percent of appeared candidates mean that the marks cutoff are those of the student ranked 20. Now, assume that 25% students fail in this board. Now, top 20 percent of successful candidates mean that the mark cutoff are those of the student ranked 15. Since these rankings are based on marks, therefore someone with 15th rank (amongst appeared) will have higher marks than someone with 20th rank.

There is an easy way of defeating the whole 20 percentile thing, and apparently there are organizations working towards it. What happens is the AP board refuses to declare 80 percentile cutoff. My understanding is that in a board where such data is not available, the CBSE cutoff will be used. Since AP board's 80 percentile has higher score than CBSE 80 percentile, this would lead to effectively reducing the percentile requirement in AP board.

Now, AP board may not do this, being a government board (or come to think of it, if there is sufficient political pressure on them from state government, they may actually refuse to give out this data in the interest of AP students), but what stops me from creating an organization called "Open School Board," carry out 12th class exams in all major cities of "private" students (that is, I don't have to have any school affiliations), ensure that the question paper is simple, and grading is also easy, and then I refuse to give out 80 percentile cutoff. And students can actually give exam in their own school board (which will give percentile score for NIT admissions), and in this open school board, where s/he has to score marks higher than the 80 percentile of CBSE.

Prashant said...

Okay, I get it - so you are assuming that all those who write Class 12 also write the entrance exam. ( might very well be that way)

Actually, my statement was based on the assumption that the people who do appear for the entrance examination are an academically-better subset of those who appear for the board examination.

As in, out of 100 students who appear for Class-12, perhaps 50 or so from these might give the entrance test - and these 50 are likely to be the better half of those 100 students. ( All numbers used are arbitrary, I don't have access to any).

Assuming from the 100, there is 20% failure rate.
20-th percentile over all candidates who appeared for board exam = Rank 20
20-th percentile over successful candidates in the board exam = Rank 16

If the 50 who appeared for the Entrance exam are all in the upper half of the board result
20th percentile for those 50 = 10-th Rank in the board exam.

(Now it could very well be the case, that there is no such bias and self-selection, and every candidate who appears for JEE is just a random sampling of the candidates who appeared for the board exam).






Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Prashant, the 80 percentile is from all candidates (appeared in 12th class or successful in 12th class, nothing to do with the entrance exam). In fact, all candidates include people who did not even study science, and were in other streams. It is not 80 percentile of only those who have studied Physics, Chemistry, Maths and a language, and one more subject.

Prashant said...

oh. By all means then, 80 percentile of appeared candidates will be the fairest option. I thought only science students were being taken into account.

I expect a lot of surprises in 2013. I hope this arbitrariness doesn't end up costing some hard working students their seat.

khushal jaiswal said...

dheeraj can i know the cut offs for reserved category


chandrasekhar srinivasa pawan kumar sarma konda said...

i think i don't want to be in 12 persons you listed out that you are looking for but if i were i will demand to change whole examination patteren that is ruining the analythical thinking levels of students . Change pattren to a way that doesnt have any otherway for all educational instituions rather than to devoloping analytical skills n make use of students brains and imagination in class to understand rather making them procsser that make caliculations quicker . What is the last invention of IITans what is the world class firm started in india . we are still colonies for other countries . india has good youth strength but many young einstiens, edisons killing thier abilities at the school age it self one reason is low econmic status of indian family and other reason is these competative exams which are just like gladiator fights in collosium . we cannot change economic status of indian family but change the patren of these exams in order to stress in devolopment of thier abilities . then better educated students ,better citizens . better country . i cannot do this but you can sir becoz im just a student who wanted to be IIT asprint in hope there atleast i can sharp my creativity and gift this world somthing before i die as an INDIAN