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Normalization of Scores in CAT 2017

Last Updated - August 31, 2017

The CAT 2017 Exam is set to be conducted on November 26, 2017. Marks will be given according to the marking scheme of CAT 2017. CAT scores will be adjusted and normalized through “equating”. IIM Bangalore will use normalization of scores across for these two sessions of CAT 2017. Normalization of CAT 2017 scores is implemented to adjust for location and different sessions.

  • The normalization process will be applied to the score to convert them into a percentile.
  • Based on the candidate’s CAT 2017 percentile, they will be shortlisted for the counseling rounds of the IIMs and other B-Schools.
  • CAT Normalization process is similar to the GATE score calculating process. The process ensures comparison of a candidate’s performance through a fair process.
  • Through various forms, this process adjusts location and scale differences. Across different sections, the scores will be normalized after adjustment across different forms.
  • To shortlist candidates for the CAT Selection procedure, the “Equating” process will be used to convert the normalized score into a percentile.
  • The candidate’s scores in each section, total score, and the percentile will be published on the CAT result 2017.

Before you start, please note that the exact formula that the IIMs may use for normalizing the CAT 2016 scores is not yet known, and any formula that is mentioned within this article is given solely for the purpose of illustrating the fundamental concepts of normalization and the process that is likely to be used by the IIMs.

Normalization of CAT 2017 Scores

The CAT official website says that CAT 2017 will be conducted in two sessions. In two sessions, two different test forms will be administered. Across different test sessions, the scores of the candidates will be subjected to a process of Normalization.

  • As the CAT 2017 exam will be conducted in two sessions, the IIMs will follow a normalization process to ensure scaled scores.
  • These scaled scores will be converted into percentiles, which will be used to shortlist the candidates.
  • In the second stage of selection process, the candidates will be required to appear for Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI).
  • CAT scorecard 2017 will remain valid until December 31, 2018.
  • For the convenience of the candidates, a link to access the CAT 2017 result will be made available. The candidates will be required to log in with their CAT user ID and password to access the scorecard. 
  • Across all the sessions of CAT Exam, the distribution of scores can be expected to differ in terms of the exact values of the two characteristic parameters, i.e., the mean (location), µ”, and the standard deviation (scale), σ”.
  • The differences could be slight or significant, depending on how close the question papers are in terms of their difficulty level and on how similar the test taking groups are across the four sessions.

However, these differences in mean and standard deviation (also referred to as differences in location and scale) can be resolved by using different mathematical approaches. The final CAT Result is released after normalization of scores.

Method of Normalization

The Normalization is a type of percentile equivalence method. For reporting purposes, Scaled scores for each section (Section I: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Section II: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Section III: Quantitative Ability (QA)) and Final Scores along with the Percentile scores are published.

Percentile calculation: 
A candidate's percentile denotes the percentage of candidates scoring lower than that particular candidate. It is calculated as: Percentile = ( 1 - All India rank( No. of candidates in that subject) x 100%  

The CAT score normalization process formula as devised by the experts would be as follows-
Normalized mark (︿Mij) of jth candidate in i th  slot, is given by
︿Mij = Mgt - MgqMti - Miq ( Mij - Miq ) + Mgq
Mij is the actual marks obtained by the jth candidate in the ith slot,
Mgt is the average marks of the top 0.1 % candidates in all slots,
Mgq is the sum of mean and standard deviation of marks of all candidates in all slots,
Mti is the average of marks of top 0.1 % candidates in the ith slot,
Miq is the sum of mean and standard deviation of marks of all candidates in the ith slot.

Example of Application of Formula in CAT 2016

Total Test takers = 2,00,000
slots = 2 
Test takers in each slot = 1,00,000 [ .1% of it = 100]

Mij  = 170 out of 300          ( is the actual marks obtained by the jth candidate in the 2nd slot) 
Mgt = [195 + 190 ]/2 = 192 ( is the average marks of the top 0.1 % candidates of both the slots) 

here, 195  and 190 are the average of the top .1% aspirants of all slots

Mgq =  112 (is the sum of mean and standard deviation of marks of all candidates in both the slots) 
Mti    =  190(is the average of marks of top 0.1 % candidates in   the 2nd slot) 
Miq    = 110(is the sum of mean and standard deviation of marks of all candidates in the 2nd slot.)

So, according to the given formula, normalized score = (192-112)(170-110)/(190-110) + 112 = 172



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