My Graduation Percentage? CGPA*10

I am an engineer in a state university, which, to many of the readers here, would ring a particular bell. The bell of a ‘percentage scoring system’, Indian higher education’s most archaic scoring methodology. When the entire world seems to have shifted to a more sophisticated and more appropriate CGPA/GPA system, state technical universities are stuck in the Zamana of Baba Aadam.

What’s the problem in that? Well, let me enlighten you. In a majority of the state universities, a % of >60 is FIRST DIVISION, the highest % is usually around 80, and a majority of the class in good colleges is in the bracket 60-70. So, by default, when we are asked about our percentages, people usually compare it to the CGPAs of IITians, VITians, BITsians and make the cardinal sin of dividing it by 10. Simple, ain’t it? Not so much for us.

For students studying in the CGPA system, a relative marking scheme is applied, wherein, one’s performance is measured and calculated w.r.t to the overall class result. How convenient! But what these institutions sometimes lack is a proper system of conversion or an advantageous one at that. So, the result? A bulk of engineers scoring above 7.0 CGPA (and you would know how many of them exist in your respective colleges!) simply make the basic arithmetic of CGPA*10 (or 9.5 or 9) and voila!

That isn’t even the crux of the problem. My scoring system is layman-like. Total marks obtained divided by the maximum marks in all subjects gives my percentage. The conversion systems in different engineering colleges are rarely based on this concept. They have a complex statistical formula or a multiplying factor which, not to undermine the brains behind it, might be suitable for that institution, but in a common admission scenario, it’s giving undue advantage to a certain set of candidates.

I don’t know if ‘B.Tech- 90%, 85%’ is calculated with or without the conversion system, but to us it seems all the more preposterous. Because when we compare our scores to these genius figures, we feel like digging up a hole and burying ourselves in it. Some IIMs do normalise graduation scores, but when some map scores from all institutions with one common gauge (the more the better gauge), we state university students are sure to lose out.

I don’t know if I wrote this piece without enough information on the entire system, but this is what I have gathered from various threads in the last few days of my activity on Pagalguy and of course my 7 semesters worth experience in the Indian engineering sphere. My request to all IIMs and engineering colleges, please put in an appropriate and common scoring system, communicate it properly to all students and make sure all candidates get a level playing field.