So the time has come when the month-long marathon of CAT 2013 has shut all its windows and is now drawing its curtains. Ahhhh… But wait!!! I can see so many restless heads peeping through the window furtively, with a desperate bid to at least have a glance of their PERCENTILE; to which I feel like raising an eyebrow – “Ohhh Really?? You expect Prometric to be some Aladdin’s Lamp!!! You rub it and Hey presto! Out comes the Ginnie with a wide sly grin promising you to give an instant insight to your “percentile” even before the calculation and scaling of scores have begun, let alone the declaration of results.”

No wait… I can already hear a strong wave of protests clamoring up which claim that they aren’t fools to enquire about their actual “would-be-percentile”. Even they agree that the exact percentile can’t be calculated by them (chalo shukra hai bhgwaan ka, itni akal toh aai logo me!!). But one second, if they aren’t eager to know about their actual percentiles then what is it that is driving them frenzy?? I think it must be that new termed coined by the CAT-obsessed analysts: – “Projected Percentiles” or “Percentile Predictor”. Hmmm, I think the fortune tellers are going to face a stiff competition from these CAT oriented analysts in the month of Nov- Dec, owing to the latter’s commendable clairvoyance. Of all the CAT- related links mailed or forwarded to me, there was one which sent me rolling on the floor laughing. The subject of the mail went something like this “Enter your attempts with expected accuracy. Your percentile is just a click away”. Having read that subject I felt like replying “Ohhh yaa… Just a click away… I can see that you are under a very false impression that, printed on my forehead is “I am a dumbass”. But to my surprise, I found many of my peers succumbing to temptation of knowing their projected percentiles and actually trusting those dhongi babas.

This CAT Percentile has always intrigued me. Owing to the fact that Probability and P&C; have always been my weaker areas in Quant, I never had that innate curiosity to rack my brains about the calculation behind the so called “projected percentiles”. With CAT going online, the question paper is being generated randomly per person per slot. Keeping in mind the complexity of the no. of variables that might be involved in calculation and scaling of scores, I initially felt there must be some mastermind algorithm behind this normalization procedure. Ohhh but then I was highly mistaken! Nowadays everyone is posing to be a mastermind in his own sense, by developing his own algorithms for normalization, disseminating gyaan about the projected percentiles 😛

(to b contnd..)

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