NTA clarifies candidates concern over mark inflation & increased toppers – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Amid concerns raised by National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG) 2024 candidates regarding compensatory marks due to loss of time for some aspirants, a high number of toppers, and higher qualifying cut-offs this year, the National Testing Agency (NTA) clarified on Thursday that compensatory marks were awarded based on a “few Writ Petitions” and the recommendations of a Grievance Redressal Committee.The agency also noted that of the 67 toppers, 50 scored 720 marks due to the revision of one Physics answer key, and 6 received compensatory marks for the loss of time.
Candidates took to social media to share their scorecards and question the NTA, asking, “Can @NTA_Exams tell how these students scored 718/720 and 719/720 in NEET-UG with the current marking scheme? Also, NTA had initially posted the toppers list with marks and later reposted it without marks.”
NTA explained that the concerns rose by the candidates through Writ Petitions and representations required careful consideration. Consequently, a Grievance Redressal Committee, composed of eminent experts in examination and academia, was formed to review these grievances and provide recommendations.
NTA stated, “The Committee considered the grievances/representations based on factual reports from functionaries and CCTV footage from the concerned exam centres. The loss of examination time was assessed, and candidates were compensated with marks based on their answering efficiency and the time lost, as per the mechanism/formula established by the Hon’ble Apex Court… The revised marks for these candidates range from 20 to 720. Among these, two candidates scored 718 and 719 marks, respectively, due to compensatory marks. Analysis of the CCTV footage confirmed that the integrity of the examination was not compromised at these centres.”
Regarding the high cut-offs, NTA provided an example of the average marks of qualified candidates (out of 720) over five years, indicating that they vary annually. “The cut-off scores are determined based on the overall performance of candidates each year. The increase in cut-off reflects the competitive nature of the examination and the higher performance standards achieved by the candidates this year.”
Addressing concerns about the significant increase in high scorers and toppers, some of whom claimed that a cluster of toppers came from a particular centre, NTA noted that the increase in candidates led to a larger pool of high scorers. “The number of candidates who appeared in 2023 was 20,38,596, while the number of candidates who appeared in 2024 increased to 23,33,297,” it stated.
NTA further clarified that it received 13,373 challenges to the provisional answer key for one Physics question. “Due to differences in the old and new editions of the NCERT textbook, the Subject Expert(s) held that two options be considered correct instead of one for this question. Of the 67 candidates who scored 720/720, 44 did so due to the revision of the Physics answer key, and 6 did so due to compensatory marks for the loss of time. It is pertinent to mention that the toppers are from across the country.”

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