According to the official CAT 2017 website, "The Normalization process shall adjust for location and scale differences of score distributions across different forms. After normalization across different forms, the scores shall be further normalized across different sections."
CAT 2017 Result: Normalization of Scores
Though IIMs have never revealed the exact process for normalization, there is a wide consensus that the normalization process considers several factors. The necessity of normalization is explained further through the example below:
For example, if 100 students appeared in both the shifts in cities A and B. Now, if the students from city B have had Hindi medium education, they will be at a disadvantage in comparison to students from city A. Also, if the question paper in the second shift was relatively tougher than in first shift then the students in shift two are also at a disadvantage. Again for example, the average score of students in the first shift is 110 and the average score of students in second shift is 100. Also, the average score of students in city A is 120 and city B is 100.
So to normalize the scores of the students, the scores are multiplied by a number which is arrived at by careful consideration of multiple factors such as:
Top 10 percentile scores
Lowest 10 percentile scores
Other deviations (city, educational background etc.)
The CAT score card will have 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 Total along with the Percentiles.
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