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Published :  Lavleen Kaur Kapoor | July 20, 2017 | 01:15 PM IST

Indeed percentile may shape your career 

Percentiles play a crucial role in deciding the future of a candidate, particularly, in various competitive exams, such as, CAT, NMAT, XAT, MAT, SNAP and others. In contrast to percentages, percentiles reveal the relative standing of an individual in the given group and is a better indicator of an individual’s performance in comparison to others in the group. 

1. Percentiles v/s percentages

A percentage is the most commonly used indicator of performance. It is a proportion that represents how large one quantity is in relation to another quantity, where the first quantity expresses a part of, or a change in, the second quantity. This is the preferred mode of evaluation in schools and under graduation courses, where an individual gets to know his/her individual performance. A percentile on the other hand, is a score at or below which a certain percentage of the set of data lies. They are useful in that they divide the set of data into 100 equal parts and reveal the relative placement of a score in the set. In other words, percentiles reveal how an individual fares in relation to other members of his/ her group.

2. Percentiles and competition

Given that the competition for competitive courses is ruthless, an individual’s performance cannot be looked at in isolation. The comparison of scores among the members of a group will provide a better picture of the abilities of the individual and help ascertain whether the individual is really deserving of a seat and more importantly to ascertain how the individual has performed vis-à-vis the group. Thus, a decent percentile may not help you crack CAT, XAT, NMAT, MAT, SNAP, IIFT, CMAT or other exams, if there are others who have secured a better percentile than you. In contrast, percentages only reflect an individual’s performance.

3. Percentiles and careers

Percentiles have a direct bearing on your career prospects. In a popular course, such as, MBA, which attracts tremendous interest, the pressure to do well in entrance exams, such as, CAT, MAT, NMAT, XAT, IIFT, SNAP and CMAT is intense. This is because doing well in these exams can take the aspirant a step closer to one of the premium institutes of the country, which will directly result in him/ her getting a good job after completion of the course. Therefore, the aspirant should be wary of the percentiles, as even a good individual performance might not be enough to get him/ her a seat.

4. Percentiles not the last word

Though it is important to score a high percentile, in order to stand a chance for a call, a high percentile in itself does not ensure admission. Percentiles are relative and depend on others’ performances. Also, a high percentile in the entrance exam might ensure a call from the top MBA institutes such as, IIMs, FMS and others, the final decision is based on a an individual’s academic history, interview, work experience, and of course entrance results. 

Percentiles do impact your chances of getting a call from the premier institutes of the country. Only if you score a percentile which matches the requirements of the institutes will you be called to take part in subsequent procedures. In this sense, percentiles stand between you and your dream career.

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