Last rank is just a number

  • Krishna Swamy A.
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CAP is here, but do not go by the last rank details of last year as the only yardstick for admissions this year.

It is the season of the Centralised Allotment Process (CAP) for admission to professional courses in Kerala, and parents and students are busy finalising their choice of courses and colleges. Many have not done the homework, the reason for the big rush to gather information and make the choice at the last moment. Add to that the confusion from a lack of understanding of the process.

One big number heavily used in the process is the last rank details of the past year available on the website of the Commissioner for Entrance Examinations ( If we understand that carefully, can we put it to good use?

The last rank here is the rank of the student who got admitted to a course in a college as the final candidate in CAP. So if the last rank of EC TVE in the general category is 519, that means allotment of general-category seats of Electronics and Communication course in the College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram, ended by that rank.

An interesting point to note here will be that it might not indicate if the seats got filled or not. It simply means that the person who joined this option last was the person with the rank 519. There is a possibility that no one opted for the course in the college after 519. Although this is a far-fetched possibility with the leading courses and colleges, it is very well possible with the least known colleges and courses, especially in the latter stages of the rank list. So if EC XYZ indicates 56,000, it might very well be possible that the seats in that course may not have been filled at all and that there were no applications after this rank for that EC course in XYZ College.

Understanding CAP would say that the last rank has nothing to do with the option-filling process. Tegardless of your possibility to get that course-college combination, prepare a wish list and put the option numbers accordingly. Do not compromise on the wish list simply because you do not have a chance to get that option according to the last rank. The last rank is a function of the group behaviour of the students that appeared for KEAM last year. There is no guarantee that people will behave in the same manner this year. So do not choose your options based on the last rank. It is just an indicator, not the final word. Be optimistic, prepare the wish list as if the last rank data do not exist and wait for the allotment.

You can use the last rank sensibly though for other purposes. The last rank definitely indicates people’s preferences during the last year. You cannot have a wish list with the preference of students of last year. It is independent of them and it has got everything to do with you and you only and not that of any one else.

You can juxtapose the options that you have decided with the last rank and if you find some drastic difference, you can enquire about it; in short you can use it as a surrogate to quality of your choice.

Note here that a few 1,000 ranks’ difference here will not indicate difference in quality. It is only when the gap is in the 5,000s that you need to look at it. So if you have selected EC ABC as your first option and the last rank shows a large value for this, you could have made a mistake. Check once again if your findings are good enough. Thus last rank can be a cross-check facility. It should not be the sole influencer in you marking the options.

Krishna Swamy A.




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