Candidates who have scored minimum eligible marks in a fix

Though the pass percentage in the recently published State Eligibility Test (SET) results has increased by over seven per cent when compared to the last year, the new qualifying criterion of filtering the top seven per cent from the rest has eliminated the chances of many candidates, who have obtained the minimum eligible marks, from getting qualified.


As per the criterion fixed by the University Grants Commission (UGC), only the top seven per cent of the passed candidates are eligible to be qualified as SET pass. This new criterion has put many candidates, who have obtained the minimum eligible marks, in a fix.

For example, a candidate from the General Category (GC) clears all three papers in Psychology subject with a total score of 212 marks. The highest total score in Psychology in that category is 250 marks. Depending on this score and the number of candidates passed in that subject, the top seven per cent is calculated. Hence the top seven per cent will fall in the 228-250 mark range. So, the candidate who has passed with 212 marks will fail to qualify as a SET pass. The same system is followed for OBC, and SC /ST.

The test conducted in October 2012 had, for the first time, all three papers in the multiple-choice pattern. The minimum marks for paper I was 40 per cent for GC, and 35 per cent each for OBC and SC /ST. It was the same for paper II also. Paper III was 75 for GC, 68 for OBC and 60 for SC / ST.

The eligibility conditions that had to be fulfilled were: the candidate should have obtained the minimum eligibility marks in each paper, he / she should have obtained the overall minimum total marks, and he / she should fall within the UGC’s qualifying criterion of seven per cent of the total candidates in the respective subject.

Qualifying mark

Many candidates who have a very high score rue that since they have not met the qualifying mark, they have technically “not qualified for SET”. It is even more difficult for them when the qualifying mark for some subjects (there are 27 in all) are very less when compared to the subject they had appeared in.


SET sources say that the qualifying mark is not based on different criteria for each subject. It is calculated on the basis of both the number of passes in each subject and the highest individual total score (of three papers) of a candidate in a particular subject. The final qualifying criterion for eligibility worked out thus is decided by the SET Moderation Committee. This is a conscious decision of the UGC to filter the creamy layer from among the passed out candidates. This also makes the process transparent.

Sources also add that the UGC will implement the new qualifying criterion of 15 per cent for the ensuing NET and the future SET.