One of the most determining elements to be able to access a career is to exceed the cut-off mark. Now, do you know how it is calculated? Do you know which are the races with the highest cut-off notes? I explain it to you in a very simple way.
What is the cut-off mark?
At the university level, the minimum (or lowest) mark to be able to study a certain degree is called the cut-off mark. This score is obtained from the applicants who obtained their place. Each degree has a different admission grade.
When the application period closes, the university takes all the grades of the students who want to study the same degree. Once you have them, they sort them from highest to lowest. The places are awarded first to the best grade, then to the second, and so on until the quota of places is completed. The last of those admitted (and therefore the one with the lowest grade) is the one taken to determine the cutoff grade. For this reason, each university, for each year, has a different cut-off mark for each career.
Although each year the value of the cut-off mark varies, they will help guide you in order to know the type of grades you need to obtain. Even if you do not reach the required grade, that is not an impediment for you to put your request. It is possible that from one year to another, you can enter a degree with a lower score. It will largely depend on the demand there is.
As I want to help you understand well how the cutoff note works, I will detail this process in the next section.
How to calculate the cutoff grade
So that you understand how the cutoff score is calculated, we will do it by giving an example. Suppose you are clear about the university you want to graduate from. After taking a vocational test, you discover that you are good at the humanities. Imagine that you decide on philosophy and that there is a place for 10 students but there are 13 applicants. Obviously there are 3 that will be left out and will not be able to access this degree. If you want to know the cut-off mark for philosophy, you should do something like what is shown in the image below.
As you can see, the places are awarded in descending order according to the access note. As there are 10 places, the grade of the tenth applicant is taken to determine the cut-off grade. In this case it would be 7.1 and all the other students below that value would be left out.
Is the cutoff grade important?
In most cases, your admission grade is important, which will ultimately be used to calculate the cut-off grade. For example, in the public university it is the only criterion used to assign places. However, there are some exceptions where it does not matter:
- If the situation arises that there are more places offered than applications, all students who have applied for that career would be admitted.
- In the case of private universities, although they may take this data into account, they probably pay more attention to your money. If you are able to pay their fees they will be more than happy to see you.
More difficult races to access
The difficulty of accessing a career depends on two factors: the number of places offered by the university and the number of people interested in studying that career. So, in general, the universities with more vacancies per degree, have a lower cut-off mark.
As you can understand, when a title becomes fashionable, there are many requests and therefore the cut-off mark rises and consequently it is more difficult to access. Just like that, the following year, the euphoria can wear off and plummet. So don’t be discouraged if you can’t study what you want on the first try.
Currently, some of the degrees with the highest cut-off marks are the following: medicine, psychology, veterinary medicine, dentistry and physical therapy.
Are races with high cut-off notes more difficult?
Not at all. The difficulty of a race is not related to its cut-off mark. In order to measure this data, other indicators would have to be used. It would be good to look at how many people leave their studies without finishing them, the average number of years required to obtain the degree, etc.
As I mentioned in the previous section, the fact that a career has a high cut-off mark is related to its supply and demand.
How much lower do the cut-off marks in the awards?
Varies by race. In those that are in fashion or where in general there is a lot of demand, it goes down little. This is because everyone wants to study that and they will not choose another career if they have the opportunity. On the contrary, if it is a degree with less demand, it may be the second or third option of many of those admitted. This being the case, there will be a greater variation.
Finally, indicate that the cut-off mark falls more from the first to the second award, than from the second to the third.
About how much is the cutoff grade?
As with so many things in life, the answer is “it depends.” And in this case, it depends on the country in which you want to study. For example, when I finished high school, the cut-off grade in Spain was calculated on a maximum value of 10 points. However, it is now done on a total of 14 points. However, in other places like Mexico, each university establishes its own criteria when taking the entrance exams. Even in the case of Venezuela, there are universities that dispense with this test and only take into account the average high school grade.
Don’t be discouraged by the cut notes
It is important that you review the cut-off notes of the past courses in advance. Ideally, you should do it a couple of years before going to college. This will allow you to get an idea of how hard you have to work to study what you want. If you see that this cut-off grade is very high, don’t be discouraged. It is possible that it will be reduced in the future. Also, if you give your best, you will surely achieve it.
Are you clear about what you want to study? Leave us a comment with your career and the cut-off mark.