Beyond 99 per cent; DeQoding the St Stephen’s Cut-offs 

St. Stephen’s has released its ridiculously high cut-offs, but students need not be disheartened.

3 min read
(Photo Courtesy: St. Stephen’s website)

News headlines have recently been dominated with news of the 99 per cent cut-off for an Honours degree in English literature at St. Stephen’s College. But applicants  out there shouldn’t get too disappointed.

There is more to the story than just the 99 per cent.

The Commerce Disadvantage

Those who studied commerce in school suffer a distinct disadvantage when it comes to applying to the Science stream or even the Liberal Arts.

The 99 per cent cut-off for English Honours for example, applies to Commerce students. For Science and Arts students it’s at 97.75 and 97.50 per cent respectively.

The St. Stephen’s College cut-off list. The full list is available on their <a href="">website</a>.
The St. Stephen’s College cut-off list. The full list is available on their website.

Even for Economics Honours, the Commerce crowd has to get a whopping 98 per cent while others need around 97 per cent.

Then there are the ‘riders’. To study Literature, you need at least 90 per cent in English Core, and 85 per cent in Elective English in your Class XII Board Exams. There are similar riders for Economics Honours. There, you need at least 90 per cent in mathematics.

There is however a rationale for this differentiation.

Many schools don’t even offer Elective English and only those with a passion for Literature tend to take it up. Commerce is also believed to be higher scoring and hence the higher cut-offs.

And Humanities students may well argue that they deserve some advantage for studying low-scoring subjects. These are also the subjects that form a core of the Liberal Arts courses. The same holds true for the Science stream.

What St. Stephen’s Cut-offs Augur

St. Stephen’s cut-offs come before the rest of Delhi University and are usually a good indicator of how high the criteria for entry is likely to reach this year.

This year has witnessed, on average, a 1 per cent rise in cut-offs from the last year. However, the St. Stephen’s criteria may not be the best register for predicting final cut-offs in other colleges.

As Pervin Malhothra, a career counsellor, points out, “St. Stephen’s has a very low number of seats in the General Category. Also many students apply there while they are waiting to hear from professional colleges.”

Unlike other DU colleges, St. Stephen’s has an interview in which only one in four applicants are selected. Hence, there is no question of a ‘second list’.

In most other institutions, seats are not filled in the first round and in some cases even fifth and sixth lists are not uncommon.

So while St. Stephen’s cut-offs can be disheartening at first glance, it’s not all bad news.

Students today have more options than ever before. (Photo: iStockPhoto)
Students today have more options than ever before. (Photo: iStockPhoto)

There’s a lot Beyond Delhi University

Delhi University gets applicants from all over the country and with Board exam scores going higher than ever before, the cut-offs are bound to soar.

But students also have more options than ever before.

Now we have a lot more options. There is Ashoka University, Shiv Nadar University and Ambedkar University. Applicants can now look beyond Delhi University.
Pervin Malhothra, Career Counsellor

So guys, don’t get hassled by St. Stephen’s high-barrier entry. There’ a lot more out there.

And if you’re still worried, you can read about careers that definitely do not require ridiculously high marks here.

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