Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena admitted in Parliament yesterday that he too cannot understand the new formula that is to be used to calculate the ‘Z’ score, which would enable students who sat the Advanced Level examination this year, qualify for university entry.
The release of the A/L results has been delayed this year because the examination was conducted under two different syllabuses, as a result of which there has been confusion as to how the ‘Z’ score should be calculated.
Minster Gunwardena who was responding in Parliament to a question from DNA MP Anura Dissanayaka, on why the release of the results was delayed, said that, the delay lay with the University Grants Commission (UGC) and not the Examination Department.
"We can release the results even today, but the UGC has asked us to delay it till the ‘Z’ score formula is finalised," he said. “A committee of mathematicians and statisticians has been set up to work out a formula which would calculate an aggregate of the marks obtained by students who sat for the A/L in both the old and new syllabuses, and agree on a cut off mark or the ‘Z’ score,” the Minister said.
"I have to admit even I don't understand this formula,' he said.
Minister Gunawardena said the ‘Z’ score was vital because, if there was a slight miscalculation in the cut off mark, the fate of a student could be drastic, as to whether he would become a 'doctor or a conductor.'
Of the nearly 300,000 students who sit the Advanced Level examination each year, only around 22,000 qualify for university entrance.
The Minister said the results would be released before year's end.