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Methods


Methods for UK Degrees


CASE combines a multitude of data sources on academic achievement using modern econometric methods. This foundation is used to analyze the specific grade point average of individual graduates. We differentiate between the different publicly recognized universities and colleges, different degree types, and different fields of study. At this point CASE separates between 24 different study fields in the UK.


This data is used to generate the CASE Score in a two-step process: whereever possible we first compare the GPA of a degree with the distribution of GPAs in the graduate's program. In a second step, we combine this information with data about the performance profiles of students in the specific program. The optimization of the relative weighting of these factors is based, among other sources, on research conducted exclusively by CASE, using a total of more than 300,000 collected questionnaires.


The data that builds the basis of the CASE Algorithm is updated regularly. This, as well as updates in the methods, may change the assessment of a candidate by CASE. The distributions are smoothed using a weighted moving average that includes a lag of up to three years. This smoothes out short-term fluctuations and aids analysis of future degrees. Degrees in different countries are evaluated using slightly different methods, but since results are generally presented in the format of "Top X%", these differences are not relevant for the interpretation of the results.


Local Grade Comparison


In the UK we are unfortunately not able to show program-specific data of the distribution of grades to our customers. Where it makes sense to apply such logic - namely in the case of undergraduate degrees, which are typically reported in classes of "First Class Honors", "Upper Second Class Honors" and so forth - the distribution of distinctions in the program is, however, part of the calculation of the CASE Subject Score and the CASE Score.


The CASE Subject Score


The CASE Subject Score allows for a comparison of degrees obtained in the same study field, but at different institutions. In addition to the grade distribution, it also considers information about the abilities of the average student at the specific university into account. For this we use a combination of sources, including our own surveys.


The curve compares a degree to all other degree types earned at different universities in the same study field. The further to the right a degree is positioned, the better the assessment of that degree relative to others within that subject area. Results are shown as percentiles. A degree could for example be among the top 10% of all degrees earned in mechanical engineering in the UK.


The CASE Score


The CASE Score enables the comparison of all applicants across different institutions, study fields, degree types and graduation years. The CASE algorithm is designed to factor all this information in and to produce a score that is as predictive as possible of a candidate's academic ability. For this the methods used for the CASE Subject Score is extended to all British higher education graduates. The resulting ranking allows the direct comparison of all of your applicants.


The figure presents the degree's CASE Score relative to all graduates in the UK, irrespective of their subject area. The curve is identical for all degrees that are being analyzed, only the relative position changes depending on the individual score. The interpretation of the figure is identical to the previous figure: points to the left of the degree represent worse scores, whereas points to the right represent better scores. The curve itself is based on several million data points, which are graphically represented using a kernel density function.


German, Italian, Portugese and Spanish Degrees


CASE Scores and CASE Subject Scores for degrees from institutions located in Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain are to be interpreted just like scores for UK degrees. Due to differences in the education systems and the availabilty of research data the methods to generate the scores can differ slightly. Nonetheless, the core of the methods is identical across countries. Just like in the UK, scores are based on the combination of program-specific grade distributions and an analysis of the competitiveness of the students in these programs. The definition of subject areas, however, can differ. There are also differences in the availability of data in different countries. Particular years or degree types might be available for one country, but not for another.


A notable difference is that we can usually also show a graduate's final GPA relative to the grade distribution in their program. This is not possible in the UK due to both legal restrictions and because Masters degrees are not using consistent grading schemes, making such a distinction impossible.


Indian Degrees


For India we only offer the analysis of degrees from engineering colleges. While we cannot offer an analysis of a students position within the local grade distribution, we do take the grade into account when calculating CASE Subject Scores and CASE Scores. For this purpose we use a standardized grade distribution. Generally speaking, our comparisons for India are primarily based on the admission requirements for different study programs.