School Service Commission (SSC)

School service commission introduces negative marking to ensure better screening

Subhankar Chowdhury
Subhankar Chowdhury
Posted on 30 May 2023
04:42 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

Move will reduce possibility of too many candidates ending up with same scores in written exams, as it has been happening

The school service commission (SSC) will introduce negative marking in the next exams it will hold for the appointment of teachers to ensure better screening, chairperson of the commission said on Monday.

Negative marking will reduce the possibility of too many candidates ending up with the same scores in the written exams, as it has been happening.

“We want to introduce negative marking because this will help us screen candidates better,” Siddhartha Majumdar, chairperson of the commission, told The Telegraph.


“It will be easier to separate candidates who have a command of the subject from the ones who do guesswork to choose an option (while answering multiple-choice questions). The commission wants to introduce negative marking in the selection test for headmasters and assistant teachers at the secondary and higher secondary level,” he said.

“Negative marking will lessen the scope of too many candidates ending up with the same scores (tie) in the state-level selection tests (SLST).”

The SSC is yet to announce the dates of the next tests.

The commission has also decided not to award marks on the basis of one’s academic degrees, drawing lessons from the fiasco over the Bobita Sarkar incident, an SSC official said.

Calcutta High Court had on May 16 scrapped the appointment of Bobita Sarkar, who was recruited in a government-aided higher secondary school last June replacing Ankita Adhikary, daughter of former Trinamul minister Paresh Adhikary, after it emerged that the commission had given Sarkar more marks in the academic score segment than what she should have got.

“Bobita’s academic score should have been 31 out of 35. But she was awarded 33 because of an error which had happened when the candidates’ academic credentials were being verified by the commission’s regional office in Malda in 2017,” said an official.

Till the last selection test, the candidates were chosen based on their marks in the selection test, academic score (based on one’s academic degrees) and performance in the interview.

“From the next test, candidates will be selected based on the performance in the selection test and interview,” the official said.

“Since lakhs of teaching job aspirants file their documents on academic degrees, there are chances of similar mistakes happening at our offices. Therefore we have decided to drop the academic score,” he said.

The SSC official said they would soon tell the state education department that the commission wants to test candidates on objective questions carrying 90 marks, using OMR sheets, because that would lead to faster publication of results.

This newspaper reported on May 6 that the education department in its draft rules sent to the school service commission suggested that the candidates be made to take a written test of subjective questions carrying 300 marks.

The official said a judge hearing cases resulting from previous recruitment processes expressed surprise over the fact that so many candidates had the same score.

“Considering that we are going to introduce negative marking, the question pattern will also be tweaked accordingly,” the official said.

Last updated on 30 May 2023
10:35 AM
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