The Central Board of Secondary Education is considering a suggestion to award grades instead of marks to its Class XII students, whose board exams have been scrapped because of the pandemic, officials said.
They said the central universities are likely to admit undergraduate students through a computer-based common entrance test — to be held at centres across the country possibly in July or August — without giving any weightage to board results.
The CBSE is examining options such as deciding the results on the basis of the students’ performances in their Class X boards, Class XI annual exam and Class XII pre-board exam.
Another option is to base the results on the Class X board exams and all the Class XI exams including the unit tests, half-yearly exam and pre-board exam, education ministry officials said.
The second option owes to a fear that the schools’ assessment of their students in the pre-board or half-yearly Class XII exams might have left too much room for subjectivity. In contrast, the Class XI exams were held at a time when the schools were unaware the scores might play a role in determining the Class XII results.
The board has received these suggestions from school principals over the past two weeks and set up a 12-member committee to examine them all and finalise the criteria for deciding the results. The criteria may be announced next week.
“Since the board exams are not being held and the results are to be announced on the basis of the students’ past performance, it would not be fair to award exact marks,” an official said.
“A large number of principals have suggested that the students be awarded grades on the basis of their marks from past exams.”
For a brief period, the CBSE used to award grades — such as A1, A, B1, B, C1, C, D and E — to its Class X students on the basis of a “continuous and comprehensive evaluation” policy. This has been discontinued.
The state boards too are finalising their criteria for the announcement of results.
An education ministry official said that a common entrance test is likely to be held from this year for admission to any undergraduate or postgraduate course in the central universities.
This means that tens of thousands of students whose Class XII boards have been scrapped may still be travelling to exam centres across the country sometime in July or August.
The undergraduate medical entrance test, NEET, too remains slated for August.
The official said an expert committee had recommended 50 per cent weightage for the entrance test and 50 per cent for the board results while selecting students for undergraduate courses at the central universities.
“But the 50 per cent weightage for the board results may be put on hold this year because we expect a lot of variations among the school boards’ criteria for determining the Class XII results,” the official said. “Admission may be based entirely on the entrance test scores.”