CBSE Class 12: Why Adding 10th, 11th Std Marks Is The Best Option

Scores from Class 10,11 will carry a weightage of 30% each, while Class 12 marks account for 40% of board score.

4 min read
A 13-member committee was appointed by the Central Board of Secondary Education to look for alternative <a href="">ways of marking Class 12</a> students.

After the Central Board of Secondary Education announced the marking scheme for Class 12 students on Thursday, 17 June, students and teachers reacted to the board’s decision both favourably and unfavourably. One question however continues to loom large on whether or not this was the best solution to assess students using a non-exam route.

A 13-member committee was appointed by the Central Board of Secondary Education to look for alternative ways of marking Class 12 students.

  • After two weeks of brain-storming, the committee decided that marks scored by a student in the last three years would be used to arrive at a score.
  • This formula would only be used to mark the theory portion for which physical board exams couldn’t be conducted.
  • Under this scheme, Class 10 board exams and the final exam of Class 11 have been given a weightage of 30 percent each, while marks scored in Class 12 exams conducted by schools internally have been given a weightage of 40 percent.

But why did the board choose to include marks scored in Class 10 board exams for marking those in Class 12 ?

Why Marks From Class 12 Alone Didn’t Work

Before we come to Class 10, let’s look at what all has been included from Class 12. In the absence of written board exams, it was pretty natural for experts to take into consideration marks obtained by Class 12 students in unit tests and pre-boards that were conducted at the school-level.

The board even gave schools' result committee the power to decide how much weightage should be given to units tests and pre-boards, while allowing them to give full weightage to just one component.

But relying solely on these marks obtained by students in exams conducted by schools wouldn’t be fair as they lack standardisation – unlike boards, where students answer the same questions for a subject, at the same time, under the same controlled conditions. 
  • Many of these school exams were taken by students in the online mode from home and may not have reflected their true abilities. Many may have not performed well due to problems associated with digital infrastructure.
  • The second problem was the lack of a standardised benchmark as different schools had set different question papers. Different schools could have marked students different for varying question papers.

To address this school-level variation in scores, the board has said that marks will be moderated at the school level. For this, a school’s historical performance in Class 12 board exams over the last three years will be taken, and the year in which the school’s overall performance has been best will be taken as the baseline.

But even after moderation, these exams lacked standardisation, forcing the board to look at another source of historical assessment.


Can Class 10 Marks Reflect Class 12 Performance?

In order to overcome this lack of standardisation, the board then looked for the most “holistic, fair and unbiased” assessment of Class 12 available to it.

It had to look – a record the board found in the performance of students in theory papers of Class 10 CBSE board examination.

Hence, the board decided that while calculating marks for theory components of Class 12 alone, it would also take into consideration average theory marks obtained by the same students in best three performing subjects in their Class 10 CBSE board exams. This would then be uniformly awarded to the theory section of all Class 12 subjects.

But while Class 10 provided a reliable base for computing marks, it also threw up a host of challenges.

  • The best of three subjects from Class 10 could be very different from those in Class 12. In such a scenario, how can a student be judged partly on the basis of subjects in Class 10 exams for a career-making exam such as the one in Class 12?
  • A student may have improved his scores and may have evolved into a finer student in Class 12. How can their marks from a class two years below be used in the present scheme?

The Best Way Out

This is precisely the reason why the board added a third component – theory marks from the final exam conducted by schools in Class 11, which would account for the remaining 30 percent of the score that would be awarded for theory segment of subjects for Class 12.

  • Unlike pre boards and unit-tests conducted in Class 12, the final exam in Class 11 took place before the pandemic, and included the senior-secondary syllabus.
  • It was also an exam where students wrote physical papers in a controlled environment, as opposed to online exams in Class 12.
  • While students may not have worked in Class 11, as hard as they would have been for boards in Class 12, the inclusion of marks form Class 10 and 12, coupled with moderation has the best chance of ensuring a fair assessment.

Moreover, it must be remembered that this 30+30+40 formula will only be used to mark the theory portion of subjects in Class 12. Practicals, which in CBSE Class 12 can carry between 20-70 marks, will be entered in true value.

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