Why Students Are Happy With ICSE & ISC’s No Toppers List Decision

The CISCE has said that it will not release a topper’s list this year.

Published10 Jul 2020, 04:22 PM IST
3 min read

As the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) declared results for ICSE and ISC board examination on Friday, 10 July, there was one aspect that remained conspicuous by its absence.

Unlike previous years, the council did not release a list of toppers for either class 10 ICSE or class 12 ISC.

While the board said that 99.33% students had cleared ICSE and 96.84% cleared ISC, it simply refused to comment on why the list of toppers wasn’t being announced this year.

In fact, repeated requests to Gerry Arathoon, the council’s Chief Executive & Secretary elicited a single-line response.

“No toppers this year.”
Gerry Arathoon, Chief Executive & Secretary, CISCE

The decision to not announce a topper list has largely been welcomed by schools and student’s alike.

Barsha Jha of St Paul’s Mission School, Kolkata, who scored above 90 in ICSE and could not write four of her exams, said that this was probably the best way to publish results in this pandemic situation.

“If you think about it, it is probably the right decision. In a exam where students have been marked in pending on the basis of completely different subjects, it would be difficult to select a topper.”
Barsha Jha, ICSE student

Echoing Jha, Yuvan Sharma, who topped ICSE exams in The Shri Ram Millennium School, Noida, said that the topper’s list did not matter much to him, as long as he had scored well at the school-level. “It makes sense to not have a toppers list,” he said.

For ISC student, Mahima Mukherjee, releasing an all India rank on the basis of the present marking methodology would not have been representative of real scores. “I would have been a minimum of AIR 8, if I had appeared for both Sociology and Psychology. But since I am marked on the basis of other subjects, this could have changed now,” said the student from Kolkata’s Modern High School.

Why Topper’s List Was Scrapped

Sanchita Biswas, Principal of St Paul’s Mission School, Kolkata, too felt that it would have been unfair to come out with a topper’s list.

Biswas said that while students did benefit from the new marking scheme, which combines the average of best board subjects with internal assessment to mark papers for exams that haven’t been conducted, these were still not the real marks on which toppers could be determined.

“I endorse the board’s decision to not release a toppers list. Since a fraction of marks could change a student’s rank, it is only fair to not come out with a topper’s list.”
Sanchita Biswas, Principal, St Paul’s Mission School, Kolkata

The Vice Principal of a prominent school in the National Capital Region, who did not wish to be named, said that “this time the council had stated in advance that since a lot of exams could not be conducted and since different factors were involved, it would not be apt to try to find a topper.”

While clarifying that he cannot speak for the council and is not aware of its decisions, Aniket Deb Roy, Principal of St Thomas's Day School, Kolkata said that “since the board has said that students unhappy with their score may be allowed to write exams for pending exams at a later stage, it may announce a topper’s list once results of that written exam is out.”

Results on Expected Lines, Say Schools

While for ICSE, the pass percentage this year has increased to 99.33% from last year’s 98.54 percent, the pass percentage for ISC has increased marginally from 96.52 in 2019 to 96.84% this year.

But has the new marking method made much of a difference in scores? Uttara Singh, Director Principal of The Shri Ram International School in Noida, says that the results have more or less been in sync with expectations. “We did an initial analysis and so far, it seems that board results have more or less been on expected lines,” she said.

Gowri Sivashankar, Principal of Hari Shree Vidyalaya in Chennai, said that usually a difference of about 10 percent is noticed in between school and board exams and that board exam results this year have for the most part displayed this difference.

“I think they put some amount of thinking on how they are going to arrive at marks for cancelled papers and that seems to validate the performance that children have done in the past."

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