The average marks in this year’s Class XII results of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools are likely to decrease by up to 10% following the board’s decision not to ‘moderate’ or ‘standardise’ — CBSE’s terms for inflating marks.
This follows a resolution adopted at a meeting of school boards, called by CBSE on April 24, not to increase marks through moderation. The meeting was also attended by Anil Swarup, secretary (school education) in the HRD ministry. “The board has adopted the consensus on the issue of moderation of marks. This is expected to result in a drop in marks scored as well as a marginal dip in the pass percentage. This is likely to be the trend across boards,” said a senior CBSE official.
Another official said the drop in average marks could be different for different subjects. “Marks, both aggregate and subject-wise, will drop. The average drop could be from 6% to 10%, depending on the marks scored in each subject,” the official said.
CBSE as well as the state boards have been inflating marks in the past. As first reported by TOI, CBSE gave as many as 16 extra marks in the Class XII Maths exam in 2016 in the all-India set of papers and 15 marks in the Delhi set during the process of ‘standardisation’.
In nine subjects, marks were ‘standardised’ by more than 10%. As a result, a student with 77 marks in mathematics may have ended up getting 93 marks.
In 2016, the pass percentage for CBSE had touched an all-time high of 83.05% and over 80,000 students scored 90% and above.
While moderation of marks has always existed to even out different levels of difficulty and other factors in an exam of such huge scale, sources said the exercise was conducted judiciously in the past. “It would never lead to an increase of more than five marks,” said a former CBSE chairman.
Following reports of a spike in marks via moderation last year, former CBSE chairman Ashok Kumar Ganguly called upon the HRD ministry and Council of Boards of School Education in India (COBSE) to intervene.
Huge jumps in marks being given both via ‘moderation’ and ‘grace’ liberally, according to the former CBSE chief, which was “against the spirit of moderation”.
Lower aggregate marks could impact the cut-off for admission to undergraduate courses in various universities this year.