Government makes Class X exam optional

In a major relief for the students of CBSE on Monday, the Centrals government has made the Class X examinations optional from 2010-11.

Updated: Sep 07, 2009, 20:00 PM IST

New Delhi: In a path-breaking move that will
cheer lakhs of students across the country, Government on Monday
announced that Class X examinations of the CBSE will be
optional from the next academic year (2010-11) while the
grading system will be introduced this year itself.

Over eight lakh students appearing for their class X
exams in March 2010 have to take Board exams for which the
results will be declared through grading system.

From 2011, the grading system will continue but the Board
exams will become optional.

The Class X examinations of CBSE will be abolished from
2010-11 while the grading system will be introduced from
2009-10 (current academic year), Human Resources Development
Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here.

"After the Board examination is abolished in 2011 (for
class X), students will have choice to take the Board exam on
demand for transfer (to another school) or entry into
pre-university institutes," Sibal said.

The exam on demand is also available to students who want
to continue in the same school, he said. Under the new system,
students who wish to continue in the same school after class
X, need not take Board exam from 2011.

On the grading system, he said it will be a "continuous,
comprehensive evaluation" which will be good for the students.
However, along with grades, students can also ask for their

The new system will be based on nine-point scale,
starting from A1 (exceptional) up to E2 (unsatisfactory).

Grading procedure, which was finalised by a high-level
committee headed by CBSE chairman Veenith Joshi, will warrant
students to secure more than 33 percent marks to get a

The nine-point scale will start from A1(with 91-100
marks, exceptional), A2(81-90, excellent), B1(71-80, very
good), B2(61-70, good), C1(51-60, fair), C2(41-50, average),
D(33-40, below average), E1(21-32, needs improvement) and
E2(00-20, unsatisfactory).

"This is good system which will very well judge the
potential of a student," Sibal said.

Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system will
be put in place from October this year for those who are
completing class-X in 2011. The CCE refers to a system of
school-based evaluation of students, covering all aspects of
pupils` development.

It will cover the co-curricular activities, besides the
core areas of subjects being studied in the classes. The CCE
system will have two components -- formative assessment and
summative assessment.

The formative assessment will be based on whole range of
tests like interview, quiz, project work and practical

It takes care of scholastic as well as co-scholastic
aspects of pupils` growth. The scholastic aspects include
curricular areas or subjects specific areas, while
co-scholastic aspects include life-skills, attitude and
values, physical and health related activities.

The summative assessment will be a six-monthly exam which
will test the subject specific knowledge of the students. The
question patterns will be changed also. More importance will
be given to objective-type test in summative assessment, which
will be based on curriculum and scheme of studies.

The question papers based on blue-print will be designed
by the schools from the question bank to be sent by the board.

The evaluation will be done by the school teachers. The
CBSE can make random verification of assessment system to
ascertain that the new system is implemented properly.

The objective of CCE is to reduce stress on children,
make evaluation comprehensive, provide teacher for creative
teaching, provide a tool for diagnosis and remedial
instruction and produce learners with greater skills.

Sibal said the CBSE will also introduce Optional Aptitude
Test for the first time from 2010. This test will determine
the area of interest of a student as to whether he is
interested for Science, Humanities, Commerce or any other

The minister said the students seeking transfer or
admission into any pre-university system can take the exam on
demand. The exam-on-demand can be conducted by the CBSE at any
point of time, he said.

Sibal said the exam-on-demand will be available on-line
and off-line and help a student to change his stream after
class-X. The CBSE will work out detailed modalities on how to
conduct the exam-on-demand.

The Optional Aptitude Test will be in place by February
2010. The student will have the option of appear in such test
at Class-IX and X. This will show the specific area of
interest of the student.

For differently abled students, the board will continue
to offer the same concessions that are available to them at

Asked how the comprehension and language skills of
students would improve if they do not have to face more
subjective question, Sibal said the question paper will
comprise both long-answer type and multiple choice questions.

In addition, the CBSE will introduce a system to improve
the fluency of students in language, he said.

The students securing E1 and E2 grades will not get
certificates but will be awarded statement of performance.

They will have to appear in compartmental exam to clear the
test. They will not be termed as `failed` students.

There will be no change in exam system at Class-XII

The CBSE will make available a set of Frequently Asked
Questions (FAQs) on the new changes to help parents clarify
their doubts.

The FAQs will be available on the CBSE website very soon,
its chairman Veenith Joshi said.

There will be prompt on-line reply on queries on the new
changes, he said. Besides, documents on guidelines for
conducting CCE will be available by end of this month. The
blue-print of the summative test will be made available to
schools shortly, he said.

The far-reaching reforms had earlier got the approval of
Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) last week. The new
system will be implemented in CBSE. However, depending on the
outcome, the state boards could introduce such system, Sibal
had said.

Bureau Report