According to Ministry of Education sources, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to restore the pre-pandemic single-exam format beginning with the next academic year, which means the Class X and XII board exams will not be broken into two parts.
The CBSE has established a split format with two terms for the 2021-22 academic year: the Term-I board exams were held in November-December last year, while the Term-II exams are set to begin on April 26. It has been learned that the Term-II exams would be given higher weightage.
The decision was made following the cancellation of board exams for the 2020-21 academic year due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Students were graded on their scores in previous exams, practical exams and internal assessments.
After hearing from schools, the board decided to reinstate the single-exam pattern, according to a senior official. ‘The CBSE has never stated that the two-term test format will be maintained in the future. It was a one-time deal. Now that schools are fully operational, the decision has been made to stick to the one-time exam structure for the time being,’ added the official.
However, in terms of syllabus rationalisation, CBSE will stick to the policy it implemented over the last two years, which saw the syllabus cut by 30%. ‘The NCERT will send us the rationalisation details, upon which an announcement will be made.’ Schools can teach the shortened curriculum using existing textbooks,’ according to the official.
To ‘remove the high stakes component of board exams,’ the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 suggests that all students be permitted to take the board exams up to two times in an academic year — ‘one main test and one for development.’
‘While board exams for Grades X and XII would be maintained, the existing structure of board and entrance tests will be changed to eliminate the necessity for coaching classes.’ Board exams will be reformed to support holistic growth in order to reverse the detrimental impacts of the current evaluation system,’ according to the NEP.
There are a total of 26,152 CBSE-affiliated schools in the country.