While the Central Board for Secondary Examinations (CBSE) and schools may be promoting the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE), there are still lakhs of students in the country who swear by board exams in Class 10.
Around 4.10 lakh students have opted for the board-based exams over in-house assessment that are part of CCE this year. There are an estimated 11 lakh students under CBSE who will appear in the class 10 exams —either in-house or boards — this academic year.
Class 10 boards examinations were made optional for students in the 2010-11 academic session. Every student who is currently studying in class 10 is given an option to go for either the summative assessment II (in-house exams) or board exams.
And while many students are still opting for the board examinations, their number is dropping. Last year, 4.45 lakh students had opted for the board exams.
"The number is down from last year. We are expecting it to go down further in the coming two years as we hope the popularity of CCE method will grow and students will have more faith in it," said a senior CBSE official, who did not want to be named.
But those who do opt for the board exams have clear reasons for doing so.
"I want to judge my potential at the national level before I choose a stream in classes 11 and 12. While board exams will not comprehensively tell me where I stand, it will still give me an idea," said Abhishek Sharma, a student at New Green Fields, Saket.
For many, carrying on the tradition is the reason for opting for the exams.
"Ever since class 6, we were repeatedly told to study keeping in mind that we will have to give board exams in class 10. I just want to see what the whole hullabaloo was about," said Kirti Malik, a student at Bal Bharati School, Pusa Road.
Meanwhile, principals of city schools said they give full freedom to students in the matter.
"The boards still hold a perception of credibility among many. Parents want their children to sit for the exams as they want them to prepare for the class 12 exams," said Ashok Pandey, principal, Ahlcon International School, Mayur Vihar.
"Also, parents who have transferable jobs prefer that their students take board exams as they think admission for their class 11 will be easier this way," he added.