No more extra marks in Class 12 exams? Govt will review policy to rein in cut-offs | education | Hindustan Times
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No more extra marks in Class 12 exams? Govt will review policy to rein in cut-offs

The human resource development ministry will discuss at its meeting a way to control the practice as this leads to uninhibited competition and piles more pressure on students to push for marks.

education Updated: Apr 14, 2017 07:23 IST
Neelam Pandey
Grace marks, in turn, spawns a surfeit of students scoring 95% or above marks. That subsequently shoves up the college cut-offs during admission to graduation courses.
Grace marks, in turn, spawns a surfeit of students scoring 95% or above marks. That subsequently shoves up the college cut-offs during admission to graduation courses.(HT File Photo)

A policy to award extra marks for difficult questions in school exams is under review as the practice apparently promotes inflated scores in the Class 12 finals and abnormally high college admission cut-offs, consequently.

Eye-popping cut-offs in popular colleges of Delhi University were debated before every academic session over the past several years.

For sought-after courses in Delhi University colleges, the cut-off touches 100%, the maximum marks a student can get in a subject in the higher secondary exam.

The government appears to be seeking a way to control the practice as this leads to uninhibited competition and piles more pressure on students to push for marks. The policy will be discussed at a meeting called by the human resource development (HRD) ministry of state education secretaries and chairman of state boards on April 24.

Sources said a review of the “moderation” policy to give students extra marks for difficult questions is on the table, as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) too wants the practice scrapped.

The CBSE, which runs more than 1,800 schools in the country, has requested the ministry to take all the states on board.

The CBSE and state boards had awarded up to 15% extra marks in subjects perceived to be tough such as mathematics and physics. But the favour has a ceiling of 95%. A score of, say, 80% can get the extra push, not someone scoring 95% or above.

The grace marks, in turn, spawns a surfeit of students scoring 95% or above marks. That subsequently shoves up the college cut-offs during admission to graduation courses.

“It has been going on for quite some time and is unjust on those working hard and getting 95% without moderation,” a senior government official said. “The meeting will discuss what corrective measures can be taken and every state has to be on board for doing away with the policy.”

Every year, more than 10 million students write the class 12 finals, conducted by over 40 education boards across the country.

Also on the meeting’s agenda, it is learnt, is a proposal to introduce a uniform difficulty level of question papers across boards, and use of technology to check cheating.

Junior HRD minister Upendra Kushwaha defended the moderation policy last year, saying it helped bring marks parity.

“As far as CBSE is concerned, it adopts moderation policy to bring uniformity in evaluation process … and to maintain parity of pass percentage of candidates across years and to compensate the candidates for difficulties experienced in solving the question in specified time,” he said in written reply in the Lok Sabha.

He was a responding to a question on the CBSE’s policy on granting extra marks in the class 12 final exams.

The minister said state boards follow their own evaluation system and the Centre has no role in the process.