ICSE to reduce marks for practicals in classes 11 and 12

  • Puja Pednekar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 20, 2015 08:54 IST

From this academic year, students appearing for the Indian School Certificate (ISC) Class 11 and 12 exams will have to answer more questions on theory and fewer practical assignment.

In a move to make the exam scores acceptable to more universities, the Indian Council of Secondary Education, which conducts the exams, has revised the break-up of marks for theory and practical exams to 70-30 respectively, from the 50-50 pattern followed so far. This could bring down scores at ISC results as practical-oriented subjects boosted total scores, said academicians.

The revised marks break-up will be applicable for practical-oriented elective subjects such as computer science, physical education, fashion designing, Indian music-Hindustani, Indian music-Carnatic and Western music, which earlier followed the 50-50 pattern for theory and practical.

Students appearing for the ISC exams have English as a compulsory subject and have to opt for three to five elective subjects. However, the council had received complaints that many of the universities were not accepting students who had opted for the above electives as it was not in the 70-30 pattern adopted by majority of education boards.

“Some candidates faced problems in securing admissions to universities such as the Delhi University this year because the marking scheme was different from other boards,” said Gerry Arathoon, chief executive secretary of the council. “The universities recognised only 70-30 pattern and not the 50-50 pattern of marks break-up.”

The council is hoping that the changes to the marking scheme will now bring it on par with other boards. “We have revised the marking scheme to make sure that we are at par with the rest of the boards,” said Arathoon.

Academicians said that the revised marking scheme spells good news for students of other boards as it stops ISC students from scoring full marks in practical-oriented subjects. “Subjects like physical education, computer science allowed students to score perfect 100s as half the marks were awarded for practical exams,” said Arundhati Chavan, principal, Swayyam Siddhi College of Education, Kalyan. “This gave them an edge over others.”

These elective subjects which fall in ‘Group III’ in ICSE (Class 10) exams are not counted in best-of-five in Maharashtra for admissions to junior colleges, but no such rule extends to ISC exams.

On the other hand, Mumbai’s ISC schools said that the change in the marks break-up will not make much difference to the students’ scores. “Children still have to perform in the exams even if they are being assessed for 50 or 30 marks,” said Carl Laurie, principal, Christ Church School, Byculla.

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