Students joining the Class 11 science stream in junior colleges this year will have a new syllabus, evaluation and examination pattern.
Though Class 11 students are yet to be admitted to college, the state board has already sent a circular informing principals about changes in the testing pattern.
Students will now be evaluated on a total of 200 marks during the course of the year instead of the earlier 300, said the circular issued last month.
Each of the two unit tests will be worth 25 marks each, with a first terminal exam of 50 marks and a final year exam of 100 marks.
In the previous pattern, the unit tests were worth 50 marks each and the exams were worth 100 marks each.
"All these changes will benefit the students, and seem to have been made keeping in mind with the aim of helping them prepare for competitive exams," said Frederick Arland, lecturer and head of the examination committee (junior college) at St Andrew's College in Bandra.
Students will also have just one practical (of 20 marks) at the end of the year instead of one in each of the two terms.
The board has given colleges the freedom to conduct the unit tests in the form of seminars, assignments or multiple-choice questions. This is also the first year that Class 11 students will study the state board's upgraded syllabus for math and science.
The board has so far not made any changes in the testing pattern for the commerce and arts streams. These will follow the old pattern (see box).
Though junior college admissions are underway, college principals expect that unit tests will be held on time. "Good colleges will have their seats filled by the second round and can start teaching by the first week of August. Things have not been very delayed this year," said TA Shiware, principal of Hinduja College at Charni Road.
Last year, the department decided to let colleges conduct the first unit tests as per their convenience just before the first term ended. Last year, admissions were delayed because of two court cases.