Explainer: How CBSE will assign marks to Class X students without exams

CBSE has issued a ‘marking policy’ directing schools on how to assess Class X students. They will be judged on tests, half-yearly exams, pre-boards by a Result Committee to be formed by each school

The results of the Class X assessments according to the CBSE's marking policy will be declared on June 20

School education in the country continues to face disruptions caused by a devastating pandemic. Conducting the annual board exams has been impossible with the surge in COVID-19 cases, and on April 14, the CBSE cancelled Class 10 exams and postponed Class 12 exams, which were to be held in May-June this year.

On Saturday (May 1), the CBSE issued a ‘marking policy’ directing schools on how to assess and assign marks to students on the criteria spelt out by them in detail. Basically, the board has given the schools the autonomy and flexibility to assess their own students but has drawn borders, within which they have to act, to ensure the results are fair and unbiased.

How will the 100 marks be assigned without an exam being conducted? 

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As every year, 20 marks for each subject will be assessed through internal performance of the student through the year, while the rest 80 marks, which were earlier slotted for the board exams, will now be calculated on basis of the students’ performance in various tests or exams throughout the year.

Which tests and exams will students be judged on for 80 marks? 

The various exams and tests the schools have been asked to assess students are periodic/unit tests, half-yearly exam and pre-board exams customarily held by schools. The maximum marks that have been allotted for each are:

Periodic test/unit test :10 marks

Half-yearly exam: 30 marks

Pre-board exams: 40 marks

Total: 80 marks

Who will be the authority to assign marks to each student?

A Result Committee will have to be constituted by each school to handle this individual assessment. The Committee will consist of a principal and seven teachers to finalise the results. Five teachers from the school should be from mathematics, social science, science and two languages, and two teachers from neighbouring schools should be co-opted by the school as external members of the committee.

In case schools have not conducted such exams or if the student has not sat for any one of two of the exams, the Result Committee will have to draw up another form of assessment for the students. A detailed rationale should be offered on how the student or students were judged.

Also read: Many not consulted on board exams decision, say CBSE members

Measures taken by board to standardise assessment – to create a benchmark

The schools’ historical performance in board exams have to taken into account while marking students’ performance. A school’s three-year board examination marks will be taken as a reference to moderate the marks assessed by the schools for 2021. For example, if the overall average of the school in 2017-18 was 72 per cent, in 2018-19 it was 74 per cent, and 2019-20 it was 71 per cent, the institution can then use the subject wise average of 2018-19 since it was the highest to moderate or set a benchmark for giving marks to their students.

The broad distribution of marks obtained by the students of a school in the specific year, subject wise will be made available to the school by the board in their login account. The Result Committee should check whether the marks they give to the students broadly align with the board’s broad distribution of marks.

What action will the school invite for resorting to unfair assessments?

In cases where schools indulge in unfair and biased practices for assessment, they will have to face financial penalty or disaffiliation. Or, the board may decide not to declare the results of the Class X exam of that school.

Also read: Cancel CBSE board exams: Priyanka Gandhi to Education minister Pokhriyal

What schools have to scrupulously maintain

Document evidence of assessment for each student with care, since it may be called for verification by the board at any time. The CBSE is expected to depute a team to verify the documents and the process of allocating marks which should have all been uploaded. Data once uploaded will be considered final and the board will not accept any changes.

What are the submission dates of assessments by schools and announcement of results?

The schools should form their eight-member Result Committees by May 5. The provision for school-wise distribution of marks as well as finalisation of rationale document should happen by May 10. For candidates, who have not appeared in enough tests through the year, the schools will conduct an online or telephonic assessment for them by May 15, the marks can start to be uploaded from May 20.

The school will have to finalise their results by May 25 and the marks should be submitted to the CBSE by June 5. The internal assessment of 20 marks has to be given in by June 11 and the final result will be declared by the CBSE on June 20.

If schools have a clarification or observation to make? 

Schools will be guided through webinars to understand this process better; they can also ask questions on the CBSE website or they can contact their local City Coordinator.

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