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35% No More! ICSE, ISC Board Exams Pass Percentage to Be Lowered

Class X and Class XII students will have lower cut-offs for passing the board exams.

For students getting ready for the onslaught of board exams, here’s some good news for you. Among the many changes that the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination is implementing, the pass percentage cut off for students has been reduced.

Class X students now need to score 33%, instead of the original 35%, and Class XII students have to score 35%, instead of the erstwhile 40%, to pass.

Board exam students will face lower pass percentages this year. Representative image only. Image Courtesy: Flickr.
Board exam students will face lower pass percentages this year. Representative image only. Image Courtesy: Flickr.

This step, confirmed by Gerry Arathoon, will be implemented this year instead of 2019.

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The ICSE board exams begin on February 26, with English Paper I, and ends on March 28. ISC starts on February 7, with Physics Paper 2 (Practical), and ends on April 2.

The other important change that the Council implemented involves practical exams. Now, these exams will be evaluated on the day of the exam and at the school, instead of at centralised evaluation centres.

All practical papers, namely biology, physics and chemistry, will be evaluated by visiting examiners on the day of the exam, at the exam centre. The numbers will then directly be fed into the central server, allowing the council to declare marks faster, feel school principals.

The Ministry of Human Resource and Development has drafted several directives, including one that deals with awarding moderation and grace marks. MHRD secretary, Anil Swaroop, wrote a letter, which also states that “moderation” marks will not be awarded unless the question is ambiguous.Bunching of marks, spiking them, as well as other vagaries in the evaluation process are to be eliminated, states the letter.


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As for grace marks, they are governed by a certain policy, which is disclosed on the website of the respective boards. And what looks like a step in a positive direction, marks for extra-curricular activities will be mentioned separately on mark sheets.

Here’s wishing the many students in every corner of our nation writing the board exams all the best.

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