According to Ministry of Education sources, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to return to the pre-pandemic single-exam format beginning with the next academic year, which means that the Class X and XII board exams will not be divided into two parts.
For the 2021-22 academic year, the CBSE has instituted a bifurcated format with two terms: the Term-I board exams were held in November-December last year, while the Term-II exams will begin on April 26. It has been learned that the Term II exams will be weighted more heavily.
Following the cancellation of board exams for the 2020-21 academic year due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the decision was made. Previous exam results, practical exams, and internal assessments were used to grade students.
According to a senior official, the board decided to reinstate the single-exam pattern after hearing from schools. “The CBSE has never stated that the two-term exam format will be continued in the future.” It was a one-time formula. Now that schools are fully operational, the decision has been made to stick to the one-time exam format for the time being,” said the official.
However, in terms of syllabus rationalisation, CBSE will stick to the policy it implemented over the last two years, which saw the syllabus reduced by 30%. “The NCERT will send us the rationalisation details, upon which an announcement will be made.” “The existing books can be used to teach the reduced syllabus in schools,” said the official.
To “eliminate the high stakes aspect of board exams,” the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 proposes allowing all students to take the board exams up to two times in an academic year — “one main examination and one for improvement.”
“While Grades X and XII board exams will be continued, the current system of board and entrance examinations will be reformed to eliminate the need for coaching classes.” According to the NEP, board exams will be redesigned to encourage holistic development in order to reverse the harmful effects of the current assessment system.