Students who skipped Class X test fared better in Class XII

If you believe your child should sit for CBSE's optional Class X exam because the experience would help in the class XII boards, think again. CBSE's analysis of this year's class XII results shows that students who skipped the board's Class X exam have done better - both in terms of high scores and average marks.

The board analysed scores in eight subjects of more than three lakh randomly selected candidates who took 2013's Class XII board exam across India, to assess the impact of its Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) and the decision to make Class X external exam optional.

It found that nearly 1% of students, who had opted out of the Class X external exam in 2011, scored an aggregate of 95% and above. The corresponding figure in the group that had taken the Class X exam was 0.6%.And, 6% of the first-time board exam takers scored an aggregate of 90% and above, as compared to 4.5% in the group that had previous board experience. The average score per subject of the first-timers was also higher and there was greater uniformity in their performance. The CBSE introduced CCE in 2009 in Class IX and made the Class X board exam optional from 2011. Among the 10.5 lakh first-batch students under the CCE scheme, 6.31 lakh opted out of the class X boards and instead took the school-based exam (summative II). This batch of students appeared for Class XII boards this year.

Except for English (core), the average scores of first-timers were better than the group that had taken the class X external exam. The other subjects analysed were accountancy, biology, economics, chemistry, mathematics, physics, functional English, Hindi elective and Hindi (core).

In English (core), students with previous board experience fared better with an average score of 66% as compared to 65% scored by the first-timers. But in other subjects, the first-timers were ahead - 64% as against 61% in physics, 62% versus 58.5% in accountancy and a huge lead of six percentage points in economics.

Within the group, there was greater uniformity in the performance of the first-timers as the standard deviation of this group's average scores was less than that of the other group. Standard deviation measures variation from the average in a data set. CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi, however, said there was scope for a lot of improvement in the system. "This is just the first batch. Though the results are encouraging, a lot needs to be done to improve classroom practices under the CCE scheme," he said.
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