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CBSE suggests two options for Class 12 board exams: Test only ‘major’ subjects, long versus short

CBSE Board Class 12 Exam 2021: Board considering two options for conducting exams which include a shorter paper of only 90 minutes carrying just objective-type questions

Written by Ritika Chopra | New Delhi |
Updated: May 23, 2021 6:37:19 pm
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The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has proposed that it will conduct the Class 12 Board examination only for major subjects, The Indian Express has learned.

The Board offers 174 subjects to Class 12 students, of which about 20 are considered major by the CBSE. These include: Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, History, Political Science, Business Studies, Accountancy, Geography, Economics, and English.

A CBSE student takes a minimum of five and a maximum of six subjects. Of these, usually four are major subjects.

Sources said that the CBSE has proposed two options to the Education Ministry for conducting the Board examinations for the major subjects.

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These are set to be discussed at a meeting of the state Education Ministers and state Education Secretaries that will be chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Sunday.

Education Minister Ramesh Pohkriyal, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar and Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani are expected to attend.

Under the first option, the national board has proposed that examinations for the major subjects be held in the “existing format” and at designated examination centres. And marks for minor subjects can be calculated based on the performance in the major subjects.

Also Read | CBSE Class 12 board exams: State governments to send suggestions to Education Ministry by May 25 

This option would require one month of pre-exam activities and two months for conducting the exams and declaration of results and another 45 days for compartment exams.

The first option, The Indian Express has learned, can only be executed if the Board has a window of three months.

Under the second format, which will take only 45 days, the CBSE has proposed that Class 12 students sit for the major subject exams in their own schools (read self-centres), instead of designated centres.

To facilitate this, the number of centres will have to be doubled. The Board has also recommended that, under the second format, each examination should be of one-and-a half hours instead of three hours.

The question papers should have only objective and short-answer questions. In this scenario, a Class 12 student will appear for one language and three elective (read major) subjects only.

The marks for the fifth and sixth subjects will be decided based on the performance in the elective subjects.

If the Board opts for the second option, then the examinations will be conducted in two phases. This phasing has been suggested to account for the variance in the Covid situation across the country. Locations where the situation is conducive will have their exams in the first phase, remaining areas in the second phase. Both phases will be held two weeks apart.

Any student who is not able to sit for an examination due to Covid will get another opportunity to appear for it.

On April 14, the Education Ministry had announced the decision to cancel the Class 10 Board examination and defer the exam for Class 12 students due to the second wave of the pandemic.

On May 1, the Board announced a special marking scheme for Class 10 students in its affiliated schools.

For Class 12 Board examinations, the Ministry had said that it will review the situation on June 1 to decide fresh dates and make an announcement at least two weeks before the start of the exams.

Sunday’s meeting with state governments has been called to decide which of the two options proposed by CBSE should be implemented.

Incidentally, all State Education Boards, CBSE and ICSE have postponed their Class XII exams.

Similarly, the National Testing Agency (NTA) and other national exam-conducting institutions have also postponed their entrance exams for admissions to professional courses. (with ENS)

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