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CBSE 10th board grading system vs percentage system

grading systemGone is the time, when three students in a particular class would get the prestige of securing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions based on the percentage of marks they have obtained in over-all subjects in 10th examination. Now, the student securing 95% gets the same grade as student with 90%. This system has done away with the earlier percentage system, where performance of students depended on the personal score of marks in each subject. The new gradation system is replacement of the age-old system in education with a set of new concepts and values. While 10th board gradation system by CBSE has received accolades as being impartial without giving importance to a few students in a class, critics also point out loopholes in the system.

Let’s know about the comparison between the old and new that would give insights about the existing pattern of evaluation in the examination system of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) by gradation and how the latter stands way better than the earlier percentage marks system in the 10th board examination of CBSE.

No system of ‘pass or fail’.

pass or failOne inherent drawback of earlier percentage system was it used to categorize students as “passed” or “failed”. The new gradation system has abolished the earlier system evolving a completely new pattern in evaluation of a student.  As CBSE brought in to existence the gradation system in the year 2010, this will completely strip the students of their ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ tags.  The new scale of grading would take the students in a new scale of evaluation where the students would get evaluated through a nine-point scale grading system for five papers in the 10th examination. Each student would have to secure qualifying grades in four out of the five papers as they get promoted to the next level. In this, the mark sheets of the students would not have the mentions of ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ and this new system would give four options to the students to make their grades better in two years from the date of examination. Evaluating students on a five point scale (from A to E), the new system has completely eradicated the earlier system of showing raw scores of the students in every subject.

New Parameters in judging difficulty level of tough subjects

difficulty level of tough subjectsThe new grading goes by two parameters, such as absolute and percentile. This model is applicable for assessing the depth of students in all subjects. But the parameters vary for different subjects depending upon the level of difficulty in each subject. While a student scores very highly in Mathematics and gets a ‘star’ grade, it would mean he has 9 points in Mathematics. But for English, a ‘star’ grade would mean 7 points. Under this gradation system, every subject would have separate grades and this system is devoid of any cumulative grading based on all the subjects. The new mark-sheet does not have mention of total marks. The last grade in the mark sheet would signify whether a particular candidate has passed or failed in the subject.

Complete eradication of stress from examination

stressThe aim is to abolish the ‘fail’ tag from the students but this has not been completely implemented in the present system. This will bring down the level of stress in the minds of the students due to failure in the examination. This would also shed light on the weaker areas in ability of the students to read and understand the topics of the subjects. Contrary to the earlier percentage system, the gradation system gives ample scope to the students to make their performance better.

No recognition for the topper in the class

With abolition of percentage system, student with the highest score in all subjects in a class would not have the recognition of being the topper in the class. As students who get 90% to 100% in a class would get placed in the same grade. The good thing in this is this would eradicate unhealthy competition among the top 10 students in 10th class in CBSE board. As students do not get classified as 1st, 2nd and 3rd in a class, this system would remove societal pressure on them and give them space to improve their standard. Earlier percentage system created ‘peers’ pressure’ on the students and brought mental pressure on them to become topper in the class.

Better environment in learning

Better environmentIn an examination system, where evaluation takes place through grading system, students do not compete to become topper in the class. Rather, they put their best efforts to learn to the best extent possible by understanding the crux of every subject-matter. Over-all, the atmosphere for learning becomes extremely conducive as students do not compete unhealthily to take the top positions in the class. It results in better interaction and co-learning among the students. It was absent in the earlier system of learning, when percentage of marks was the main thing to evaluate the merit of the students. The students get out of negative side of competition and sharpen their abilities to understand and do better in the subjects.

Percentage system was specific, but grading relative

RelativeDuring days, when students used to get evaluated on the basis numerical marks, the marking system only specified the meritorious students in the classroom. Take for instance, if a class had 40 students, only the best ten out of the 40 would get all the attention, while the rest simply got ignored. The percentage system in marking would classify almost 80% of students in a classroom in the categories of ‘average’ and ‘below average’. This is the contributing factor behind high rate of drop-outs from CBSE schools. But grading system is relative as it does not create a group of students in a classroom terming them as ‘above average’ student and rest as ‘average’ and ‘failed’ and it judges the relative merits of total number of students on the basis of  grading. Unlike the percentage system, the grading judges the relative merit of each student in the class on the basis of his or her performance. Moreover, grading system in the examination also leaves space for the students for self-improvement.

Less chances of human and computational errors in the grading system

chances of humanAs mal-practices and computational errors became rampant, when evaluation of papers took place through percentage or numerical system, the grading system is almost free from computational errors. It is because the gradation system does not recognize the numerical marks of the highest scorer in the classroom and all the top performers in a class come under the grade “A”, the grading system does not leave any scope for such errors which eventually creep in. Such a system of evaluation becomes helpful in overall assessment of students in a classroom.

New wonderful evaluation of overall skills in the student

overall skillsThe new system of evaluation by grading would also take into consideration various curricular and extra-curricular activities coupled with academics. This is mainly to cut down the workload on the students to enhance their overall ability along with evaluation of performance in academic subjects.  Students get grading on the basis of their skills, experience, dexterity innovative quality, team behavior, public speaking ability, and other aspects of their nature and behavior. This gives the average students in academics the scope to show their talent in areas such as arts, humanities, sports, music, and athletics’.


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Course Features

  • 728 Video Lectures
  • Revision Notes
  • Previous Year Papers
  • Mind Map
  • Study Planner
  • NCERT Solutions
  • Discussion Forum
  • Test paper with Video Solution