In a path-breaking move covering lakhs of students across the country, the Government today announced that Class X examinations of the CBSE will be optional from the next academic year (2010-11) while the grading system will be introduced this year itself.

Over eight lakh students appearing for their class X exams in March 2010 have to take Board exams for which the results will be declared through a grading system. From 2011, the grading system will continue but the Board exams will become optional.

The Class X examinations of CBSE will be abolished from 2010-11 while the grading system will be introduced from 2009-10 (current academic year), Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here.

“After the Board examination is abolished in 2011 (for class X), students will have the choice to take the Board exam on demand for transfer (to another school) or entry into pre-university institutes,” Mr. Sibal said.

The exam on demand is also available to students who want to continue in the same school, he said. Under the new system, students who wish to continue in the same school after class X, need not take Board exam from 2011.

On the grading system, he said it will be a “continuous, comprehensive evaluation” which will be good for the students. However, along with grades, students can also ask for their percentile. The new system will be based on a nine-point scale, starting from A1 (exceptional) to E2 (unsatisfactory).

The grading procedure, which was finalised by a high-level committee headed by CBSE chairman Veenith Joshi, will require students to secure more than 33 per cent marks to get a certificate.

The nine-point scale will start from A1(with 91-100 marks, exceptional), A2(81-90, excellent), B1(71-80, very

good), B2(61-70, good), C1(51-60, fair), C2(41-50, average), D(33-40, below average), E1(21-32, needs improvement) and E2(00-20, unsatisfactory).

“This is a good system which will very well judge the potential of a student,” Sibal said.

A Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system will be put in place from October this year for those who are completing class-X in 2011. The CCE refers to a system of school-based evaluation of students, covering all aspects of pupils' development.

It will cover the co-curricular activities, besides the core areas of subjects being studied in the classes. The CCE system will have two components - formative assessment and summative assessment.

The formative assessment will be based on whole range of tests like interview, quiz, project work and practical assignments. It takes care of scholastic as well as co-scholastic aspects of pupils' growth. The scholastic aspects include curricular areas or subjects specific areas, while co-scholastic aspects include life-skills, attitude and values, physical and health related activities.