The move is aimed at a single exam system which gives weightage to school board results.

With all 29 school education boards, including the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) having adopted the common curriculum in Maths and Science, the Council of Boards of Secondary Education in India (COBSE) — a common platform for all education boards in the country – is now working towards drafting a common design of question paper.

The COBSE has constituted a sub-committee comprising State board members from Assam, Maharashtra, Bihar, Kerala and Rajasthan to work on the common question format. The sub-committee is expected to give its report by the end of this month, CBSE chairperson Vineet Joshi has said.

As part of a process of gradually moving towards a single examination system, which gives weightage to the school board results, the COBSE has agreed to move to a common question format, to begin with for the Sciences and Math. This common question format will come into effect from the 2013 board examination. This will mean that all boards will apportion the same number of marks and questions for different format of questions such as objective, subjective and multiple choice questions.

A common design of question papers will help in bringing further uniformity in the examination system. A core curriculum and a common design of the question paper for Class XII has been one of the demands of the IITs for the new entrance examination process for all centrally-funded engineering institutes to take off smoothly that will now give a minimum 40 per cent weightage to board examinations.

Results on June 10

The COBSE has already announced that it will ensure that all board examination results will be declared by June 10 each year. At its meeting in June last year, it also agreed that revaluation and re-totalling requests would be completed by June 30 each year. This would ensure that students in all boards have their final results when the Joint Engineering Examination (JEE) for IITs and other engineering institutes undertake their final admission process.

All the Boards have agreed to provide secured and category-wise data of OBC/SC/ST and general category candidates.

The boards will allow students, who had appeared in the examinations in 2012 to reappear in all five subjects in order to improve their scores. Students who appeared for the Class XII board in 2012, and competed for admission to IITs and other engineering institutions were only required to have scored 60 per cent.

The Boards decided to work out the equivalent percentage of marks for top 20 percentile students. This information would be made public within seven to 10 days, so as to enable students to have an idea of how much they need to score in the Boards to be eligible for admission to IIT entrance.

A common question paper format would be a first step in creating parity among the various boards in the country. The move will also offer a level-playing field to science students from different boards while taking centralised admission tests such as engineering and medical undergraduate courses.

“We are now working on a common curriculum for commerce and commerce-related subjects. But, there is no move towards having a core curriculum for humanities as of now,” Mr. Joshi said.