Tiruchi district has registered 91 per cent overall pass in Plus One. Of the 28,388 students who appeared for the district-level common examination, the successful candidates numbering 25,764 constitute 11,187 boys and 14,577 girls.

Girls performed better with 93.3 per cent overall pass compared to 87.6 per cent by boys. The 2,624 unsuccessful candidates can appear for the instant examinations slated for the first week of June and clear the papers. They can appear for a maximum of three papers in which they have failed. Upon passing the examination in time, they can pursue Plus Two without a break.

Chief Educational Officer K. Swaminathan, who released the results on Monday, said that the common examination was a means to ensure that the schools accord adequate importance to Plus One, since the valuation of the answer scripts of a school is carried out in another school.

However, since the minimum pass mark for Plus One varies from school to school – the criterion for pass is determined by the Promotion Committees in the respective schools – the purpose behind the concept of common examinations may not be served, according to academics.

The advantage of this mechanism is that the promotion committees could adopt a resolution fixing the lowest score as the passing minimum, though the school education department's insistence is that only those who perform reasonably well must be promoted to Plus Two.

The disadvantage in this mechanism crops up when teachers handling Plus Two find themselves under undue pressure to produce results with mediocre and below average students.

In fact, many self-financing schools use this leverage to fix the pass marks for Plus One to gloss over the portions in the first year of higher secondary in their quest for achieving results in Plus Two. Students from such schools get a rude realisation when they find themselves in a piquant situation after joining the professional courses.

Instances of top-scorers in Plus Two facing difficulty in coping up with portions in the very first year of engineering are dime a dozen even in prestigious institutions, including the much sought-after Anna University, a post-graduate teacher pointed out.

According to former Chief Educational Officer R. Muthukrishnan, private schools in particular can be made to concentrate on Plus One portions only if the combined score of both years of higher secondary is taken into consideration for admission to professional courses.

At least 20 to 25 per cent of the score in Plus One must be factored in, he emphasised.