No pass, no fail, only QUAL standing for Eligible for Qualifying Certificate or EIOP for Eligible for Improvement of Performance said the mark lists that students were scanning through at a school notice board on Friday, after the Class X examination conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) were declared. The final column gave one's Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA).

It was a mixed feeling across schools with a nine-point grade accorded for the first time by the CBSE. While many school toppers wished they got to know the exact decimal they scored, the average students were happy that there was less of comparison. Teachers, on the other hand, rejoiced that for once every school had many toppers.

Tamil Nadu recorded a qualifying percentage of 98.98 in the Class X examination. This is from a total of 17,423 candidates from 193 schools in the State who took the All India Secondary School Examination conducted in March. A total of 178 students are in the Eligible for Improvement of Performance (EIOP).

Amid the positive changes that the Board intends to bring out by introducing the grades, there were many apprehensions raised by school heads.

“I have received 56 applications for 24 seats in one of my group schools, and most of them are in the A1-A2 grade. Whom do I give? Students would find it difficult to get the group of their choice. A Matriculation board could refuse a seat, but CBSE cannot. The only option I have is to increase the number of seats,” said C. Satish, senior principal, RMK Group of Schools.

High scorers in most schools were disappointed as even if a student had scored centum in a subject it was not known. “Many parents and students wished one more column ‘H' standing for hundred would be a motivating factor,” said Padmini Sriraman, principal, The Hindu Senior Secondary School.

However, many such as D. Sivakumar, a student of Kendriya Vidyalaya who got a CGPA of 5.2, said: “I am happy the grade is leveller for the marks I scored.”

According to G. Neelakantan, principal, Sir Sivaswami Kalalaya Senior Secondary School, CBSE had discontinued the ranking system for both Class X and XII some 30 years ago. In the 1980s, the grading system with marks and grades based on percentile were introduced. “I wished the change could have been brought to a five-point scale, this would make the admission process easier. Otherwise, how do I decide who will enter the merit list,” said Mr. Neelakantan, adding that the problem would be more with those with ‘B1 and B2' grade.

N. Nagaraju, Joint Director, CBSE-Chennai, clarified that students who are migrating to a different school board or State would not face any difficulty as CBSE had already discussed with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, among other States, to accept the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) score.

The CGPA is the average of grade points obtained in all subjects, excluding the sixth subject.

Students could also get their subjectwise percentage of marks by multiplying Grade Point (GP) of the subject with 9.5 and overall indicative percentage by multiplying CGPA with 9.5.

Candidates who want to apply for verification or rechecking of grades should apply within 21 days, with a demand draft drawn in favour of Secretary, CBSE, payable at Chennai.

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