For many CBSE students, the choice between taking the final examination conducted by the board or their respective schools is a tough one.
Though students have made their choice this academic year, it will never be an easy decision, many said.
Srilakshmi Geetha, a class X student who has opted to write the school-based examination, says she made the decision because she wanted to continue studying in the same school in class XI. Her school, she says, gives preference to those who take up the school-based examination at the time of admission to class XI.
“Though nobody will be denied admission because they took the board examination, those who take the school-based examination will be given some preference in choosing the groups,” she says, adding, “There is not much difference between the two examinations conducted by the board and by the school. Though I would have liked to take the board examination just to get the exposure, I do not want to risk not getting the group of my choice next year.”
Last year, of the 1,52,086 students who registered for the class X examination, 97,257 opted for the board exam, according to the CBSE, which is still in the process of consolidating this year’s figures.
This year, while some schools have all students opting to write the board examination, there are others where not a single student has opted for it. K. Mohana, principal, Modern Senior Secondary School says that though 11 of the 181 students chose to appear for the board examination last year, this year all students have opted for the school-based examination.
“Less than 10 per cent students switch boards in standard XI on an average,” she says. On the contrary, J. Jagadha, a class X teacher at another CBSE school says all the students in her school have opted for the board examination to keep their options open.
Most students who opt to write the board examination are those who want to switch streams or schools, observe school principals, because other than the correction, which is done externally, there is little difference between the two. The certificate given by the board makes no distinction, or mention of which examination the student undertook, they affirm.
S. Poorvaja, a class X CBSE student, says, “Though I was confused initially whether to switch boards after class X, I have decided to write the board examination. I want to take up medicine, and for that, scoring marks is very important.”
R. Rajan, student mentor, FITJEE, says they encourage students to write the board examination just for the sake of exposure. “Though it is optional, writing the board examination in class X will prepare them better for the class XII board examination.”
As for the question of preference during admission to class XI, Padmini Sriraman, principal, Hindu Senior Secondary School, Indira Nagar, denies any disparity. “It is an open choice, it is up to students to make the decision.”
A principal of a matriculation school, however, observed that some students who are used to CCE methodology up to class X sometimes find it difficult to cope up in class XI and XII in State board, especially in the science stream. “Even those who score 90 per cent find it hard to cope up,” he said.