Students’ response to the Central Board of Secondary Education’s (CBSE) landmark decision to make Class 10{+t}{+h}Board examinations optional to reduce exam stress has come as a surprise to many.

The idea was to reduce exam stress and allot them exam scores based on continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE). But two years down the line, a large number of students continue to chant the ‘stress achcha hai ’ (stress is good) mantra.

City schools offering CBSE syllabus are divided over the issue.

In Nalanda Vidya Niketan, where students had the twin options open, only three chose to write external Board exam while the remaining ditched the CBSE Board test.

“Internal or external does make a lot of difference. A student preparing for external Boards is overcome by fear in his mind but the same is not the case with the one writing an internal test. While the ultimate plan is to do away with the external tests completely, in a country like ours, it will take a long time to achieve that,” says Sushant Das, principal of Nalanda Vidya Niketan, Vijayawada.

His counterpart from KCP Siddhartha Adarsh Residential School at Kanur S. Chandrasekaran offers a different take.

“Our students have opted for Board-based exams precisely because they are ‘authentic’. When students are evaluated by the Board directly, there is little scope for people to talk about any possible bias. Parents are aware of the school’s option and nobody has questioned it,” informs Mr. Chandrasekaran.

While the ultimate plan is to do away with external tests completely, in a country like ours, it will take a long time to achieve that.

Sushant Das

Principal

Nalanda Vidya Niketan