Board Exams: HRD Ministry instructs Boards, States to refrain from spiking of marks

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From next year, spiking of marks in class 10, 12 class board exams will no more be allowed according to the human resource development (HRD) ministry’s new advisory. State Boards along with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have been asked to abide by the same.


As per HT report, however, school boards will continue with a moderation policy to grant marks for papers with “difficult” or “ambiguous” questions in exam papers and offer a level playing field to all students in the evaluation process.

CBSE levels up the mean achievements in the set-wise performance of the candidates, attributable to the difference in the difficulty level of different sets of question papers in the multiple-set scheme. Sources say CBSE had decided to do away with the spiking of marks and consensus was being built among states to do the same.

It often happens that in order to increase marks of students, some state boards use the moderation system spiking the overall pass percentage.

(Read: CBSE orders police verification, psychometric test of school staff)

An HRD ministry advisory on the matter has been issued to all states by school education secretary Anil Swarup. The practice of awarding grace marks will continue for students who need just a few marks to pass their exams, but this information has to be disclosed on the school and state board’s websites.

These recommendations have been made by the inter-board working group headed by the CBSE’s former chairman RK Chaturvedi. “Bunching of marks and their spiking should be completely avoided. The practice of awarding grace marks should continue to pass their borderline cases (students who are failing by a few marks),” the advisory has said.