Pen-and-paper exam format leads to lower pass percentage
The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) class X results for academic session 2021-22 declared Friday (June 17), recorded a pass percentage of 96.94 percent – a drop from last year’s (academic year, 2020-21) record breaking 99.96 percent pass percentage.
The number of top scorers also dipped with a mere 122 students scoring a full 100 percent in this year’s exam as compared to academic year – 2020-21, when as many as 957 students scored a perfect 100 percent.
However, the fall in the number of top scorers and the lower pass percentage comes as no surprise to educationists who believe the lower results are the direct fallout of this year’s (2021-22) board exams being held in the traditional pen and paper format as versus last year’s (2020-21) online exams.
“While online exams hardly involved writing, the traditional exam format needed students to write longer hours. Unfortunately, these students of the 2021-22 batches were in class VIII when schools closed for prolonged periods due to the COVID pandemic and missed the in-class rigorous preparations for class X exams that schools undertake in class VIII and IX itself. These students who didn’t have much writing practice also lost their usual speed and have been at some disadvantage to those before them appearing for online exams,” says Mahendra Ganpule, principal, Guruvarya Dev High School, Bori-Junnar- Pune.
In 2020-21, prolonged school closures and the inconsistencies related to online teaching-learning led to the state’s school education department announcing online exams with multiple choice questions (MCQs) besides allowing students’ annual evaluations to be based on his/her internal assessments resulting in inflated results. In 2020-21, the state saw a total of 1,04,633 students scoring 90 percent and above while this year, the number is 83,060 only.
This year the state’s school education department remained adamant to conduct traditional pen-and-paper exams despite several students’ protests demanding exams be held online. However the department did provide relief to students affected by the pandemic by reducing the syllabus to 75 percent, providing extra time to write the papers and allowing the students to write the exams from their respective schools.
“All results during the past two years have been aberrations with exams being held either online (for academic year 2020-21) or with facilities like extra writing time and a cut in the syllabus etc. (for academic year, 2021-22). So, the real results will only be reflected in the forthcoming exams to be held in March 2023 for academic year 2022-23 as the exams will be held in the traditional format and students will have to study 100 percent of the syllabus,” adds Ganpule.
A total of 15,68,977 students wrote their class X exams this year of which 15,21,003 students have passed. Of the nine divisions in the state, the Konkan division recorded the highest pass percentage at 99.27 percent. The Mumbai division logged a pass percentage of 96.94 percent, ranking sixth amongst the nine divisions.News, States