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Calculation of Percentage in CBSE Class 10 and 12

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CBSE has recently issued a circular regarding calculating percentages in CBSE class 10 and 12 board exams. Calculation of percentage was one of the most confusing questions asked by all the stakeholders. Students, parents, teachers, school authorities, colleges and even employers were asking for the overall percentage.

Was CBSE Calculating Percentage Earlier?

No. CBSE was not calculating percentages even earlier. If you go through any old mark sheet issued by CBSE you will find that there are no overall marks or percentages. It is just showing subject-wise marks and grades.

CBSE Marksheet Format

Then Why this Circular is Issued?

Very logical question. When CBSE was never providing overall marks and percentages and even after this circular CBSE is not going to do the same in the future, Why does CBSE have to clarify this to the public?

CBSE notified it in the first sentence itself. It is as below:

The CBSE is receiving requests from various person to intimate the criteria for calculating the percentage of the students in the Board examinations.

This is already mentioned by CBSE in its examination bye-laws. Sub-section 40.1 (iii) of Chapter-7 of the Examination Bye-Laws stipulate that:-

No overall division/distinction/aggregate shall be awarded.

Now, Who will Calculate the Percentage?

In the second paragraph of this circular, CBSE has mentioned that:

Further, it is informed that the Board does not calculate/declare/inform the percentage of marks. If the percentage of marks is required for higher education or in employment the calculation if any, may be done by the admitting institution or employer.

It means the institutions demanding percentage, can calculate it as per their admission or selection criteria.

Who will Decide the Best Five?

Again, BEST FIVE depends on the admission or selection criteria or the institution so this should be decided by them only. So, the CBSE circular clarifies that

If a candidate has offered more than 5 subjects, the decision to determine the best 5 subjects may be taken by the admitting institution or employer.

What does it mean to Students?

Nothing. It is the same as earlier. So, just focus on your studies. The calculation part will be handled by the admitting or employing authorities. There is nothing new for students. If you would like to calculate your overall percentage, you can take all subjects together and calculate the percentage.

If you want to take the best five, you can take highest highest-scoring 5 subjects including vocational subjects and calculate the same. But keep noted that the actual Calculation of Percentage will be done by the institution where you are going for admission or employment.

What does it mean to Institutes and Employers?

The very purpose of issuing this circular is to clarify that the institutes and employers MUST NOT ask for the percentage but they should calculate it as per their criteria based on subject-wise marks. Many institutes and employers were asking students to get a marksheet with the overall percentage of marks. Then these students were going to CBSE offices and CBSE officials were telling them that they don’t provide percentages. Now, when they were going back, the institutes were asking “Is there any rule or circular which states that CBSE doesn’t provide percentage?”

The answer to this looping problem is the current circular issued by CBSE in this regard. Now, its quite clear that institutes and employers will calculate the percentage as per their criteria and CBSE will not provide the same.

Why it is Important?

Let’s take an example. You have just passed CBSE class 10th and are willing to opt Science stream in class 11. If you have 6 subjects i.e. English, Hindi, Maths, Science, Social and Sankrit and you want to get admission in the Science stream, the institute may consider marks in Maths and Science only or in Maths, Science and English only. Here, the institute has full freedom to set criteria for admission.


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