Against the backdrop of the newly introduced nine-point grading system in its class 10 examinations, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has issued a set of guidelines to schools affiliated to it to be followed for admissions to standard 11.

In a circular issued on Friday, the CBSE suggested the determination of inter-se merit of candidates, based on the calculation of indicative percentage of marks, for the preparation of the admission list. The circular is available on the web site www.cbse.nic.in. Detailed circulars on the grading system and on continuous and comprehensive evaluation can also be obtained from the web site.

The indicative percentage of marks obtained by a candidate can be determined by multiplying the cumulative grade point average (CGPA) by 9.5. Similarly, subject-wise indicative percentage of marks can be determined by multiplying the grade point (GP) for that subject by 9.5.

The circular says that in case of a tie in the CGPA between two or more candidates, the average subject-wise indicative percentage of marks obtained by the candidates in one compulsory language and the subjects they opt for studies in the higher secondary class should be taken into consideration. However, the circular also says that schools can adopt other methods that they find suitable in their own context.

The CBSE had directed schools to introduce a nine-point grading system in classes IX and X from the second half of the academic year 2009-10, along with the introduction of continuous and comprehensive evaluation.

In the nine-point grading system, the student's performance is first assessed using conventional numerical marking mode and then converted into grades on the basis of pre-determined mark ranges as stipulated by the CBSE.

Although the examination reforms and the evaluation methods introduced by the CBSE have been generally welcomed by teachers, parents and students, the new system did give rise to doubts and confusion in its first year of implementation. Misconceptions such as equating the CGPA to total percentage of marks achieved by a student and determination of school toppers based on these figures continue to prevail in some quarters.

“There is a general perception that a CGPA of 9.8 is equivalent to 98 per cent mark or likewise a CGPA of 10 is equal to 100 per cent marks. This is wrong and you cannot determine a school topper based on this calculation,” said K.O. Ratnakaran, Principal, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalala, Chettachal. The main objective of the system is to discourage unhealthy competition and practices such as determining school toppers, number of distinctions and first classes, he pointed out.

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