Board exams, marks, and marksheets

One big news which has hit the nation is the cancellation of the class 12th examination by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). As a career counselor, suddenly, I got inundated with calls from students and parents. All of them in a state of frenzy, perplexed about the way forward. The common queries were: “How will the board do the evaluation now?” or what will be mentioned on the 12th board mark sheet?” or “How will it impact my chances of appearing in further competitive examinations!” etc. 

At the stage of class 12th, students transition into the undergraduate levels of university education. The big concern for them is admissions, especially with those institutions or universities that have been traditionally selecting students based on the marks obtained by them in the class 12th board examination. A few students venture out of India, and they have their own set of queries and concerns regarding overseas admissions. 

Yes, it was a significant decision. It’s more so because it’s not just the student but the complete family who prepares for these board examinations. I understand that most of the educationists are happy with the decision, although with a heavy heart. As they say, tough times require more challenging decisions. And it happened. 

Although nothing can be predicted at this moment, this is for sure that CBSE will surely figure out a solution that will address most of the concerns as illustrated above. It’s not just about the school education boards. I am sure various universities worldwide will also get flexible and make ways to accommodate these changes. 

I feel pained to know that there are families where they are still debating this decision of examination cancellation. Friends, life is more important than these exams. I strongly recommend that society stop discussions on the decision and accept it. It is time to start thinking forward. Let me tell you a fact. Many students who have been performing at the bottom of the marks pyramid in their previous few years are super happy about this decision. They see their own merits in the current circumstances. Life is like that. Not always everything manifests as per our hopes and desires. Sometimes, one has to make peace with absolutely unexpected situations. 

One thing is for sure, “Students from this year’s COVID promotion batch are really blessed.” The reason being they have got an early lesson in uncertainty, non-conformity, and unforeseen life-challenge! As a matter of fact, marks obtained in class 12th board help a student navigate herself into an institution of higher education. Believe me, dear students, all throughout your career, no one will ever ask you to prove your worth basis the class 12th certificate! That’s a fact. 

At this juncture, the role of Schools and Career Counsellors has become all the more important. Today, students need counseling and the proper guidance much more than ever.

So what next?

My advice is to learn patience – a little bit more. Hold on, and stay optimistic. Curb all your anxieties.   

Do not trash your notes, copies, etc. Keep it safe, at least for a few more months. Practice regularly and keep your academic concepts clear.

Start preparing for the competitive examination. Be ready for the fact that screening at the entrance test levels might be much more rigorous this year. Practice appearing for proctored online tests. 

Utilize this time in planning for your career wisely. Read good literature and find out the possible careers of the future. Look inside and identify your inner strengths, your abilities and personality parameter. Match your capabilities with the career possibilities of the future. 

One more lesson to be learned, especially for this Z generation, is to stop the habit for last moment preparations. As we all have experienced now, the scene may turn topsy turvy any time! Those students who ignored regular schooling, class tests, model tests are vulnerable today. They had thought of making it up in the last 2 months before the board examinations.  These students have almost nothing to offer to the schools to help them make a substantial and justified alternate evaluation!


A student received an A+ grade in the ‘Swimming Examination,’ but he drowned when he was thrown in the water!

Exams, Marks, and Marksheets have limited validity in terms of importance. Your fundamental knowledge and skills are all that matters. Focus on your future now. Be skillful, be wise.



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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