How do CBSE schools handle student assessment and grading?

A group of girls sitting at desks in front of a whiteboard at DPS Warangal, the best residential school.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is a standard examination board in India that conducts board exams for students in grades 10 and 12 and follows a strict grading system that provides a clear evaluation of the student’s performance. CBSE schools follow a systematic approach when it comes to student assessment and grading. They make sure that the information is stored in a secure way so it is readily available to students, parents, and teachers. Given below are 8 steps in which CBSE schools handle students’ assessments, grades, and reports.

Step 1: Assessment Policy

In order to properly assess student progress, it’s crucial to have a clear and defined assessment policy in place. This means establishing guidelines, setting evaluation criteria, and determining a marking scheme. Schools following the CBSE curriculum choose the best assessment methods, such as exams, projects, assignments, and class participation. The policy outlines the purpose of the assessments, the types of assessments to be conducted, how much weight each assessment carries, and the standards for grading. To ensure everyone is aware of the assessment policy, process and expectations, it is communicated to both students and parents.

Step 2: Formative and Summative Assessment

CBSE schools follow a two-pronged approach to student assessment – formative and summative. Formative assessment is used to monitor student progress in steps, provide regular feedback, and make required adjustments to teaching methods. Summative assessment, on the other hand, is used to evaluate student learning at the end of a term or academic year through final exams.

Step 3: Internal Assessments

At CBSE schools, internal assessments are conducted to keep track of students’ performance and provide them with constructive feedback. These assessments play a crucial role in the formative evaluation process and help to gauge the progress of each student. It can be carried out  in various forms such as quizzes, homework, tests, projects, or class participation.

Step 4: Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)

CBSE schools embrace the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) approach, a well-rounded evaluation system that assesses students from various angles. Unlike traditional methods that only measure exam performance, the CCE system considers a student’s strengths and areas for improvement. It encompasses assessments in both academic and non-academic fields such as academics, life skills, and co-curricular activities.

Step 5: Assessment Calendar

CBSE schools prepare an assessment calendar for the academic year, which includes the dates for formative and summative assessments, internal exams, and the board exams as per the board exam schedule released by CBSE. The calendar is communicated to the students and parents in advance, allowing them to plan their schedule accordingly. Schools conduct assessments as per the schedule and following the evaluation criteria. They also ensure that the assessments are conducted in a fair and objective manner, and that students have the necessary resources and time to complete them.

Step 6: Marking Scheme

CBSE schools have a well-defined marking scheme for each subject, which outlines the criteria for grading and the weightage given to different assessments. Teachers mark the assessments and grade the students’ work based on the marking scheme and evaluation criteria. They also provide constructive feedback to students to help them improve their performance. For example, internal assessment includes class tests, assignments, and projects, and it constitutes 20-30% of the total marks for a particular subject. On the other hand, the external assessment is the final examination that determines the remaining 70-80% of the total marks.

Step 7: Grading System

The CBSE grading system is based on a 9-point scale, where grades are awarded based on the marks obtained in the internal assessments and the final exams. The new CBSE Board grading system for class 10th and 12th consists of a scale reflecting grades from A to E, having its upper and lower limit( A1,A2,B1,B2,C1,C2 and so on), ultimately making it a nine-point grading system. The grading system is designed to provide a comprehensive and fair assessment of student performance. CBSE schools maintain records of student assessments, including the marks obtained and the feedback provided. They evaluate the overall performance of students to determine their academic progress and identify areas for improvement. 

Step 8: Final Report Card

At the end of the academic session, students receive an evaluation of their performance throughout the year in the form of a report card. This document showcases their grades in a variety of subjects, ranging from Math to English, as well as their participation and grades in extracurricular activities such as sports and music. A brief overview of their overall performance is also addressed in the annual report card to provide students with a full picture of their academic journey.