Everything You need to Know About the All India Secondary School Examination

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The All India Secondary School Examination, or AISSE, is unarguably the most popular and widely recognized examination conducted in the whole of India. It is conducted by the CBSE and, hence, only schools and educational institutions associated with it make their students take up this examination.

The AISSE is actually a centralized examination that’s conducted across the country. It’s a mandatory examination for all class 10 students associated with a CBSE-affiliated educational institution.

Who Conducts the AISSE

As mentioned above, the CBSE is responsible for conducting the AISSE examinations in every part of the country with CBSE-affiliate educational institutions.

The CBSE, also known as the Central Board of Secondary Education, is the most reputed and accepted educational boards of India. It was born as back as in 1921, though it truly established itself as a centralized educational board of the country after its reconstitution in the year 1962.

Since then, an increasingly large number of secondary educational institutions have been getting affiliated with the CBSE, and the trend still hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down.

When is the AISSE conducted

All students of class 10 are made to appear for the AISSE examination in February every year. However, there are also cases when some or all of the exams conducted have to be postponed due to some external factors, such as elections, security issues, and sometimes even due to the examination papers getting leaked.

In the absence of any such factors, the examination is usually conducted in the month of February, and usually runs for well over a week. Datesheet 2018: http://cbse.nic.in/newsite/attach/ds1018.pdf

Subjects Covered

The AISSE covers a variety of subjects that test the students for all-round educational development. Generally, the subjects include:

  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Other languages (they may either be native languages or foreign languages, depending on different factors)
  • Science
  • Social Science which includes sub-subjects Economics, Geography, History and Democratic Politics
  • Arts
  • Depending on the educational institution, dance and other subjects, too, may be included, including the optional ones that the student can choose whether to take up or not

A student needs to score at least 35% in each of the above subjects to be allowed to pursue further higher-level education. Students that meet this criteria become eligible to receive the following certificates:

  • A certificate saying that the student has successfully completed their secondary higher education through AISSE
  • A certificate mentioning the marks scored in detail and the final result, that is, whether the student has passed or failed the examination
  • A certificate of migration that allows the student to go for higher education depending on their interests and preferences

Marking Scheme

Coming to the marking scheme, it used to be different for the past few years than it is now. This is because the CBSE decided to go back to its old marking scheme, which also includes the old syllabus.

According to this old, and now applicable marking scheme, students will have to study for the complete syllabus of the AISSE, and will be awarded total marks out of 500.

Now, if you’re a student that’s going to appear for the AISSE in 2018, meaning that the old syllabus will be applicable for you, you may be wondering what exactly has changed.

One of the most important things that has changed with the revival of the old marking scheme and syllabus is that the exam weightage will no longer be the same as it has been for the past few years.

Previously, every subject’s total marks (100), were divided into two parts: 90 marks and 10 marks. The 90 marks were for the theoretical exams, more popularly known as the written exams. The rest 10 marks were for other educational activities conducted differently by each secondary educational institution, but primarily included the assignments, as well as different projects and presentations based on what was taught in the classroom.

However, with the AISSE now going back to following its old system, each subject’s marks will now be divided into 80 and 20, instead of 90 and 10 as we just discussed above. The written exams would be for 80 marks, while the 20 marks will be educational activities like submission of notebooks (must be “complete” with the educational matter taught in the classroom), practical exams having the science practical tests (laboratory exams) as an important component, as well as small tests that are entire taken care of by the affiliated schools in an independent manner. These are each for 5, 5 and 10 marks, respectively.

This is aimed at reducing the examination stress on students, as written exams of 80 marks turn out to be a bit easier to prepare for. On the other hand, it also helps promote educational diversity, with theory not being the only area of educational qualification the students are tested for.

Grading System

The way the results are made was changed as well with the new syllabus. Since 2001, the results would show how much marks exactly a student has scored in each of the subjects, out of 100. The grand total of the marks for all the subjects would turn out to 500, with the most important element of the results being the total marks obtained by the student out of the total of 500.

However, this was replaced with something known as the grading system with the new syllabus. Instead of exact marks, there were a variety of grades such as A1, A2, B1, B2 and so on. So for every subject, the student would be given a particular grade.

They would then later be matched with an appropriate grade point depending on their grade, and a final average would be derived after taking into account all the grade points the student has scored. The average is what would be the most important element of results made following this new system, instead of the total marks obtained or percentage of total marks obtained as with the old system.

The CCE Explained

CCE refers to continuous and comprehensive evaluation of a student’s performance. It tends to differ from the traditional approach of performance evaluation of a student quite a bit, and is aimed at making reducing stress of students that they tend to experience during the exams.

It’s a concept that was introduced and implemented by Kapil Sibal, the Union HRD minister of India. It’s the new system of performance evaluation, the one that was being followed until very recently.

It basically involves dividing the entire academic year into two semesters, with one of them having Formative tests and the other one based around Summative tests.

Before the CCE was introduced, the AISSE used to follow a one-semester approach, meaning that the final examinations were conducted at the end of the year and there was no other semester’s performance to take into consideration.

However, with this new approach, the entire year is divided into two semesters, which was probably implemented to prevent making the final exams a do-or-die event.

The examinations for two semesters have a fair bit of time gap between each other, giving students that couldn’t perform well in the first one to catch up in the second. The period of April to September marks the period of the first semester, while the second semester starts in October and ends in March.

However, for reasons not commonly known, the CBSE replaced the CCE system with the traditional system in the academic year 2017-18.

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