While the HSC results have been getting better over the past three years, teachers and principals are divided on the reasons for the trend.

While state board officials maintained that there is no specific reason, principals and moderators believe that the fact that 20 per cent of the marks in all subjects are now based on internals has given the overall performance of the students a boost.

“For the past couple of years, the board has been allotting 20 per cent of every subject to internals and this has been the main reason for the results being so good in the past two years.

Most colleges, in the name of internal exams/assignments, give almost 20 out of 20 to students and this has helped them score well,” said Anil Deshmukh, who is a moderator as well as member of the Maharashtra State Federation of Junior College Teachers.

He added that many were surprised with the results this year, as students had complained about papers being tough. Some professors thought that some subject papers, like Science, may have been checked leniently.

“Students tend to find languages very difficult but seeing that the passing percentage in languages like Marathi and Hindi stands at 97.32 and 97.81 respectively, it looks like the assessment of papers has been quite lenient,” said Suruchi Mhaskar, a Marathi teacher in a Navi-Mumbai College.

Board officials, however, maintained there have been no changes in the paper assessment process or pattern this year. “The rules and regulations have been similar to last year, so there’s no scope of attributing the rise in pass percentage to any particular reason. Looks like students are taking their exams very seriously now and it’s working in their favour,” said G K Mamane, state board chairman.