The real reason behind historic HSC results...

Jun 03, 2014, 06:32 IST | Niranjan Medhekar

Introduction of 80-20 system in the Arts and Commerce streams, where a student can technically pass even if he scores just 15 marks in the written exam, played a big role in the Maharashtra's highest-ever pass percentage of 90.03

A record number of students may have passed in this year’s HSC exam, but that does not, unfortunately, mean that they have studied better, or know more, than their predecessors.

HSC Result
Smiles all around:  Students check their HSC results at a cafe in Kasba Peth yesterday Pic/Mohan Patil

Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) officials have admitted to mid-day that the new syllabus and, more importantly, the newly introduced 80-20 system for the Arts and Commerce streams, have played a big role in this year’s overall 90.03 pass percentage.

HSC result Student
Pic/Mohan Patil

While declaring the result in the morning from the MSBSHSE head office in Pune, board Chairman Gangadhar Mhamane said, “The revised syllabus and the new 80-20 marks pattern in this year’s exam resulted this big success. Let me make it clear that the new syllabus of Std XII is on a par with the CBSE board.”

Under the 80-20 system, which was introduced for Arts and Commerce students in the last academic year, 20 marks are reserved for internal assessment, which is done by junior colleges and there is an 80-mark written exam conducted and assessed by the board. Officials say that, with junior colleges giving student high, and even full, marks in the internal assessment, students can technically pass by scoring only 15 out of 80 in the written exam.

Science students, who have had a 70-30 system for years now, have it even easier. If a student scores full marks in internal assessment, all he needs to pass is to score a five out of 70.

Middling scores
Interestingly, detailed statistics of the marks scored by students have borne out the key role played by internal assessment marks, passing percentage of students in the state show that nearly 50% of them have scored between 45 and 60%, way higher that those getting first class (60-74%) or distinction (75% and above). More than 55,000 students have scored between 35 and 45%. Solution pending Top sources in the board told mid-day that a proposal making it mandatory to score at least 25 marks out of 80 in the written paper has been pending approval in Mantralaya for months now.

“The rise in pass percentage may be a big one, but it has a lot to do with the fact that there was no criterion of scoring certain minimum marks in written papers. To ensure this is not repeated, we sent a proposal to the state government, which has been pending for months,” said a senior board official.

“Hence, passing in the board exam this year was not a difficult task at all. Junior colleges give good marks in internal assessment and all a student needs to do is score a few marks in the written exam. If the government really wants to maintain the high standard of the state board, this has to change,” he added.

Good result, average scores
Out of the 11,98,859 students that appeared for the HSC exams from across the state, nearly 50 per cent – or 5,44,521 — students have scored between 45 and 60%. 4,00,139 students managed to score between 60 and 74% and only 79,543 students scored over 75%. 55,129 students scored 35-45%

Statewide statistics (Regular students)

  Boys Girls Total
Appeared 6,63,027 5,35,832 11,98,859
Passed 5,78,332 5,01,000 10,79,332
Passing % 87.2 93.50


Divisional break-up

Region %

Pune 90.73
Mumbai 88.30
Nagpur 89.07

Aurangabad 90.98

Kolhapur 91.54

Amravati 91.85

Nasik 88.71

Latur 90.60

Konkan 94.85


2014   90.03 % #
 2013          79.95 %
2012          74.46 %
2011          70.69 %
2010 76.36 %

                #State pass percentage

No rocket science

Science students have it even easier with 30 marks being reserved for internal assessment and 70 for the written paper. So, if a student scores full marks in the internal assessment, all he needs to do is score a 5 in the written paper to pass.

Other side
MSBSHSE Secretary Krishnakumar Patil said, “If you compare our policy with other boards in the country, you will find that no one has any rule of scoring minimum marks in the written exam for passing. CBSE, in fact, reserves up to 40%
marks for internal assessment. Thus, if the state board introduces any such norm, it would be unjust to students” .

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