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"CBSE Plans Biannual Board Exams to Ease Stress and Enhance Flexibility for Students"

The CBSE is currently determining how the academic calendar will be organized to include an additional set of board exams without disrupting the undergraduate admission schedule.

"The ministry has directed the CBSE to explore the logistics of conducting board exams twice a year. The board is working on the arrangements and will organize a consultation with school principals next month," a source stated.

"The current plan being considered is to hold two board exam sessions at the end of the year starting from the 2025-26 academic session, though the details are still being worked out. There is no plan to implement a semester system," the source added.

The ministry's initial plan was to start biannual board exams from the 2024-25 academic session, but it has been delayed by a year. The new national curriculum framework (NCF), prepared by the Union government-appointed national steering committee led by former ISRO chairman K Kasturirangan in accordance with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, proposed a semester system for students in classes 11 and 12.

The framework, released by the ministry in August last year, also suggested offering students the choice to take their board exams twice a year.

"The CBSE is currently working on the schedule to maximize student benefits and achieve the goal of making board exams stress-free. However, logistics pose a challenge and need to be addressed to ensure a seamless process," the source noted.

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan stated in an interview with PTI last October that taking board exams twice a year will not be compulsory for students.

"Students will have the option to take the class 10 and 12 board exams twice a year, similar to the engineering entrance exam JEE. They can choose their best score, but it will be entirely optional," he stated. This is not the first attempt to reform board exams. Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) was introduced for Class 10 in 2009 but was removed in 2017, returning to the old model of year-end exams.

During the Covid pandemic, board exams for classes 10 and 12 were split into two terms as a one-time measure, but the traditional format of year-end exams was reinstated this year.

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