There were concessions galore, but when the SSC results were declared on Monday, a tougher grading system ensured that Class X students remained grounded. The pass percentage dropped by close to 13% to 73.38% this year as against 2011's 86.50%.
The concessions included sports merit marks, internal assessment component and the option to take up prevocational courses instead of maths and science.
The criteria for passing was tougher as the minimum marks for passing were increased to 33%-3% higher than last year. The board studied grading patterns across the country before adopting one similar to that of the central board of secondary education, officials said.
"Last year, students could pass if they scored 30% in the internal and external assessment components combined. This year, the criteria for passing was 33%, where in subjects without practical tests students had to score 21% out of 80 separately in the internal assessment component," Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education chairperson Farell Furtado said.
She said the pattern was revised on receiving petitions from central government employees asking the board to conform with the national pattern as their wards face problems in seeking admissions in schools in other states after transfers.
"Last year's grading pattern declared a student to have passed a subject if he or she scored 30% in five subjects and 20% in one of the subjects. Now the student has to meet the minimum passing criteria in all six subjects to clear it," Furtado said.
As the same grading system was in force for Class XII exams which saw the pass percentage going up by over 2%, the board has said it would analyze the results. "We will ask schools who have not done well to submit a report to us on the reasons for their performance and then analyze these inputs," board secretary Bhagirath Shetye said.
The Class X exam was held across 24 centres and 14,200 students appeared for it. Of these, 10,420 passed and another 1,411 appeared for the exam under the exempted category and 423 of these passed registering a pass percentage of 29.98.
Various concessions doled out during the last couple of years saw a major rise in pass percentage in previous years which has led to the numbers appearing for the Class X exam this year go down. Over 15,000 students had registered for the Class X exam over the last few years.
Of the 8,188 boys that appeared for the exam, 5,753 passed registering a pass percentage of 70.26. The number of girls registering for the exam was 7,423, of which 5,090 cleared the exam leading to a pass percentage of 68.57.
Furtado added, "A lot of failures come to us after the results are declared asking that their sports merit marks be added and other requests. We will not entertain any such requests now as schools had been given sufficient time to verify and submit the students' marks."
Nine schools across the state scored cent percent results including government high school at Dayanandnagar Sanguem and two special schools Lokvishwas Prathistan of Dhavli, Ponda and St Xavier's Academy of Old Goa.
Of the 2,777 boys that applied for the sports merit marks this year, 480 passed due to granting of the marks. Among girls, 269 passed after allocation of the sports merit marks, of the 1,502 who were eligible for the marks.
This year for the first time, 132 students from 11 rural schools in the state appeared with prevocational subjects for the Class X exam. Under the scheme, students could opt for electronics, cooking, food processing and horticulture instead of maths, science or social science. The scheme was intended to reduce drop out rates in rural schools. Of the students, 75 or over 57% cleared the exam with help of the scheme.
Students were allotted four marks this year for the mathematics paper if they had followed the right method in solving a problem where a minor error had occurred in the question paper.
Students who have failed in two subjects at the exam will be able to appear for a supplementary exam to be held in October.
The last date for students to apply for verification of marks is July 3, 2012. For supply of photocopies of answersheets, reevaluation and verification of marks in presence of parent or guardian the last day to apply is June 13, 2012.