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NEW DELHI: Students are bracing for a year of stiff competition and astronomical cut-offs for college admission, following their class 12 board examination where marks have gone up steeply.

The number of students who scored 95% and above jumped 81% from a year ago, and were almost four times that of 2019, Central Board of Secondary Education’s class 12 board exam data showed.

Two years ago, 17,693 students scored 95% or above, or less than 1.5% of all candidates. A year ago, when the exams were also disrupted by the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, that figure more than doubled to 38,686. And in 2021, the number has touched 70,004, or 5.37%.

Overall, 12,96,318 CBSE students passed class 12 exams, a success rate of 99.37%. The success rate for girls was 99.67%, or 0.54% more than boys.

The number of high scorers has soared despite CBSE asking schools to moderate marks diligently and not inflate scores, with a special reference to the 95%-and-above category. The central board said that almost all schools adopted and adhered to the assessment policy of CBSE and appreciated the efforts made by schools in preparing the results in time.

The number of students who scored above 90% but below 95% fell slightly from almost 160,000 last year to 150,152 in 2021. This number was about 94,000 in 2019.

Rising scores will have a direct bearing on college admissions, leading to high cut-offs in top universities like Delhi University.

While the overall 99.37% success rate was recorded across school categories, the Kendriya Vidyalayas and Central Tibetan Schools secured a 100% success rate. It was followed by Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) with a success rate of 99.94%, and government schools with 99.72%. Government-aided schools showed a success of 99.48% and private schools recorded a pass percentage of 99.22%.

The examination results were announced based on a 30:30:40 model after exams were cancelled—while the performance of a student in Class 10 and 11 was awarded 30% weight each, the Class 12 performance got 40% weightage.

CBSE said no merit list will be prepared for class 12 students of the 2021 result year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while appreciating efforts of the students, said: “The batch which appeared for the Class XII Boards this year did so under unprecedented circumstances. The education world witnessed many changes through the year gone by. Yet, they adapted to the new normal and gave their best."

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