NEW DELHI: The Class XII CBSE results, declared under the shadow of the unprecedented pandemic of our times, has thrown up some unprecedented numbers as well. The pass percentage has touched an all-time high of 88.8% and a student has for the first time been awarded 100 in all six subjects.

The number of students scoring 90% and above for the first time not only breached the one lakh mark but also increased the tally of such high scorers by 63,000 — from 94,299 last year to 1,57,934 this year. The number of students scoring 95% and above has also more than doubled to 38,686 from last year’s 17,693.

A unique marking scheme was adopted this year because of the disruption caused by Covid-19 and the lockdown. Exams in 12 subjects could not be held, presenting CBSE with the challenge of declaring results. It was finally decided to take the average of the best three scores from the papers that a student could appear for and award that to each of the other papers. In case a student could appear for only three papers, then the average of the best two scores was taken for this purpose.

As is evident from this marking scheme, those who scored well in the papers that they had appeared for were at a distinct advantage. Those who did poorly also got marked accordingly in the other papers with the possibility that had they appeared for these papers, they could have scored better. This was the reason why the board did not bring out a list of toppers this year.

Divyanshi Jain, a student at Navyug Radiance Senior Secondary School, Lucknow, scored a perfect 600/600 by appearing in five subjects only. She was assessed for geography, for which she did not appear, according to the marking scheme. Jain, a humanities student, said: “The results are unbelievable. I had thought of being a topper but 100% marks are surprising,” she said.

The board has announced that for the papers for which examinations could not be held in July, it will hold optional examinations. In a statement, the board said that as soon as conditions are conducive, as assessed and decided by the central government, the exams will be held. “The candidates whose results have been declared based on the assessment scheme will be allowed to appear in these optional examinations to improve their performance, if they wish to,” said the statement.

This year 87,651 students have got a compartment for having failed in more than two subjects but the term “fail” has been replaced with “essential repeat”. The word “fail” will not be mentioned anywhere. The board will be announcing the schedule for compartment examinations.

Many principals attributed the steep increase in marks of students to the new assessment scheme. Some said it could partly be because of the 20-marks multiple choice questions. Yashwant Singh Negi, principal of a Delhi government school, told TOI: “The results have been good for all students. Though the effort of the students cannot be undermined, this huge increase in top scorers is due to the new assessment scheme.”

Tania Joshi, principal of The Indian School, said that while the new marking scheme would have benefited many, several top scorers who were hoping for 100 in subjects like Computer Science and Business Studies would have landed with less marks.

The overall pass percentage went up by 5.38% to a record 88.78%. Between 2018 and 2019, the increase had been just 0.39%.

For the sixth year, the girls have performed better than the boys. The difference in the pass percentage between the two is 5.96%. However, the pass percentage of transgender students dropped to 66.67% as against 83.33% last year.

The Trivandrum region has once again aced it with a pass percentage of 97.76%, followed by Bengaluru with 97.05%. Chennai is in the third position with 96.17% while Delhi has slipped to the fourth position with 94.61%.

Among institutions, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya is back in the top slot, displacing Kendriya Vidyalayas which had been ahead of them for the past two years. The JNV’s pass percentage is 98.70% and the KV’s 98.62%.

Across schools, a large number of students have scored 100 in various subjects.

Even among the students with special needs, there has been an increase in those scoring 90% and more. The number of students who scored above 90% increased to 243 from 225 last year. There are 42 students who scored more than 95%, an increase from 36 last year. The pass percentage of children with special needs has seen an increase this year to 91.68%.