Will a New Grading System for Matric and Inter Classes Work in Pakistan?

Pakistan is undergoing a significant shift in its matric and intermediate examination grading system. The traditional marks based results will soon be renounced and replaced by a new IBCC grading system. Starting from the year 2025 after a phased implementation, the matric and inter results will feature grades determining final grading points, CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average). Under this transformation, the conventional 'Fail' grade ‘F’ will be replaced by 'U' for 'Unsatisfactory,' indicating below average performance. The minimum passing percentage will also be changed, increasing from 33% to 40%.



New Matric & Inter Assessment Format

The new grading system for matric and inter classes will shift the focus from marks to grades, emphasizing CGPA and collective grading points. Dr. Ghulam Ali Malah, Executive Director of IBCC (Inter Boards Coordination Commission), further elaborated on the international grading models they considered before adopting the new grading system, favoring a 10-point grading scale familiar to many international grading systems. This new grading scheme will feature 10 grades ranging from A++ (for exceptional performance) to U (Unsatisfactory), indicating below 40% performance. The 'U' grade necessitates students to retake the exam for improvement.



New Grading System & CGPA

The new grading system is already in effect and will be fully done by the 2025 exams for matric and intermediate students. Under this system, all Pakistani educational boards will only assign grades and CGPA on student’s result cards (if they pass all exams). For instance, if a student gets between 95% to 100% marks, they'll get an A++ grade and a 5.0 CGPA. Here are the grades and CGPA of the new marking system:

Marks Obtained (in %) Description Letter Grade 5.0 Scale (CGPA)
95% to 100% Exceptional A++ 5.0
90% to 94% Outstanding A+ 4.7
85% to 89% Excellent A 4.3
80% to 84% Very Good B++ 4.0
75% to 79% Good B+ 3.7
70% to 74% Fairly Good B 3.3
60% to 69% Above Average C 30.
50% to 59% Average D 2.0
40% to 49% Below Average E 1.0
Less Than 40% Unsatisfactory/ Fail U 0

Implementation of New Marking System

Dr. Malah highlights the comprehensive implementation of this new grading system across all the educational boards of Pakistan, eliminating the 'fail' grade and introducing two-annual examination system. The implementation of this new marking system will be completed in the 2025. The phased approach of the new marking scheme aims to allow students and educational institutions adequate time for adjustment. The new result system will showcase GPAs, grades, and remarks on performance, replacing the conventional marks-based assessments.



New Two-Annual Exams System

A new Two-Annual exam system will also be introduced. Explaining this, Dr. Malah said that just as a student can participate in the annual examination of his choice for the Cambridge examination in the United Kingdom, under the new IBCC examination system, students will be able to choose their annual examination subjects of both part 1 and part 2 exams of matric and inter classes. Previously every educational board of Pakistan used to conduct first annual and second annual (supply) exams every year but now both board exam will be annual and students will be able to choose which subject’s exam he wants to attempt in the first board exams and second board exams respectively.



Impact on Admission Procedures

The criterion shift from marks to CGPA will alter admission merit too, particularly for professional colleges and universities. Merit assessment for medical colleges which was previously based on marks, will now pivot towards CGPA. Dr. Malah emphasizes that this educational reform aims to refocus education on understanding rather than mere memorization.



Influence on Teaching Techniques

Dr. Malah also highlights that the transformation in examination patterns will influence teaching methodologies, with teachers adapting their methods to the evolving assessment system. The objective is to encourage conceptual learning over unproductive memorization, leading to a holistic transformation in the education sector. The educational landscape in Pakistan is composed for a substantial transformation with the implementation of this new grading system for matric and inter classes, aiming to redefine the learning process and assessment methods.



Why IBCC Introduced This New System?

IBCC introduced this new system after discussing it with all the education board’s representatives of all provinces of Pakistan. Dr. Ghulam Ali Malah explained that they've been working on changing this for a while in many schools and colleges, but it took some time to get started, there were technical problems too, but they all decided together to make this change.

He mentioned that the old system made students compete too much, creating unnecessary pressure among schools and colleges. They'd often advertise based on this competition, affecting how students focused on their studies. Instead of truly understanding, they just aimed for marks, hiding their actual academic abilities.




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