The Central Board of Secondary Education may advance the Class 10 and Class 12 boad exams from March to February starting from the 2018-19 academic year. The move is being considered as part of reforms to bring in the “error-free evaluation” of answer scripts, which will include advancing all processes related to the board exams, The Times of India reported on Wednesday.

“The examinations should start around February 15, and we are also planning to complete them within a month,” CBSE Chairman RK Chaturvedi told TOI. If the recommendations are approved and notified, the results of the exams will also be declared earlier. CBSE believes that this will help students apply to institutes of higher education in time and not too close to application deadlines.

At present, the Class 10 and Class 12 exams are conducted over 45 days from March 1 to April 20, and the results are declared around the third or fourth week of May.

‘Error-free evaluation’

Chaturvedi explained that moving the exams up by a fortnight will also ensure that experienced teachers are available to evaluate the papers. “Advancing evaluation to mid-March will ensure that we have the best teachers checking the answer scripts,” he told the English daily. “During vacations in April, schools offer us only temporary, ad-hoc and newly-appointed experienced teachers don’t oblige.”

News of the proposed reforms comes at a time when the CBSE is facing criticism over reports of massive discrepancies in marks and totalling errors after the Class 12 exam results were announced on May 28. The board, however, downplayed the reports, saying there was nothing “unprecedented” about the number of applications made for the verification of results.