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CBSE Board Exams 2021: Revision in Paper pattern & New Syllabus likely to get 33% reduction

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will be sharing a reduced syllabus with various CBSE-affiliated schools for Class 9 to 12 soon. For Class 1 to 8, the board has already notified schools and have asked schools to make changes accordingly.


It is expected that the syllabus may be reduced by 33% for CBSE Class 10 and 12 board exams 2021. The paper pattern is also expected to be revised.


The CBSE Secretary Mr Anurag Tripathi, in a webinar with various school principals from across the country, shared the board’s preparedness regarding these changes.


CBSE New Syllabus: What are the expected changes?


  1. Reduction in syllabus by 25–33%. However, complete chapters would not be removed.

  2. There will be topic-wise reduction in the non-essential parts from within the chapter to ensure that ‘conceptual learning’ is not impacted.

  3. Schools should take online classes into consideration keeping a blended approach to the curriculum.

  4. Better incorporation of life skills.

  5. Focus on competency-based learning—mental, emotional, physical and academic. Schools have been advised to refer to previous circulars of CBSE for these initiatives.


CBSE 10 and12 Board Exams 2021: Paper Pattern, Evaluation and Assessment Strategy


Small tests, project-based and inter-group activities will be included in online assessment for the term exams. Schools have also been advised to consider ‘Digital Labs’ and changing ‘Practical’ to make it at home. No change in the weightage of practical or internal marks has been suggested so far. Guidelines for summative assessment are also expected to be shared by the board along with the revised syllabus structure.


In another unconfirmed report, it was suggested that CBSE may increase the MCQ part of the paper pattern further. In previous years’ plans shared by the CBSE, it had already suggested an increase in the MCQ section to cover about 20% of the questions in the exam. This was reiterated by the board to schools in a circular released in April. The board is likely to further increase the weightage of MCQs.


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