Mumbai : The practice of giving negative marks for a wrong answer has been done away with for Industrial Training Institute (ITI) examinations across the country. The decision reverses the practice followed since 2013 when it was felt that assessment for theory exams needed to be tough.
Several states, training schools, student associations and teachers’ unions fought a tough battle, following which an expert panel advised that the .25% negative score for every wrong answer was affecting performance. The ongoing exams in several states are not following the negative marks pattern.
However, question papers were printed before the decision was taken and the advisory to students on top of the paper reads ‘wrong answers will attract negative marks’.
“Due to the early printing of question paper for AITT (All India Trade Test) January/February 2018, the instruction of negative marking was printed on the question paper, but this instruction should be now ignored,” reads a notice from the directorate general of training.
Invigilators have been asked to inform examinees about the policy. “Due to the fear of negative marking, many students did not attempt all questions,” said an official from Maharashtra’s skill development department. Several ITIs had lodged grievances about candidates who would score high in the practical training exam but failed the theory test.
The success rate in the exam, which averages 60% across India, is likely to rise by 10%-15% with the removal of negative marking, said Sunil Kumar Gupta, director of training (TTC).
Close to 15 lakh candidates take the ITI exam. “The main focus of the ITIs is to train candidates in various trades and experts who were asked to advice on the negative marking policy opined this was not a competitive entrance exam, but a test of skill and knowledge. Hence, experts ruled against the policy of negative scoring,” said Gupta.
The background of ITI students was also taken into consideration. “Largely, these are class VIII/X/ XII passouts. Some of them are also dropouts. They have developed a fear toward exams because of negative marking. We want to send out the message that we are not here to tag them as ‘failed’,” added Gupta.
Training is provided in 127 specialties and the negative marking policy was applicable across all examinations. ITI students take theory and practical exams and need to score a minimum of 40% in every section to clear the year and graduate.
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