Understanding the CBSE Grading System for Class 10

CBSE Grading System

Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE) is the most popular educational board in India with more than twenty-four thousand schools affiliated with it. If you are a CBSE student, you must know how the grades are awarded in CBSE Class 10 Board Exams. With a proper understanding of the criteria and the way grades are awarded, you as a student can have an appropriate plan of study to score big in board exams and choose the best stream after class 10 to navigate your career to great heights.

Five-cum-Nine-Point Grading System

As per the five cum nine-point grading system, there will be five grades (A, B, C, D, E) further divided into nine grades (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, D, E2, E2). This grading system was introduced by the CBSE to award students with Grades replacing the traditional way of awarding numerical scores to students. This system minimizes the stress on students thus allowing them to study without becoming a victim of comparison with their peers. 


With this system, the board aims to place all the passed students in order and will be awarded grades from (A to E) with A1 being the highest grade and E being the lowest. 

The students who got a place in the A1 Category are the top 1/8th among all the candidates. The students who fall in the A2 category are the next 1/8th and it goes on till the E grade. 

Let’s understand this better with the help of a table

A-1Top 1/8th of the passed candidates
A-2Next 1/8th of the passed candidates
B-1Next 1/8th of the passed candidates
B-2Next 1/8th of the passed candidates
C-1Next 1/8th of the passed candidates
C-2Next 1/8th of the passed candidates
D-1Next 1/8th of the passed candidates
D-2Next 1/8th of the passed candidates
EFailed candidates

Source: CBSE Offical Website

Grades Distribution for Different Mark Ranges

The grade Points Table which is displayed below is quite self-explanatory. There are Nine different mark ranges and there are respective grades along with grade points assigned to each of the marks range. 


The A1 Grade with 10 Grade Points is considered the highest. Students who get grades D2 and E are eligible to appear in the compartment exams either to obtain passing marks or to improve their scores. 

How to Calculate CBSE CGPA? 

There are a total of 5 subjects in CBSE Class 10 Board Exams. To calculate the CGPA, you just need to add the grade points obtained in each of the subjects and divide the sum by five.

For example, you got grade points of 9, 7, 7, 9, and 8 in all five subjects in the board exams.
The sum of the grade points(9+7+7+9+8) = 38 

CGPA = 40/5 = 8 Points 

Also Read: How to Convert CGPA to Percentage? | The CGPA Multiplying Factor 

Percentage VS Grading | Which one is better? 

This is extremely subjective with different people having diverse opinions along with reasons to back their opinions. If we understand it in a neutral sense, there are pros and cons to both systems.

The percentage can give a complete picture of a student’s performance including the the performance in individual subjects as well. This might lead parents and peers to compare the score of each student with the others making it quite stressful for students to cope with their studies. 

With grading systems, the aspect of stress is taken care of, as no one will be able to find and compare the exact scores in individual subjects. However, it might demotivate students who are extremely hard-working students to receive the same scores as those who are not up to the mark.  


To conclude, the CBSE grading system for class 10 is five-cum-nine point approach that awards grades instead of displaying the scores on the report cards of the students. With the latest grading system, CBSE assigns an A1 grade to the top ⅛ of the passed candidates, an A2 grade to the next ⅛ of the passed candidates, and so on. Students who secure a D2 or E grade are eligible to appear for the compartment exams. 


What is an A1 Grade in CBSE?

For a particular subject, if a student scores between 91 and 100, they will be rewarded with an A1 grade which equals 10 grade points. Also, as per the latest grading system, the top ⅛  students of all the passed candidates are awarded an A1 grade.

What grade is 85% in CBSE?

A2 or 9 CGPA is equivalent to 85%. The CGPA multiplying factor is 9.5, which means students need to multiply their grade points by 9.5 to convert their CGPA into percentages. So, by multiplying 9 by 9.5, we get the result to be 85.5 which is close to 85%. 

What is the first class in CBSE?

With a grading system in place, we can’t find out the exact percentage obtained by a student. So, we can consider the A1 grade to be first class, even though it’s nowhere specifically mentioned A1 grade to be considered as first class.

What is a scale 10 grading system? 

This grading system is employed by many Indian universities. CBSE uses a five-cum-nine point grading system as discussed in this article.

What is the D1 grade in CBSE? 

A D1 grade will be awarded to a student who scores between 33 and 40 for a particular subject. The grade points for D1 will be 4. 

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