Examinations and Open learning

Examinations and Open learning

How does a Aarohi student write/appear for Std 10/12th exams in the mainstream system? 

There are many options of giving the board exams as an open or “independent” candidate. Indian boards like NIOS – National Institute of Open Schooling by Central Government of India, and some states allow private candidates.
You can look into international certifications like IGSCE or IB etc.

For any child in Aarohi, 10th board exam is OPTIONAL. We believe it is not necessary in life to pass 10th and then go to college. One can continue open learning beyond this gate and succeed and live a satisfying life.
Many children in Aarohi have not gone through the boards and certification. We also offer Coversity for teens to do their professional journey outside of conventional routes.

However if you are particular about 10th or if the child wants to join a specific stream / college which requires the child to pass the 10th board exam – then the child will prepare himself/ herself over a few years. Here is a visual representation of our thought on how the child becomes ready for the 10th Exam:

There are many options of giving the board exams as an open or “independent” candidate. Indian boards like NIOS – National Institute of Open Schooling by Central Government of India, and some states allow private candidates.
You can look into international certifications like IGSCE or IB etc.

Watch a video presentation that was done by the regional director of NIOS at Swayam event held in Bangalore in Sep 2019. The presentation is long (55min) but answers almost all common questions about NIOS.

Important: Kindly check the NIOS website for the up-to-date information – since NIOS keeps making changes to their policies, and procedures. Information given here is only for reference purpose and we are neither representatives nor accredited by NIOS.

10 most asked FAQ’s about NIOS compiled by Anil Nair

Established by Government of India vide India Government  Gazette No Part 1 Section OF No 42 on Sunday 20 Oct 1990   with vesting the authority for holding examination through distance and open learning and certification thereof.
Further Govt of India issued letter no F.3-11-200-EGS-1 dated 11-12-2002 to Secretaries of all Stat Govts and Union Territories of India to accord recognition  of NIOS certificates at appropriate levels.

Ans. Official Gazette of India , Indian Constitution  and MHRD says YES!
Education being a concurrent subject as per   Indian Constitution, state Governments are bound to recognize  the certificates issued by a Union Government Institution. Hence  many courts issued orders  to clarify this.

Education being a concurrent subject as per   Indian Constitution, state Governments are bound to recognize  the certificates issued by a Union Government Institution. Hence many courts issued orders  to clarify this.

Education being a concurrent subject as per   Indian Constitution, state Governments are bound to recognize  the certificates issued by a Union Government Institution. Also many courts issued orders  to clarify this when questioned.

NO. Many like you, with domestic liabilities, working in Govt and Private institutions, those in remote areas ( where academic and Vocational Institutions are not available), children of any age who want to go deep in any interest, children who wants to create their own learning paths, women restricted  of  free movements, feeding mothers, nuns , priests, specially talented persons looking for special curriculum (like painting , home Science, Computers ), outstanding sports personalities, Cinema stars, those not studied Science group in Higher Secondary and wanting to do Medicine/Engg/Pharma/Nursing etc are a few to name.

All courts in India till now have  not only upheld the validity of NIOS qualifications but also justified the need and purpose of establishing such a noble Institution. Web link to Gujarat High Court Decision is given for ready reference.


You can refer t he following  High Court Decisions in the  above  link

CWJC 5014/2010 Mr Bablu Kumar    Vs    State of Bihar

SCA 7406/2010 JPanchal      Vs    Gujarat State ACPDC

1. Secondary(Std 10/Matriculation/SSLC)

          2. Senior Secondary( 10+2/HSC/PUC)

          3. About 100 vocational Diploma and Certificate level course.

          4. Special Vocational Courses with

                  ITDC, IMA ,McGrawhill,CISCO

Ans.  “ In response to a public interest litigation, the Ministry of Human Resources Development filed an affidavit in the Delhi High Court stating that the Right to Education Act does not come in the way of home schooling.

“Parents who voluntarily opt for alternate forms of schooling may continue to do so. The RTE Act does not come in the way of such alternate schooling methodologies or declare such form of education as illegal,” the affidavit stated.

The Minsitry’s response came after the High Court directed it to respond to a petition filed by a 14-year-old girl, Shreya Sahai, who opted for home schooling but contended that Section 18 of RTE Act does not recognise any other mode of imparting education except the one through formal schooling. ”

Of course you can.

Simple! Its online except for Open Basic (Std 3/5/8) courses.

So you can take your admission yourself on your desktop at your own time !

Govt of India has kept the fee nominal at NIOS considering NIOS has to “reach to the unreached”!

And there are concessions to Females/SC&ST/Ex Servicemen

Examinations are held in June and October in all major Cities of India. On Demand Examinations are exclusiveness of NIOS.  You can do practical exams  in accredited Institutions/Examination centers with all necessary facilities.

Almost all courses can be studied in HINDI and English and certain courses in Urdu too. Few courses can be studied in local languages too.

You can write NIOS examinations in all Indian languages even though questions are in HINDI/ENGLISH/Urdu .

Also here is guide compiled by two boys who have gone through 10th (and 12th) via NIOS. See the whole playlist for your questions answered. Pl note these are views of Aakarsh and Dhruv and not an official guide to NIOS. The NIOS website is a comprehensive & authentic source of information and online registration.

For any child, 10th / 12th board as well as attending college is OPTIONAL. More so – for any family with children undergoing open / child-led learning (like Aarohi) this question is worth spending some time on.

We have a system operative in our country that by default assumes that school + college is the ONLY way to live life. However, this is not true. It is not necessary in life to pass 10th and then go to college. One can continue open learning throughout and succeed, and, live a satisfying life. One can learn what one wants to learn, can earn what one wants to earn, even get the job which one wants, without necessarily going through the ‘system’. So before you decide – here is a list of questions for you to think about. We’re sure you can add more questions to this list and would like you to email us questions which you think should be added to this list.

  1. What ALL are your reasons to consider or not consider 10th/12th and college?
  2. What would the child gain by giving 10th/12th?
  3. What will the child lose?
  4. Is the training to give an exam important in life?
  5. How important is college education? How different it is from school education?
  6. What are our anxieties when the child does not take the route of 10th/12th and college?
  7. What all the child can learn / benefit by staying OUT of college?
  8. How and what all the child may lose / gain by going for 10th/12th and college?

Once you – as a family – decide that your child wants to give 10th / 12th and aim for a college – see links below:

Note: The following information is based on email exchanges in the alt-ed-inidia egroup. Kindly refer the refereed websites or organisation’s offices for uptdated information

Posted by: “George Mangalath Thomas” 

Mon Mar 7, 2011

For what its worth, we went through the same questions when we started home
schooling. Our children were older – my daughter was in her 9th and my son
in his 8th.

We examined the NIOS curriculum and found that it very similar to the
Maharashtra State Board. It was originally based on the CBSE, but has been
dumbed down over the years in order to ensure minimal dropouts (Or so we
were told). We came across a sort of universal opinion that NIOS was for
school dropouts who could not handle regular school. This is probably unfair
to NIOS, which fulfills a very basic need in our education system.

After some more research, we settled upon IGCSE. We have never regretted the
decision. It is a tough examination, with very high standards and an
excellent curriculum. If you plan on learning by rote, you may not get
through. Most schools do not recommend it, as it is not considered

IGCSE is the O level version, equivalent to our 10th Std. Board. Then there
is the Cambridge International Examination – AS and A levels, which are
equivalent to our 11th and 12th Std respectively.

My children have loved the experience. My daughter topped the country in
English in her O and A levels and pulled off straight As in all her
subjects. My son did well in his O levels and then last year decided to jump
from a selection of Humanities – Literature, History and Psychology to
Science – Chemistry, Physics and Maths. No school would have given him this
freedom. It has not been easy for him, but he appears to be giving it a good

We originally had to spend a month in Calcutta for each examination, but now
appear through the Podar School in Bombay – as private candidates. Much more
convenient. The school is helpful with practice for the practicals and
charges a low fee per practice session.

My daughter is in her first year of BA in Sophia College, Bombay. My son
hopes to finish both AS and A levels this year. It’s up to him – we aren’t

Hope this has been of some help.

  1. NIOS is a centrally/nationally recognised exam conducting board. It is designed for students who cannot attend school due to a variety of reasons like (child labour, school access, etc).
  2. It is designed to help students only through self-study.
  3. They conduct exams at Std 10 (secondary) and Std 12 (senior secondary) in March-April and Oct-Nov each year.
  4. The students will only need age proof and address proof to be eligible to sit for the Std 10/12 exams. Minimum age criteria is 14 years as on June of the admission year for Std 10 and 15 years for Std 12.
  5. Students will need to take a minimum of 5 subjects (max of 7) to complete Std 10. Maths is an optional subject. A maximum of 2 language subjects can be taken from a choice of over 6 languages (but in Maharashtra, the State Board recognises a NIOS student only if English is one of the subjects). Same is the case with Std 12. Read the full prospectus online.
  6. Since 2007, admission can be done online including online payment of requisite fees with credit/debit card.
  7. NIOS has a list of Accredited Institutes (AIs) (mostly schools and educational institutions) in many cities who act as the local distributors of NIOS (for the purposes of textbooks, exam hall ticket, contact classes, tutor marked assignments, etc).
  8. NIOS allows for students to appear for the 5 subjects in a staggered time frame (for e.g., a student can appear for 2 subjects in Mar 20XX and for the remaining 3 subjects in Oct 20XX). In fact, a student can appear for only 1 subject at a time over 5 different exam schedules. That is the level of flexibility in this system.
  9. Most of the curriculum material is available online.
  10. NIOS is a great option from the viewpoint of flexibility and student-centricity.
  11. About Further Admission into colleges and acceptance of the same:
    Though NIOS is flexible and recognized by all the boards across India. The ICSE and CBSE boards (for 11th and 12tth std) accept students from the NIOS stream only if they have given all 5 exams in one sitting and another requirement is that the student needs to have taken English and one additional language as subjects.
    Similarly, NIOS is accepted in *almost all* colleges and IITs. some insist that the child has completed, as mentioned above,  all subjects in one sitting, and English + second language in their 10th
  12. All colleges having an entrance exam for qualifying the students do recognise NIOS.
    However, In TN, Anna Univ does not recognise. 
    For children who have language difficulties or preferences, and do not write the second language paper in NIOS – it is advised that they join French course with Alliance Franchise when they complete 10th std. This will help them to join any college other than professional colleges, which have a second language requirement.
  13. About the range of % Marks that NIOS gives
    NIOS awards 80% and above for really exceptional students. They are quite strict in their corrections. The subjects with practicals will have an advantage than theory-based ones like Home Science, Word processing etc
  14. Regarding admission to professional courses – depends on what you are meaning..
    If it is Engg and Medicine, the child need not choose NIOS isn’t it? Wouldn’t a regular school be better? Or one can go for coaching classes?
    If it is for professional courses like Catering, Hospitality, Interior Decoration which are offered as Graduate courses now, and in great demand, they even prefer NIOS students, due to the choice of subjects and exposure they have.
  15. Usually, NIOS students given their limitations of time or interest in academics, they get 70 to 80 per cent average and this is more than sufficient to get into courses out of the rat race. IGNOU offers excellent courses which have a great degree of value in the job market. You can look at their website

(Info by Vidya Shankar, Chennai)