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Choice Based Credit System

Choice Based Credit System


  • Aim to bring equity, efficiency and excellence
  • The important measures taken to enhance academic standards and quality in higher education include innovation and improvements in curriculum, teaching-learning process, examination and evaluation systems, besides governance and other matters.
  • While the HEIs must have the flexibility and freedom in designing the examination and evaluation methods that best fits the the curriculum, syllabi and teaching – learning methods, there is a need to devise a sensible system for awarding the grades based on the performance of students.


  • Better than conventional system
  • Bring uniformity
  • Better mobility
  • Assess performance
  • Maintain learning pace
  • Available additional courses
  • Subject preference
    • The grading system is considered to be better than the conventional marks system and hence it has been followed in the top instutitions in India and abroad. So it is desirable to introduce uniform grading system. This will facilitate student mobility across institutions within and across countries and also enable potential employers to assess the performance of students.
    • The semester system accelerates the teaching-learning process and enables vertical and horizontal mobility in learning.
    • The credit based semester system provides flexibility in designing curriculum and assigning credits based on the course content and hours of teaching.
    • The choice based credit system provides a ‘cafeteria’ type approach in which the students can take courses of their choice, learn at their own pace, undergo additional courses and acquire more than the required credits, and adopt an interdisciplinary approach to learning, It is desirable that the HEIs move to CBCS and implement the grading system.

Important Terms

Academic Year:

Two consecutive (one odd + one even) semesters constitute one academic year.

Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) :

The CBCS provides choice for students to select from the prescribed courses (core, elective or minor or soft skill courses) .


Usually referred to, as ‘papers’ is a component of a program. All courses need not carry the same weight. The courses should define learning objectives and learning outcomes. A course may be designed to comprise lectures/tutorials/laboratory work/field work/outreach activities/project work/vocational training/viva/seminars/term papers/assignments/presentations/self-study etc. or a combination of some of these.

Credit Based Semester System (CBSS) :

Under the CBSS, the requirement for awarding a degree or diploma or certificate is prescribed in terms of number of credits to be completed by the students.

Credit Point:

It is the product of grade point and number of credits for a course.


A unit by which the course work is measured. It determines the number of hours of instructions required per week. One credit is equivalent to one hour of teaching (lecture or tutorial) or two hours of practical work/field work per week.

Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) :

It is a measure of overall cumulative performance of a student over all semesters. The CGPA is the ratio of total credit points secured by a student in various courses in all semesters and the sum of the total credits of all courses in all the semesters. It is expressed up to two decimal places.

Grade Point:

It is a numerical weight allotted to each letter grade on a 10-point scale.

  • Letter Grade:
    • It is an index of the performance of students in a said course. Grades are denoted by letters O, A + , A, B + , B, C, P and F.
  • Program:
    • An educational program leading to award of a Degree, diploma or certificate.
  • Semester Grade Point Average (SGPA) :
    • It is a measure of performance of work done in a semester. It is ratio of total credit points secured by a student in various courses registered in a semester and the total course credits taken during that semester. It shall be expressed up to two decimal places.
  • Semester:
    • Each semester will consist of 15 - 18 weeks of academic work equivalent to 90 actual teaching days. The odd semester may be scheduled from July to December and even semester from January to June.
  • Transcript or Grade Card or Certificate:
    • Based on the grades earned, a grade certificate shall be issued to all the registered students after every semester. The grade certificate will display the course details (code, title, number of credits, grade secured) along with SGPA of that semester and CGPA earned till that semester.

Course Types

  • Core
  • Elective Course
    • Disciple Centric Elective
    • Generic (Open) Elective
    • Dissertation or Project
  • Ability Enhancement Courses
    • Compulsory
    • Skill Enhancement
      • “Compulsory Foundation” courses are the courses based upon the content that leads to Knowledge enhancement. They are mandatory for all disciplines. Elective Foundation courses are value-based and are aimed at man-making education.
      • There may be a Core Course in every semester. This is the course which is to be compulsorily studied by a student as a core requirement to complete the requirement of a program in a said discipline of study.
      • Ability Enhancement Compulsory Courses (AECC) : AECC courses are based upon the content that leads to knowledge enhancement. These are mandatory for all disciplines. There may be one paper each in the 1st two semesters on:
      • English/MIL Communication
      • Environmental Science
      • Skill Enhancement Courses (SEC) : SEC courses are value-based or skill-based and are aimed at providing hands-on-training, competencies, skills, etc.
      • A project or dissertation would be of 6 credits. A project or dissertation work may be given in lieu of a discipline specific elective paper.

10-Point Grading

Image of 10-Point Grading
Letter GradeGrade Point
O (Outstanding)10
A + (Excellent)9
A (Very Good)8
B + (Good)7
B (Above Average)6
C (Average)5
P (Pass)4
F (Fail)0
Ab (Absent)0

The relative grading is based on the distribution (usually normal distribution) of marks obtained by all the students of the course and the grades are awarded based on a cut-off marks or percentile. Under the absolute grading, the marks are converted to grades based on pre-determined class intervals.

For the 10-point grading scale, universities can decide on the grade or percentage of marks required to pass in a course and the CGPA required to qualify for a degree. This has to be done taking into consideration the recommendations of the statutory professional councils such as AICTE, MCI, BCI, NCTE etc. These are the regulators for their respective educational fields.


Central and State University – max. deviation of 20 %

Core must be same for UG and UG Hons

Credit score to included in overall grade

Universities and institutes may evolve a policy about extracurricular activities, general interest and hobby courses, sports, NCC, NSS, vocational courses, and related courses on their own.

A student can opt for more elective and AE elective papers than proposed under the model curriculum of UGC. However, the total credits should not exceed 160 credits for UG honors and 140 credits for UG program degree.

Choice Based Credit System

The Choice Based Credit System software integrates institution, faculty, and students through multiple user login. Student can register, apply, and keep track of courses and create examination schedule.

The faculty has the flexibility to manage student data, create courses and schemes, offer courses, and allot curriculum. Institute can approve courses and assign or transfer teachers.

Through this software solution, the teacher can prepare teaching plans, mark attendance, and prepare assignments for students.

Undergraduate Degree with Honors

  • 14 core papers in that discipline
  • 2 Ability Enhancement Compulsory Courses (AECC)
  • Minimum 2 Skill Enhancement Courses (SEC)
  • 4 papers each from a list of Discipline Specific Elective and Generic Elective papers respectively

Undergraduate Degree in Science

  • 4 core papers each in three disciplines of choice
  • 2 Ability Enhancement Compulsory Courses (AECC)
  • Minimum 4 Skill Enhancement Courses (SEC)
  • 2 papers each from a list of Discipline Specific Elective papers based on three disciplines of choice selected above

Undergraduate Degree in Arts

  • 4 core papers each in two disciplines of choice
  • 2 core papers each in English and MIL respectively
  • 2 Ability Enhancement Compulsory Courses
  • Minimum 4 Skill Enhancement Courses
  • 2 papers each from a list of Discipline Specific Elective papers based on the two disciplines of choice selected above
  • 2 papers from the list of Generic Electives papers
Image of Semester Report Card
CourseCreditGrade LetterGrade Point
Semester – I
C-26B +7

Consider the Semester Report Card Given below as Per the Choice Based Credit System

  • What is the SGPA (Semester Grade Point Average) as per the above report card?
  • 6.9
  • 6.6
  • 6.3
  • 4.5

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