Stung by poor performance of examinees in the Class X and XII, the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) is now mulling to change the examination pattern and marking scheme from the next year.

In 2017, while 7.94 lakh (64 per cent) of the 12.6 lakh Intermediate examinees were not able to clear the tests, the number of Class X students who failed in the tests stood over 8.56 lakh or 49.68 per cent.

While this year's poor stats are one of the main reasons for the BSEB authorities to look for alternatives, state exam board students have been complaining about "more difficult question papers than other exam boards" and "low percentages" for the last several years. "Till a few years ago, crossing 85 per cent was rare in Bihar Board and those who passed first division with distinction (75 per cent) felt as if they had topped," a BSEB official said.

BSEB chairman Anand Kishor said the Board was planning to improve the examination and marking patterns for the benefit of the students. "We are currently reviewing all aspects of the examination pattern and marking scheme and a five-member committee has been formed to suggest modifications," he said.

The committee comprises BSEB director (academics) Akhileshwar Pandey and examination controller Yogesh Mishra, the BSEB secretary and two retired IAS officers. The BSEB is also in the contact of several educationists and subject experts and is likely to hold several rounds of meetings before coming to a final decision, a BSEB source said.

Sources said the BSEB committee will study the examination pattern and marking schemes of different exam boards to see what changes can be made. Some changes likely in the examination pattern can be introduction of more optional questions and reducing the number of long-answer question, a BSEB official said.

He added, "We want our Board to be a high scoring one for students just like the CBSE or ICSE, so that the hard work of our students is rightly rewarded and they also get admission in better higher institutions." The Board will also try to ensure that the model question papers of the changed examination pattern are available on their websites much in advance for the students to prepare well for the tests.