The NBSE conducted the HSLC Examination 1988 on the new syllabus based on the national core curriculum.In 1986, a significant development marked the HSLC examination process with the introduction of centrally coded answer books for centralised evaluation. In 1988, the existing HSLC course was semesterised and bifurcated into two examinations, i.e. the Class 9 (Promotion) Examination and the HSLC examination. With the onset of semesterisation, the supplementary examination was done away with. From 1987 the system of conducting the supplementary examination in the middle of the year and immediately after the main examination was abolished.
The first Class-9 (Promotion) examination was held in 1988 at all the recognised schools. Classes-8 and 9 examinations were decentralised where the Board sets and supplies the question papers and the schools evaluate and declare the results as per the criteria laid down. The 1994 batch of students of Class 8 and 9 were allotted registration numbers consequent upon their success at these examinations. The 1995 batch of students of Class 8 and 9 were issued pass certificates with registration numbers. This move made it easier for the Board to keep a track record of each student. The NBSE ( Amendment ) Act 1990 empowers the Board to conduct the higher secondary school leaving certificate examination under the three streams- science, arts and commerce.