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No multiple-choice: HRD panel on board exam paper

The panel was set by the government after it held a meeting of all state education boards on October 29 last year.

Written by Ritika Chopra | New Delhi | Updated: November 1, 2016 9:23 am
board exams, board exam pattern, board exam questions, boards cbse, boards multiple choice, HRD panel on board exams, HRD ministry, india news, indian express The committee — headed by E P Kharbhih, chairman of Meghalaya state board — had submitted its report to the government early this year.

Multiple choice questions should be scrapped; weightage to the theory and practical components in any subject should be 70:30; students should be assessed on a maximum of 100 marks for mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology and all question papers should carry long answer questions, short answer questions and very-short answer questions in the ratio of 2:4:8. These are some of the suggestions of a panel set up by the HRD Ministry to recommend a common question paper pattern for Class XII examination across all school boards.

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The committee — headed by E P Kharbhih, chairman of Meghalaya state board — had submitted its report to the government early this year. C. Arthur W, Chairman of Council of Higher Secondary Education in Manipur, Professor Y Sreekanth of NCERT, CBSE Controller of Examination K K Chaudhary and Ranganathan, joint director, department of pre-university in Karnataka, were among the members of this panel.

The panel was set by the government after it held a meeting of all state education boards on October 29 last year. “The idea was to make the performance of two Class XII students from two different boards more comparable. A common question paper pattern is one way to address this,” said a committee member who did not wish to identified.

The committee’s report, currently being examined by the HRD ministry, suggests:

– For every two long answer type questions, a question paper should have four short answer questions and eight very-short answer questions.

– Ordinarily, examinees should not be given any choice for very-short answer type questions (eg. attempt four out of six questions)

– In subjects involving practicals, the break up should be 70 per cent for theory and 30 per cent for practicals.

– Open book examination should not be considered for Class XII board examination.

– Students should be given extra 15 minutes to read the question paper.

– All schools boards should adhere to 100 as maximum marks for mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. Students should be given three hours to attempt these papers.

– The question paper should be prepared based on the common core curriculum of different subjects.

– 35 per cent of questions in any paper should be easy, 40 per cent average and 25 per cent difficult.

Asked why the panel advised against multiple choice questions in board examination, the member mentioned above said, “There is greater scope for cheating in case of such questions.”

Justifying the suggestion to follow 70:30 ratio for theory and practical components of any subject, another member said, “Schools, as we have noticed, tend to be very liberal in their marking during practical examinations to give their students a competitive edge over other schools and state boards. It’s best that their role is limited to a fixed ratio across all boards.”

As first reported by The Indian Express on January 11, the HRD Ministry, in its meeting with 37 school education boards on October 29, had urged the state and central school boards to consider introducing open-book tests at secondary and senior secondary-level examinations. This was also one of the terms of reference assigned to the committee headed by Kharbhih. The suggestion, however, was shot down by the panel.

The ministry had also set up a panel headed by A Ashok, secretary of the board of Intermediate Education of Telangana, to explore the feasibility of a common core curriculum in mathematics and science subjects for Classes XI-XII across all senior secondary boards. This panel suggested that 70 per cent of the curriculum should be common and state boards should have the flexibility to design the rest.

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  1. S
    S k rajdev
    Jun 15, 2017 at 9:21 am
    Nice informative article, if hrd is worried about chances of student coping answers they can give different paper set for all students like bank exam each ones question paper is different but High time to get board exam papers to be optional answer so it can be checked by computer.
    1. B
      Brahm Gaur
      Nov 1, 2016 at 5:25 am
      What about the project work? Students should also complete projects before the written exams. The project work will test their knowledge in the relevant subjects and will make them employment ready?lt;br/gt;Exams based on just theory does not help students to find work. The students should be able to work part time and that will make them ready for future challenges.
      1. B
        BM Shaw
        Nov 1, 2016 at 6:48 pm
        We must introduce MCQ in our XII exams in line with all the compeive exam pattern. This will not only help students to prepare for compeive exams rather will reduce the role of MOOD of our incompetent teachers who couldn't do anything in their lives and end up with teaching and the most horribly in private schools, a place of minting money and exploiting parents. India since last 70 years of independence could not change a simple examination system in this country. It's really a matter of shame we are still forcing our kids to mug up/ rote and vomit in the examination in this computer age. By this way we are only preparing Baboos (fulfilling dream of Macaulay) and eventually a society of literate not educated.lt;br/gt;Those who argue for MCQ will lead for m cheating, probably have forgotten Bihar's topper scam.lt;br/gt;So in my view Modi ji's government should focus on education system ( of course has not done anything in last 30 months), in such a way that corruption should be eradicated from the examination system. Of course MCQ is one of the way where for checking papers you can take help of computers and getting away from the manual checking system.lt;br/gt;Allowing MCQ will also pave a way for open book examination system, that will help to get rid of rote learning and ping cheats from outside (normally we see in Board's exam).lt;br/gt;So in my view:lt;br/gt;75% should be MCQ and 25% should be very short answer (one to two lines).
        1. A
          Aam Admi
          Nov 1, 2016 at 7:45 am
          In my opinion it should be 80 : 20. Theory 80 Marks 3 hours duration and Practical 20 Marks of One hour duration. Practical exam should be on one topic or theory. Student should be given three options to choose only ONE. A practical exam of 20 Marks for One hour duration is Woth it. If a student is really brilliant he/she can Score Theory paper 80 out of 80. P Mark is 25 in case of theory, and 15 in case of Practical. This take a total p mark of 40 which is decent marking.
          1. X
            Nov 1, 2016 at 6:09 am
            It seems Modiji is bent on taking India back to pre independence days. Absolute stupid suggestions. Now it all depends on the examiner's mood. One mark difference and you won't seat in MBBS. The role of the examiner has to be removed. That can be done only by multiple choice questions.
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