The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will introduce application-based questions in class 12 board exams from 2021. “There will be more case-study based questions wherein a paragraph will be given to students and they will have to answer questions after reading the paragraph. This will assess students on their reading, understanding, interpretation, and answer writing abilities and move away from the rot learning,” said Joseph Emmanuel, director, academics at CBSE.
These questions were limited to one-markers earlier, but now they can also translate into short or long questions. The CBSE has already released sample papers based on the new format. Emmanuel said, “This is a small step towards the vision of NEP. The real change will come when teachers will start teaching based on skill-oriented education and not marks oriented or exam-oriented studies.”
This is part of the board’s aim to make the board exams “competency-based”. These questions will assess students on their ability to understand and apply concepts in real life. While making the shift from “rot-learning” to “learning for life”, students’ interest will be kept in mind, said Emmanuel.
“Our aim is that students should know how to apply the concepts learned in class and study with an aim to learn and not write the exam. The National Education Policy (NEP) says there will be different ways to select students for college admission, if that happens, board exams will be low-stake, and application base. This is a baby step in this direction,” he said.
The CBSE had earlier reduced the syllabus by 30 per cent for the upcoming board exams as the coronavirus-induced lockdown came into force in late March. Schools in certain states have started to reopen with thin attendance.
Once the schools reopen completely, the focus will be on students appearing in the board exam. “Once the schools reopen, we will focus on students in class 10 and 12 with attention to practicals as on-campus classes for this batch could not be held,” said Sangeeta Hajela, principal, DPS Indirapuram, Ghaziabad.
Bishwajit Banerjee, principal of VidyaGyan, Bulandhshar – a school with students from economically weaker sections of the society, says that the school will hold multiple crash classes for students to ensure they have enough practice. “We are using low to no-tech facilities to reach our students. Once schools resume, we will ensure we have special classes for board exam students to ensure they do not lose on practice and have enough feedback and writing practice before appearing for the final exams,” he said, adding that with students coming from diverse backgrounds, not everyone will be on the same level of preparedness and if the evaluation is not lenient, the number of 90+ scorers can see a decline.
Several state boards have decided to postpone their exams but CBSE is yet to announce the exam schedule.
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