Monday, January 19, 2015

CBSE Open Text Book Assessment exam

First board exam of class IX CBSE students was an experience of its kind. Unlike previous exams, this time students appeared for the science exam based on Open Text Book Assessment (OTBA), introduced by CBSE, on Monday. While few were happy with the changes, others expressed dissatisfaction.

Class IX student Paulomi Masto said "knowing beforehand that at least one question would be from the selected chapters and paragraphs can help fetch extra marks. But it is to be kept in mind that the questions are not direct, they are analytical in nature.’’

Pallavi Yadav, however, cribbed about change in questions. "The paragraph was the same. We could refer to the booklet given to us but questions were different from the ones mentioned in the book.’’

Teachers said it’s too early to say whether the change is for the better or worse. "One exam is not enough for us to conclude whether its benefitting the students or not. The overall aim is to discourage rote learning and inculcate high order thinking skills in students,’’ said a teacher.

On Monday, students attempted a passage (based on OTBA) on clean air. A shared concept was asked in the exams. Students were tested on methods they would adopt to enhance awareness among people in view of the increasing demand to sensitise people towards keeping planet Earth non-polluted. The second part of the question was on how the atmosphere of planet Earth got imbalanced in the past few centuries and its impact on life.

The term open-book does not mean that students will be allowed to carry textbooks inside the examination hall. Instead, CBSE’s version of open-book means students will be informed in advance (four months before the exam) about the chapters and paragraphs they will be tested on, based on which analytical questions will be asked.

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