CBSE to start open book exams

 Ushering in a new era in examination system, the Central Board of Secondary Education has formally issued notices to schools across the country to implement ‘open book’ section for classes 9 and 11 final exams starting March 2014.

The open book exam does not mean books will be allowed inside the examination hall, rather students will be given case studies in each subject four months prior to the final exams.

They will be asked questions, based on higher order thinking skills (HOTS), from the given material. It will carry 20 per cent weightage.

School principals have welcomed the move.

“It is a desirable change. It focuses on qualitative as well as futuristic learning skills which are the need of the hour. Kids will develop a temperament for in-depth learning and the open book exam will encourage learning by understanding,” said Lata Vaidyanathan, principal of Modern School, Barakhamba Road.

According to L V Sehgal, principal Bal Bharti Public School on Pusa Road, students tend to take to rote learning methods.

“They cramp from textbooks. The open book exam will help develop research abilities and deep thinking capabilities in students.”

The CBSE said the open book exam for class 9 will be applicable to all main subjects. While the open book exam for class 11 will be applicable only to Economics, Biology and Geography.

“The CBSE has launched open book exam to incorporate analytical and theoretical skills, by moving away from the rote learning method. This case study based examination caters to varied abilities and strength of an individual learner and help him or her move towards gaining in-depth knowledge of a subject,” said CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi.

According to the board, all CBSE-affiliated schools will be provided textual material and concepts from the current syllabi a few months before the commencement of final examination.

The textual material may be in the form of articles, case studies, diagrams or problematic situations.

Creative questions

“The questions will be entirely open ended, creative and thoughtful. They will cater to high-order thinking skills of students,” said a CBSE spokesperson.

Each question paper will have a separate section for the open book exam. “The open book section will comprise text material accompanied by two or three questions,” said the spokesperson.

The CBSE will also bring out guidance material for students and parents to help them prepare for the test.

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