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CBSE to usher in open book exams

CBSE has released the text and reading material from which the question paper for the Open Text-Based Assessment (OTBA) will be prepared. Under the open book system, students will be informed four months in advance about the study material on which the examinations will be conducted. It will first begin for students of IXth and XIth standards.

Vineet Joshi, chairman, CBSE, said, ‘The study material has been released for all main subjects including English, Hindi, Mathematics, Science and Social Science for IXth class and geography, economics and biology for XIth class examinations. Students will be given text material in advance, and later, while giving the test, they will be allowed to refer to it’.

Rama Sharma, public relation officer (PRO) of CBSE said, ‘According to new marks distribution scheme, the question papers in main subjects at SummativeAssessment (SA)-II will be of 90 marks based on prescribed syllabus and question paper design. In any subject the written paper will be of 70 marks plus 20 marks for assessment of speaking and listening skills and the remaining 10 marks in question paper will be for OTBA’.

Sharma added, ‘The Hindi versions of the open text material will also be uploaded very soon.’ Each text material also includes sample questions.

According to sources, the chief aim of the OBTA is to test analytical and reasoning skills of students based on case studies. Since the regular examination patterns that have been followed in CBSE emphasise on ability to remember concepts and information while writing the tests, the new system seeks to change that to some extent. The open book examination system tries to do away with ROTE learning by extending study materials which could be taken in to the examination halls.

Usha Ram, Principal, Laxman Public Schools said, ‘The implementation of the new system aims at strengthening students’ analytical and theoretical skills by moving away from the existing practice.The students will enjoy OTBA. This will give wider learning to students.’

‘The main objective of introducing OTBA is to relieve the students from the burden of mugging up of content and help foster skills of information processing, comprehension, analysis and inference,’ Ram added.
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