CBSE XII exam to be rejigged to test ‘thought’, not rote

Jun 07 2012, 09:37 IST
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SummaryThe new questions will aim to test a student’s intellectual capability and her ability to apply knowledge, rather than her capacity to memorize from the text.

After having scrapped the Class 10 Board exams and switched from marks to grades in CBSE schools, the central government school board will now rework question papers.

Questions for Classes 10 and 12 will be reformulated and restructured to encourage students to apply their mind. The human resource development (HRD) ministry feels that the existing formats encourage learning by rote, and do not require students to solve problems and view them from varied perspectives.

The new questions will aim to test a student’s intellectual capability and her ability to apply knowledge, rather than her capacity to memorize from the text.

A CBSE curriculum committee has begun work on the project, and will begin consulting subject experts to create a bank of the new questions, to be rolled out for almost all subjects in the Class 10 and 12 exams in 2013.

“It will be in subjective type question-answer format, but with a fresh approach. There are two aspects — one is to change the very nature of question papers to encourage genuine application of thought and mind by students and test the comprehension of what they are studying, the other aspect is to bring context and a sense of values through questions,” a senior member of the CBSE curriculum committee said.

“Time and again, it has been said that modern school education lacks in social and universal values. The idea is to correct this not only through curriculum and pedagogy but also through questioning in a way that concepts like gender equality and equity are brought in, and students are thereby able to distinguish between what is in tune with values and what is not,” the committee member added.

An example of the new format: Students will be given a passage to study almost two months before the exams. They will know that they will be questioned on the passage, but will not know the nature of the questions — which will test them on their understanding of the passage.

A mathematics question involving universal good values could be on the division of property between siblings — with the aspect of the girl child getting an equal share weaved in, CBSE sources said.

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