CBSE shakes up its Assessment Structure


From the academic year starting in the year 2017, the Central Board of Secondary Examinations (CBSE) has stated that students who would be appearing for the CBSE’s Class 10 examination would have to cover the full syllabus for the examination and also score a 33% in the theory as well as the internal assessments to clear the course. This remodel in the way the assessment is structured for the board examinations and the students who take them was issued by the CBSE yesterday.

Why it is being done

The decision made by the CBSE to make its board examinations compulsory by taking away the previously placed option for a school based alternative was announced by them in December of last year. A circular that was issued by the CBSE stated clearly that the dual scheme of examinations, or option to forgo the board examination in favour of the school based examination, would be taken away as a consequence of this decision. This affects only to students who would be appearing for the Class 10 board exam from the academic year starting 2017-2018 onwards.

The new structure for the academic evaluation as specified by the CBSE would have several components. The terminal board exam would carry 80 marks in terms of weightage and the remaining 20 marks would be contributed by the internal assessments. The weightage as per the current prevailing format dictates a 60 to 40 weightage for board examinations to internal assessments. The theory papers would now test the students as per the complete syllabus and not just in part, they are also now required to score a minimum of 33% marks in the same board examinations to qualify for a passing mark.

The internal assessments themselves would see an overhaul in terms of their structure as well. The current four tests known as formative tests would be replaced with three written and periodic tests. The schools themselves would now hold the responsibility of conducting these three tests periodically in each and every subject and the average of the highest two scores in these tests would be taken down for the final internal assessment score submission to the board. The circular even made suggestions as to how the syllabus may be spread across the three tests. It spoke of how one test may be scheduled as a mid-term examination, with the other two being scheduled before and after as pre-midterm and post-midterm examinations. Each one would have cumulatively a larger fraction of the syllabus covered and eventually work up to the board exam which would cover the entire syllabus, thus preparing students for the final exam.

Complementing these written evaluations would be five marks in each subject, which would be awarded to submission of notebooks as well activities which supplement and enrich the experience in each subject, for example, tests of reading and listening skills, laboratory experiments as well a projects and practical assignments. Discipline in the form of attendance, behaviours, sincerity and values has also being included by the CBSE as a graded subject. Being a vastly vague and unmeasurable subject open to great amounts of interpretation, this could be a little worrisome for students. Co-curricular subjects like work education, physical education and art and health are also added in for good measure.

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