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CBSE brings in 'open book system' for Class X and XII board exams

Published On: 01 Aug 2012 | Last Updated On: 01 Aug 2012

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to introduce the ‘open book exam’ concept for the class X and XII board exams from the next academic session. This exam pattern will test higher order thinking skills of the students. It will be known as the Pre-Announced Test (PAT) and won’t literally be an open book exam. It will be applicable to all subjects of class X and the major subjects of class XII. A formal announcement with complete details on the new pattern is expected to be made in December this year.

Sources from CBSE revealed that the students will be made aware of the test that they are going to appear for four months in advance and the questions will not be simple and straightforward, they will test the students’ analytical skills.

The HRD ministry had initiated the process and a committee has been formed to carry out research on this. The objective of introducing this new concept is to make education more ‘student-friendly’. The committee modified the open book exam concept followed in the western countries so that it can be incorporated into the Indian education system.

The Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) system is followed by various state boards in the country. In this system, an out-of-syllabus passage is given and a question is asked for which a word-for-word answer cannot be given.

PAT will be functioning along the lines of the HOTS system. Under this system, the students will be given the passage four months in advance and will be expected to analyze different questions that can be asked. On the day of the board exam, the passage will not be given to the students, but questions based on the same passage will be presented to them.

Local school authorities are not too happy about this development. Schools expressed that the whole point of examinations is to test if the students can recollect what they have studied and the introduction of PAT will change this approach. Another teacher revealed that the teachers will now face a new challenge. Those who set the paper will have to be innovative as the questions cannot be repeated in successive exams.

In 2008, the Gujarat government conducted a pilot run of the open book exam system, but it proved to be very tough and only a few students passed.

Source: Times of India

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