CBSE ‘open book’ exam from this year

NEW DELHI: Ushering in what could be the biggest change in the country’s school examination system, the Central Board of Secondary Education will introduce an ‘open book’ section in the final exams for classes 9, 10 and 11 from the current academic year and for class 12 boards from next year (2014-15).

For the ‘open book’ section — which doesn’t mean books can be taken inside the exam hall — students will be given case studies in each subject four months in advance. All questions will be from the given material. This section will carry 20% weightage.

“This section will have questions based only on the case study given to students. The idea is to do away with rote learning and improve students’ ability to understand and apply concepts,” said CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi.

The open book section will begin for all subjects in classes IX and X but at the plus two level, CBSE has identified four subjects to start with – Biology, Economics, Geography and a language. The board has finalized the scheme and the case studies for the final exams will be given to students in November 2013.

“The board will soon inform the schools regarding the open book system and a notification will be issued within a week. While all subjects in senior school are included for the open book exam scheme which includes mathematics, social science, science and languages, for the senior secondary classes we have restricted it to just four subjects as of now,” Joshi said.

Senior CBSE officials confirmed that the open book section will apply to class X board exams in 2014 and to class XII exams in 2015.

The open book exam will be part of the Summative Assessment II for class IX and also for those students who opt for school-based class X exams under the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation ( CCE) scheme instead of the board exams.

Officials said the open book examination would be exclusively case study-based. CBSE would bring out guidance material for students and parents to help them prepare for the test.

“Students will not be allowed to take books inside the examination hall. Modifying the open book system, CBSE will provide case studies related to the subjects four months prior to the examination. This concept will be called pre-announced test (PAT),” said Joshi.

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