CBSE Suggests Implementing Open-book Examinations for Students in Classes 9 to 12

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The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is contemplating the implementation of Open Book Examinations (OBE) for students in Classes 9 to 12, aligning with the guidelines of the recently released National Curriculum Framework. As per information obtained by The Indian Express, in an open-book exam, students are permitted to bring their notes, textbooks, or other study materials to refer to during the examination.

Sources reveal that CBSE has proposed conducting a trial run of open-book tests in selected schools later this year. These tests will cover subjects such as English, Mathematics, and Science for Classes 9 and 10, and English, Mathematics, and Biology for Classes 11 and 12. The purpose of the pilot run is to assess the time taken by students to complete such tests and gather feedback from stakeholders.

In an open-book examination, students are permitted to bring their notes, textbooks, or other study materials to consult during the test. However, it’s important to note that open-book exams are not necessarily easier than closed-book exams; in fact, they can often be more challenging. This is because an open-book test focuses on assessing a student’s comprehension of a subject and their ability to analyze or apply concepts, rather than simply testing their memory. It requires more than just copying information from a textbook onto the answer script.

The pilot program for open-book exams is slated to take place in November-December of this year. Based on the outcomes of this trial, the Board will determine whether to implement this form of assessment across all its schools for Classes 9 to 12. The pilot will prioritize the assessment of higher-order thinking skills, including application, analysis, critical and creative thinking, and problem-solving abilities.

CBSE aims to finalize the design and development of the open-book examination pilot by June. To this end, they have decided to seek guidance from Delhi University (DU). Despite opposition, DU introduced open-book tests in August 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, which had disrupted the academic calendar.