When I entered Class 10, things changed. Board exams were made optional and we turned into guinea pigs for a brand new system called Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation.
Everyone, including our teachers, was baffled. And every other day brought new news. They not only changed the course but also changed the grading system to CGPA, which was a new for all of us.
Suddenly, there were new subjects to study, projects to make, reading tests, listening tests — it got chaotic. I agree that the thought behind the change was to make studies inclusive of overall growth, but our stress levels were at an all-time high.
I remember going home one day and crying as I got tongue-tied during my extempore session. There was the constant fear that even a small mistake might cost me my grades.
However, once we realised that we had no option but to deal with the system, we learnt to cope. We focused on making our projects better. It also helped me get out of my shell as we had to speak or make presentations in front of the class and take part in co-curricular activities.
Just a few months before the final exams, we were told that we had the option to choose between boards or school exam. By then we had already invested a lot in the system and it would have been silly to waste all the hard work made throughout the year. We were getting marks for the projects and other internal assessments, so I didn’t want to lose those marks. Plus, if the system was working in a certain way throughout the year, I didn’t feel like opting for boards in the end and take extra stress.
Class 10 CCE certainly did not warm me up for the stress which I had to face while giving boards in Class 12, my first public exam. However, it did teach me how to make and organise my notes and present my assignments in order to score higher.
Board exams are a better option if you want time to focus solely on studies and marks, but CCE did help me. It’s hard to compare the two as both teach you skills that are important in life. It’s the confusion, not the system that causes problems.
(Shivani Dixit cleared Class 10 in 2011, the first batch to go through Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation and chose between school exams and the CBSE board exams. She picked school exams)