The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has directed all schools to provide 15 minutes extra to students of class 9 and 11, who will write exams as per the Open Text-Based Assessment (OTBA) system.
“Schools are directed to give time of 3 to 3.5 hours to the examinees in each of the subjects where open text based assessment has been introduced. This time will be in addition to the 15 minutes allotted to read the question paper,” says a circular issued by the board.
Students of class 9 will write their English, Mathematics, Science and Social Science papers as per the new system while class 11 students will follow OTBA for Geography, Economics and Biology.
The OTBA allows students to be given a set of study material four months ahead of the examination.
This material will also be printed as part of the question paper and all questions in the examination will be based on it.
“Students had forgotten what it is to write. Papers consist of multiple choice questions and other objective questions which don’t really require students to write. This method will actually prod them to think and write. Considering that each question will carry five marks, they can write at least 500 words per answer,” said Ameeta Wattal, chairperson, National Progressive Schools’ Conference.
Even though the board had earlier released a set of sample material which included case studies, articles and graphics, teachers felt that greater clarity was required as far as framing of questions was concerned. For the purpose, several schools are set to conduct workshops for teachers.
“This has become a slight challenge for the teachers. There is little clarity on the kind of questions that need to be asked. These questions will test the students’ reading, writing and thinking skills and the questions need to be framed accordingly,” Wattal added.