The CBSE will, this year, for the first time have flexible timings for Class 9 students writing their final exams. Students can take between three to three and a half hours to complete their exams.
“In order to cater to the difference in pace at which students respond to questions, schools will give flexible timing to students for attempting question papers. This may vary from three to three-and-a-half hours,” stated the board’s latest circular dated February 3.
“This is a very child-friendly move. Students get stressed when papers are snatched from them as soon as their time is up,” said Avnita Bir, principal of R.N. Podar School at Santacruz.
In another first, the same circular also states that the board will send out eight CDs with a number of question papers, one for each school. The schools can then access the question papers by keying in a password provided by the board. Schools will also be allowed to set their own exam timetable.
“The board doesn’t want to prevent schools from setting their own papers but this year the question bank is centralised because parents and schools were worried that a common standard might not be maintained,” said Bir. “This is a move to reassure parents.”
The year-end exams or the summative assessment- part 2 for Class 9 students constitutes 40 per cent weightage of a student’s total marks.
As part of the CBSE reforms 40 per cent weightage will be given to the year-long assessments and the remaining 20 per cent to the mid-year examinations.