In a bid to cut down the anxiety levels among Class 10 students taking the ongoing Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations owing to small changes in the mathematics and science syllabus, revision lessons at city-based coaching classes are focusing on Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) questions
The state education board introduced HOTS questions in maths and science this year to assess a students’ basic knowledge of the subjects. As a result, the maths and science paper, for the first time, will have objective type questions randomly selected from SSC syllabus for the two subjects taught between classes five and nine. The change in pattern is crucial as these questions will carry 12 marks.
“We get many calls from students who have a problem solving the HOTS questions,” said John Lopes, a teacher with Ideal Coaching Classes. The coaching class has come up with a set of 40 HOTS questions in algebra, geometry and science to help students.
With no sample papers available for reference, students are clueless. “I frequently call my tuition teacher for doubts on HOTS questions,” added Malina Almeida, a student from Vasai.
The state education board also has been getting at least 20 calls a day from students seeking guidance on HOTS questions.
Last November, the state education board had conducted a workshop where city school principals were trained them about HOTS. “Since we had clarity on the type of questions likely to be asked in this section several practice sessions were conducted at the school,” said Father Jude Fernandes, principal Stanislaus High School in Bandra.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had introduced HOTS questions way back in 2000. “The HOTS questions were introduced keeping in mind the syllabus pattern prescribed by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). This was announced at the beginning of the academic year and students have got enough practice,” said Shahaji Dhekane, secretary, state education board.