CBSE schools start preparation for March 2014 open-book exam

Schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have started preparing their students and teachers for the first ever Open Book Exam to be held next year.

The Open Test Based Assessment (OTBA), commonly referred to as the open book exam, will be held in March 2014 for students of class IX and XI.

This happens to be the first ever time in CBSE’s history when students are being provided with special text material for an exam. Unlike the rote learning approach, the OTBA will be exclusively based on these special study materials.

The primary objective of the open book exam, according to CBSE, is to evaluate students’ ability to think out of the box as well as to test their aptitude for handling situational awareness.

In its debut year, OTBA will comprise of only four subjects: Mathematics, Hindi, English and Social Science. It is designed to be a key part of the second summative assessment for class IX and the annual exam for class XI (10% weight age).

The board has already made available all study materials including articles, case studies, graphics, and so on in order to ensure that both students and teachers get enough time to prepare themselves for the exam.

“Initially, there was a lot of confusion regarding OTBA even among teachers. Many of us thought it would actually be an open-book test where students could take a book inside the exam hall to look up answers,” says Shruti Ralhan, a social science teacher in a South Delhi school, India Today reports

“However, our school held an orientation programme which made it clear that students will actually get questions from the text already disclosed to them,” Ralhan added.

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