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.


CBSE material for open book exam sent to schools

The Central Board Secondary Education (CBSE) has made available material for the much talked about Open Text Based Assessment (OTBA) exam scheduled to be held next year.

Moving a step further towards implementing the highly anticipated Open Text Based Assessment (OTBA), commonly known as open book exams, the Central Board Secondary Education (CBSE) has announced the course material for the exam to be held next year in March.

The board came up with a comprehensive syllabus comprising of both text and pictorial content whereupon the new, much talked about exam will be based.

The CBSE will conduct the Open Book Exam for the students of Std IX and XI as a part of their final examination/. For Std IX, the materials for all of the main subjects including English, Hindi, Science, Social Science and Mathematics were released. Similarly, the board also released course material for Std XI (Biology, Geography and Economics).

The first edition of the OTBA will be confined to only the aforementioned subjects, however CBSE plans to incorporate new subjects into the exam with time.

Reports are that, CBSE will be providing the text material for both Std IX and XI within an unspecified time frame. It’s worth mentioning here that unlike most regular exams, students who appear in the OTBA will be allowed to refer to the text as well as pictorial content during the exam-hours.

Dismissing the skepticism expressed by a section of media and experts, the CBSE has clarified that the OTBA is designed in a way that it will never cause any adverse effect on regular exams and how they are conducted.

The board, in a written statement, urged that all teachers responsible for smooth functioning of the OTBA read and comprehend the core concept associated with the exam (including its objective and modus operandi)

“They (teachers) should assign this text material to their students in groups for further understanding, analysis and discussion. It is reiterated here that the main objective of introducing OTBA is to relieve the students from the burden of mugging up of content and provide opportunities in acquiring skills of information processing, comprehension, analysis and inference,” read the statement issued by CBSE.