CBSE proposes open-book exams for classes 9 to 12, with pilot run in November, Check details

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The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is considering the introduction of Open-Book Examinations (OBE) for students in Classes 9 to 12, aligning with recommendations from the National Curriculum Framework released last year.

This innovative approach to assessments involves allowing students to refer to their notes, textbooks, and other study materials during the examination.

Open-book exams have gained prominence as a modern method of evaluating students’ understanding of subjects. Unlike traditional closed-book exams, these assessments encourage students to use their study materials, fostering critical thinking and the application of concepts. 

The CBSE’s plan involves conducting a trial phase of open-book tests in select schools, covering subjects such as English, Mathematics, and Science for Classes 9 and 10, and English, Mathematics, and Biology for Classes 11 and 12.

The pilot run, scheduled for November-December this year, aims to evaluate students’ completion time and gather stakeholders’ feedback. Contrary to misconceptions, Open-Book Examinations pose unique challenges, emphasizing comprehension, critical thinking, and effective synthesis of information rather than rote memorization.

The CBSE plans to finalize the design and development of the OBE pilot by June, seeking guidance from Delhi University (DU), which successfully implemented open-book tests in 2020. 

The decision to implement open-book exams across all CBSE schools for Classes 9 to 12 will be based on the experience gained during the pilot phase.

It’s worth noting that Delhi University faced challenges but proceeded with online open-book exams in August 2020, overcoming opposition and receiving approval from the Delhi High Court. The court allowed DU to conduct online open-book exams with specific conditions to ensure a fair and accessible assessment process for final-term students. 

The CBSE’s exploration of OBE reflects a forward-thinking approach to assessment methodologies in response to evolving educational needs.