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New question pattern for CBSE class XII board exam could make scoring much harder

The proposed changes in the question paper patterns for Central Board of Secondary Education CBSE’s Class XII board exams are likely to make scoring a lot tougher than ever before. From the earlier pattern featuring all objective type questions, this year, the board is preparing to switch to application-based questions.

As a result of this change, the number of questions in several subjects including, Economics, Political Science, Business Studies, and Accountancy have been reduced. The number of two-three markers has been reduced significantly. Meanwhile, the number of long, subjective type questions have increased.

“The number of questions has been reduced from 31 to 27 in political science. Now there are five one-mark and five two-mark questions instead of 10 of each,” says Tania Joshi, principal, Indian School, as reported by the ToI.

“Children who are below average scored in these. Now there are more analytical questions. The marking will also be more subjective….We got to know about the changes when the sample papers came in and those came very late this year—in November or December,” says Joshi.

Joshi further added by saying that while the changes introduced have certain positive aspects, the manner in which they have been imposed in a rather hefty manner seems to have defied the very purpose of CCE (continuous, comprehensive evaluation) which is to lower stress in students and their parents.

The Math paper will carry 26 questions instead of 29. Similarly, Business Studies will have 25 questions – five less than how it used to be till last year.

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CBSE Class 10 Date sheet 2015

A major worrying factor for students is that there are no choices in the six-mark long question. “There’d be a choice in every question before,” says Pooja Bahl, head of the commerce department, also at the Indian School, “We got to know when the sample papers were released in December. But the circular saying there won’t be a choice came in January,” she adds.

“About half the questions in the accountancy sample paper tests candidates on their higher order thinking skills (HOTS). They are application-based or interdisciplinary and don’t test the child on just understanding. In business studies, 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the paper is of this level, some students—already performing well—are enjoying them. But we’re afraid they’ll impact performance of students who take time to assimilate.”

Meanwhile, a CBSE official has stated that changes like these are always based on the subject committee recommendation. Saying that the information about these changes were mentioned months ago in the “curriculum documents”, he expressed his optimism that the revamped question pattern will help de-emphasize rote-learning and move towards more exploratory and evaluative lessons”.

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