The biggest change made to the county’s education system. CBSE introducing the ‘open book exam’ pattern for its boards i.e. class x and class xii exams from the academic session 2013-2014.
According to the chairman of CBSE the new system can test higher order thinking skills of students rather than the current rote-based methodology.
It will not be exactly same as the open book exam. It will be called as ‘Pre-Announced Test’ (PAT) and will be applicable for all Std X subjects and some major ones of Class XII.
For instance, if a passage has a line saying, ‘Vasudha goes to work five times a week and makes new software applications and handles various projects,’ the question would be ‘Why does Vasudha go to work?’ The expected answer would be ‘Vasudha goes to work to make a living.’ Under PAT, the same passage would be taught to students four months before the exam and students will be expected to analyse various relevant questions that could be asked. On the day of the CBSE exam, PAT will not produce the passage, but there will be questions based on it.
- Four months before the exam, students will be made aware of the test they will appear for.
- Questions will not be simple and straightforward.
- They will test students’ analytical power.
Complete details of this new system for CBSE boards is expected to be made in December this year.
The HRD ministry had initiated the process and a reforms committee was constituted to look into the concept.
PAT functions like the Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) system that some education boards, including Maharashtra, are implementing. In the SSC exam, an out-of-syllabus passage is given to students and they are asked questions that cannot be answered word-for-word just by looking at the matter. For example, if the passage has a line saying, ‘Rajesh goes to school everyday and learns about animals, new countries and math formulae’, the question would be ‘Why does Rajesh go to school?’ The expected answer would be “Rajesh goes to school to increase his knowledge about the world around him.”
Under PAT, the same passage would be taught to students four months before the exam. The student will be expected to analyze various relevant questions that could be asked. On the day of the CBSE exam, PAT will not produce the passage, but there will be questions based on it.
It’s still not clear yet how the board will implement PAT for Mathematics where formulae and values are part of almost every topic.
In 2008, the Gujarat government had decided to implement the open book exam concept for its board exams but has not done yet. Also, some schools in Gujarat had experimented with the concept but it proved to be tough and few students passed.