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Exam format

For the period of the pandemic, however, it will cover only the rationalised syllabus of Term I.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Having cancelled the Class 10 and 12 examinations in view of the pandemic and lockdown, the Central Board of Secondary Examinations has been remarkably prompt in formulating a new praxis for such evaluation.

It has rightly abjured the move to truncate the syllabi in English literature and certain other subjects.

It has now resolved to conduct the Class 10 and 12 board exams in two parts from the current 2021-22 academic session.

The scheme is as rational as it is ingenuous. Pressure on students, when society is under the weather, will not be reduced by cutting down on the syllabus. A play by Shakespeare, for instance, cannot be split into selected Acts not the least because a play has to be studied in its entirety.

While the first term questions will be of the objective variety, the second term will comprise subjective or what they call “essay-type” questions.

Thus will the narrative potential and writing skills’ of students be assessed in the transitional stage from high school to the under-graduate level. Each term exam will be given equal weightage in the final results.

The CBSE module is worthy of emulation by other boards. For the current session, the first term objective type examination will be held in November-December, whereas the second examination with subjective questions will take place in March-April 2022.

It is pretty obvious that the CBSE has effected a deft balance between the objective and the subjective without tampering with the syllabi. The guidelines are suitably rational and will hopefully be beneficial to examinees.

The CBSE will organise Term I exams in a flexible schedule with a “window period” of four to eight weeks. This is for the convenience of schools situated in different parts of the country and abroad, where Covid may rage with varying degrees of intensity. The question paper will have a time limit of 90 minutes.

For the period of the pandemic, however, it will cover only the rationalised syllabus of Term I.

There is, of course, a rider for Term II. The paper will be of 120-minute duration and will have subjective questions of various formats. However, if the Covid situation is not conducive for a narrative/descriptive examination, a 90-minute multiple-choice exam will be conducted at the end of Term II.

The fairly watertight division of the syllabi is to be welcomed. It thus comes about that no part of the first-term syllabus will be part of the second term exam.