CBSE Open-Book Examination for Class 9th & 11th Students

The Open Text-Based Assessment (OTBA) will be launched as a pilot project for the Class 9 and 11 annual examinations next year and the board has already released the study material for the examination.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is ushering in an educational revolution in the form of an open-book examination system from March 2014.

The new testing system will cover English, Hindi, mathematics, science and social science for Class 9 and geography, economics and biology for Class 11. In line with the CBSE’s directive, its schools will implement the OTBA system only in those subjects for which study material has already been published.

There are some differences between the CBSE’s version of the open-book examination system and that followed by the IITs, law universities and Bengal Engineering and Science University, as well as many schools and universities abroad.

In order for the system to work, the OTBA must contain only questions requiring higher order thinking skills, some of which may be subjective, creative or open ended. The format, according to the CBSE, will also discourage cheating.

In order to accommodate OTBA the CBSE has reworked its marks distribution process. Anticipating teething problems with the new system, the board has included a failsafe by deciding to restrict the OTBA’s initial scope to just 10 marks in the annual examinations for classes 9 and 11 in the subjects already mentioned.

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