In light of the raging Covid-19 pandemic and the brutal 2nd wave this year, the CBSE board was forced to cancel the board exams this year. The announcement of cancellation of exams created a lot of confusion, panic and became the reason of much worry among the students. Their apprehensions were well justified as there is a large section of students who believe in keeping their reserves of hard work for the days just before commencement of the term-end exam. Having said that, we do not condone the use of this strategy ever, as it can backfire—which was clearly the case this year—nonetheless, students who had remained consistent with their performance throughout the year looked at the situation more positively.
To avoid such situations and keeping the fact of a mutating virus, the authorities of the CBSE board have decided to come up with a new assessment plan for grades X and XII board exams to be held in 2022. Under the new assessment program, the academic session will be divided into two terms; to put it simply, the syllabus will be split into two terms for both the classes. The first term exams will be held in November-December, and the second/final term exams will be scheduled in March-April.
Interestingly, under this particular scheme, the assessment board will follow a systemic approach in understanding the students’ ability to assess and use the interconnectivity of concepts and topics studied. For this purpose, the syllabus will be bifurcated into two parts. For the First Term exams, the pattern would involve Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) including assertion-reasoning MCQs along with case-based MCQs. The duration for this type of exam is set for 90 minutes, since it will only cover 50 percent of the entire syllabus. Moreover, there are no fixed dates, the exams would be conducted in a flexible schedule.
The students are required to give their responses in OMR sheets which will be scanned and uploaded at the CBSE portal or the schools may upload the marks based on their evaluation.
The year-end exams or Term 2 will be in subjective format and the duration for this exam will be 2 hours. There will be different question types, hence the students could expect case-based, situation-based, open-ended short answers or long answers. Again, this term will cover 50 percent of the remaining syllabus and will be held in March-April 2022 at the examination centers fixed by the board.
In the event of a severe spread of the virus, like which we witnessed in April and May this year, a 90-minute MCQ-based exam will be conducted at the end of term 2 also.
As there is a lot of uncertainty around the pandemic, and we do not know how things will evolve over the next few months, it is advisable for students to keep up their performance levels right from the beginning of the session, so that their scores do not take nosedive.
This seems to be a practical system to evaluate students’ performance throughout the year. Another plus point of the scheme is that students are relieved of the burden to mug up loads and loads of information at the end of the term. The idea of dividing and spreading the exams in two terms will keep the morale of the student high and make his learning experience more fruitful and effective.