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Class 9 and 11 students from Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools will have more tests to take and they will not have an option of opting out of this one. Following complaints about students not having problem solving or communication skills, the CBSE has decided to hold exams to test these very skills. Starting this academic year, the CBSE will hold a compulsory Problem Solving Assessment (CBSE-PSA) to encourage students to start thinking, instead of just borrowing ideas.
It will assess students in quantitative and qualitative reasoning and language conventions. CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi in his letter to principals of affiliated schools in support of the initiative said, "It is widely acknowledged that research and analytical skills, ability to apply basic concepts of different subjects, solve application-based problems in mathematics and science, comprehend and analyse written text and effective communication are the skills which ensure success in higher studies and professional areas." He expects these dimensions of 21st century life skills to assist learners in skills such as problem solving and decision making. Though the assessment will not be based on a particular syllabus, there are broad guidelines on how the questions will be framed. Questions in the quantitative reasoning section will test students in areas related to mathematics, science and technology; while in qualitative reasoning students will be tested in humanities, arts and social sciences. The multiple choice questions-based test is expected to assess the student's ability to process, interpret and use information rather than assess the student's prior subject-matter knowledge. Educational consultant K.R Maalathi said, "Our children are smart, but a lot depend on the guidance of parents or teachers. Such an initiative will train them to harness their knowledge and approach any problem confidently." The 60-minute test for 90 marks is expected to be conducted between January and February 2013. The marks scored will be counted towards the fourth formative assessment, which is 10% of the total assessments of Class 9. The same assessment marks will also be used for the FA-4 in Class 10, though students will have the option of improving on it in Class 10. The scores will be reflected in the language paper, mathematics, science and social science.
Courtesy: Times of India
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