In the last academic session, i.e., 2017-2018, the assessment structure in CBSE class 10 was remodeled where the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) was replaced by the mandatory board exams. Similarly, for classes 6-9, the board asked to assess students on the basis of annual exams instead of dual assessment format (Summative Assessments I and II).
Teachers and parents had mixed reactions about the changed exam pattern. Some called it a good decision by the board as one standard exam all across the country will help a student realise his/her level among others whereas some others seemed to be unhappy with the board’s decision as it required students to prepare the whole year’s syllabus for the final exams which was thought to be a burdensome. All through the various positive and negative reactions of the stakeholders, the new assessment pattern was implemented in class 10 according to which board exams are being conducted successfully for the session 2017-2018.
Again the new session, 2018-2019, is about to start when students will be entering into the new classes. Once again there will be discussions about the changed pattern. Though the new pattern will work for next few years until the concerned authorities introduce any further changes, everyone must be aware of the pros and cons of the current assessment pattern and the one practiced before it.
Current Assessment Pattern
Under the current assessment pattern, students have to focus on one final annual exam. Each paper carries a total of100 marks with 80 marks component for board examination or final examination and 20 marks component of Internal Assessment (IA). Here, we are discussing about the advantages and disadvantages of the current assessment pattern.
- The board exams give students a fair idea about the exams far away from the home atmosphere of their schools and teachers, hence prepare them for the pan India exams.
- An exam conducted by one board throughout the country, provides transparency and standardisation in the whole system.
- In school exams, there may be chances of discrimination as some school exam papers might be really easy while some might be very difficult.
- As a student has to write a test for the whole syllabus so he/she get to revise it many times before the final exam. Thus, it helps to make a strong academic base.
- The Class 10 board exams give the students a trial run for the class 12 board exams.
- Due to the extra hype and extra emphasis on good scores in board exams, it automatically promotes rote learning and exam-centric education.
- Though the internal assessment includes weightage of subject enrichment activities, it does not give room to non-academic activities like listening and speaking skills, promoting logical and conceptual thinking, etc.
- Parents’ and teachers’ high expectations from the student’s board result, imposes a great mental pressure on him/her.
- Students have to study the complete syllabus at the end which makes it more difficult for them to prepare for the annual exams.
Old Assessment Pattern
The previous assessment pattern which was based on the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) focused on the overall development of a student. It focused both on the academic as well as non-academic skills. It consisted of four formative assessments conducted quarterly and two summative assessments conducted half yearly. This system again had both merits and demerits as discussed below:
- It emphasised on exploring the learning needs as well as potential of the students.
- This system helped to identify the continuous learning progress of students on smaller content portions on a regular basis.
- Students were given the chance to improve with every formative and summative assessment conducted in a session.
- Students were encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities instead of focusing largely on academics.
- The huge CBSE syllabus was divided into smaller chunks which reduced pressure of enormous studying.
- The grading system was its biggest disadvantage because students scoring 90 and 99 marks were both kept in Grade A+ which made it difficult to distinct extra ordinary students from the average students.
- Many people criticised the CCE for the fact that this pattern makes the students take their boards lightly.
- In this system of continuous evaluation, students were forced to study all round the year, which in a way, is like giving no rest to them. Every activity was monitored constantly.
- The internal exam papers were evaluated by the school teachers, due to which there was a huge possibility of favouritism.
No system can be perfect which is able to satisfy the contemporary population. Every system will be posed to continuous amendments to make it better.