This year for the first time, the class IX students in CBSE schools have been appearing in exams based on Open Text Book Assessment (OTBA), introduced by CBSE, instead of the exam type held in previous years. On 10 March 2014, the class 9 CBSE students appeared for the science exam based on OTBA, which was an experience of its kind. While some students were happy with the OTBA exam scheme, others seemed dissatisfied with it.
When asked about their view about OTBA, a class 9 student said that knowing beforehand about the chapters and paragraphs which questions would be asked from can help gain extra marks, but it is to be kept in mind that the questions would be of analytical in nature, not the direct ones.
On the other hand, another student reveal his enthusiasm saying the new pattern is interesting as it encourages using brains instead of just mugging up the content.
Teachers said it's too early to say whether the change is for the better or worse.
On Monday, students appeared for science exam based on OTBA in which a shared concept was asked. Students were tested on methods they would adopt to enhance awareness among people in view of the increasing demand to sensitize people towards keeping planet Earth non-polluted. The second part of the question was on how the atmosphere of planet Earth has got imbalanced in the past few decades and what have been its effects on human life.
About Open Text Book Assessment (OTBA)
The term open-book does not mean that students will be allowed to carry textbooks inside the examination hall. The CBSE has referred it as Pre-Announced Test (PAT) for which students will be informed beforehand (four months before the exam) about the chapters and paragraphs which they will be tested on by means of analytical questions.
The PAT functions on Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). The idea behind this is to make students ditch rote learning, and answer questions analytically.