Published: 06th July 2021
CBSE to conduct two term exams instead of single Class 10, 12 boards: Here's what it means for students
In a notification issued on Monday, CBSE also stated that the syllabus for the year will be rationalised on the lines of what was done in the last academic year
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Monday announced that they have come up with a plan for Class 10 and 12 Board exams for the academic year 2021-2022. Instead of a single board exam at the end of the year, the academic session will be bifurcated into two terms, with the national board conducting exams at the end of each term. The Term I exams will be held in November-December 2021 while Term II exams are to be held in March-April 2022.
The first term will have Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) covering only the first half of the rationalised syllabus. These exams will be of 90-minute duration. CBSE will send the question papers and the marking schemes to schools, which will conduct the exams under the supervision of external examiners and observers, and send the results back to the board. The March-April 2022 term will take place at exam centres fixed by CBSE. These exams will be two-hour-long papers with questions in different formats, but "in case the situation is not conducive for normal descriptive examinations." Term II exams too will be in the form of 90-minute MCQ papers.
In a notification issued on Monday, CBSE also stated that the syllabus for the year will be rationalised on the lines of what was done in the last academic year when the syllabus was reduced by 30 per cent. The rationalised syllabus will be split in half across the two terms.
Chandrabhanu Pattajoshi, Founder, Goseeko, a platform that provides personalised study materials for students, welcomed CBSE's move to bifurcate the terms. "It is an inclusive approach towards projects, assessments which are critical to education systems. The COVID-19 pandemic has given us all the opportunity to bring about a positive shift in the processes where changes were needed for a long time. The division of academic sessions into two terms with a 50 per cent syllabus in each term is a good approach as it is designed in a way for it to be more modular and less archaic wherein we will also see the effectiveness of pedagogy in the way it is assessed. This will also help students to learn seriously throughout the year rather than have a fragmented approach wherein they only focus during exams," he said.
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Rajesh Kumar Singh, Founder and MD of Kunwar’s Global School, also agreed. "CBSE’s plan to divide the board exams into two terms from 2021-22 seems to be a good decision. Since the cancellation of Class 10 and 12 boards this year, the students were quite disheartened. This plan will ensure that their efforts won’t go in vain. I am in total support of this decision as CBSE has proposed to take internal assessment/project works into consideration as well. This will also ensure a fair and unbiased distribution of marks," he added.
While the board has announced that the results of both the term-end exams will contribute to the final overall score, CBSE has created a total of four options depending on the COVID situation.
The four scenarios:
- Provided both the term-end exams be held at centres, theory marks will be distributed evenly between both.
- If schools have to be closed at the time of Term I exams and students have to write the exams online or offline from their homes, but Term II exams can be held at the centres, "the weightage of [Term I] exam for the final score would be reduced, and weightage of Term II exams will be increased for declaration of the final result," the board added.
- If it is the other way around — Term I exams are held in school, but Term II exams can’t be held at the centre and students take it online or offline — "results would be based on the performance of students on Term I MCQ-based examination and internal assessments. The weightage of marks of Term I examination will be increased to provide year-end results."
- If neither of the examinations are held at schools or centres, the results will be calculated on the basis of internal assessments and practicals, and theory marks of Term I and II exams taken by the students from home. While this would be "subject to the moderation or other measures to ensure validity and reliability of the assessment."