With continuing school closures and examination disruptions due to COVID-19, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has issued a new assessment scheme for Class 10 and 12 students this year.
In 2021-22, it will reduce the syllabus, hold board examinations twice during the year in different formats, and ensure continuous recording of internal assessment scores in order to have a variety of options to calculate a final score at the end of the year, according to a notification issued on Monday night.
This comes after widespread uncertainty during the 2020-21 academic year, when the second wave of COVID-19 caused the postponement and then cancellation of year-end board examinations, with CBSE finally asking schools to use a combination of Class 10,11 and 12 scores and internal marks to calculate the final results.
“The syllabus for the Board examination 2021-22 will be rationalized similar to that of the last academic session,” said the notification. Last year, the examination syllabus was reduced by 30%.
CBSE has divided the 2021-22 academic year into two terms with 50% of the syllabus to be covered in each term, with board exams to be held at the end of each term,according to the notification.
The first term exam will be held on a flexible schedule between November-December 2021 with a flexible schedule, with a window period of 4-8 weeks for schools situated in different parts of the country. It will be a 90 minute paper with multiple choice questions only, likely to be conducted in schools with the supervision of external superintendents.
The second term exam will be held in March-April 2022 in examination centres, and is likely to be a 2-hour exam with various question formats. In case the pandemic situation is not conducive for such a long, descriptive exam to be held, the second term exam will also be conducted with a multiple choice question format.
The CBSE will issue guidelines to make internal assessments, practicals and project work more credible and valid to ensure fair distribution of marks. Schools must create a student profile for all assessment undertaken over the year and retain the evidence in digital format, with marks uploaded onto CBSE’s IT platform, said the notification.
The CBSE has made provisions for different assessment scenarios depending on the pandemic situation.
If both term exams are held, the final theory marks will be equally split between the two. If the pandemic forces complete school closures in November and December, the first term exams will be conducted online or in homes, and would carry reduced weightage in the final results.
If the second term exams cannot be held, the final results would be based on an increased weightage for the first term exam scores and internal assessment marks.
If schools are completed closed, and both the first and second term exams have to be conducted at home, the final results will include weightage for the scores in internal assessment, projects and practical work, as well as both term-end examinations.
“In all the above cases, data analysis of marks of students will be undertaken to ensure the integrity of internal assessments and home based exams,” said the notification issued by CBSE academic director Joseph Emmanuel.