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Technology has brought turning point in education: CBSE officials

CBSE introduces competency-based questions for classes IX to XII

April 23, 2021
– Mita Mukherjee

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to introduce competency-based questions to assess students’ ability to apply concepts in real-life or unfamiliar situations, according to the CBSE.

The new type of questions will be introduced in the syllabuses of classes IX to XII for the 2021-22 academic session, the CBSE said in a letter to heads of all CBSE schools on Thursday .

In the changed system, for classes IX and XII there will be 20 per cent competency based questions and they can be in the form of multiple choice questions (MCQ), case-based questions, source-based integrated questions or any other type.  Twenty per cent of the questions will be objective type and the remaining 60 per cent questions will be short and long answer types. The pattern of these 60 per cent questions will be the same as the one followed under the existing system, according to the CBSE.

In the existing assessment scheme in question papers of classes XI to XII, 20 per cent of the questions are objective type (including MCQs),  10 per cent of the questions  are now source-based integrated questions and the remaining 70 per cent are short and long answer types.

For classes IX to X the number of competency-based questions will be minimum 30 per cent in the revised scheme. These competency based questions for classes IX and X too can be in the form of MCQ, case-based questions, source-based integrated questions or any other type . Twenty per cent questions will be objective-type and the remaining 50 per cent will be short and long answer type.

In the existing pattern followed for classes IX and X, twenty per cent questions are objective type including MCQ, twenty per cent of the questions are now case based or source-based and integrated and 60 per cent are long and short answer types.

According to the CBSE the changes have been brought in the light of the New Education Policy (NEP) which gives emphasis on development of students’ ability to solve problems.

However, the overall marks and the duration of the examinations will remain the same for all the classes, the CBSE said. 

The introduction of competency based questions will help schools to shift from development of rote memorization to a more formative and competency-based learning. 

“The National Education Policy 2020 has affirmed the need to move from rote to competency-based learning making it more focused on developing the creative and critical thinking capacities of students to meet the challenges of the 21st century proactively. It emphasizes that learners must be equipped with the ability to solve problems and assessment must shift from testing primarily rote memorization skills to one that is more formative, is more competency-based, promotes learning and development for our students, and tests higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking, and conceptual clarity,” Joseph Emmanuel, director (academics) of CBSE said in the letter.

Principals of CBSE schools welcomed the move.

“This is an excellent move. Students are now being taught through online classes. The introduction of the competency-based questions will encourage students to learn the subjects thoroughly ,” Rita Chatterjee, director of North Point Secondary Boarding Schools in Kolkata said.  

Also read: CBSE launches Assessment Framework aligned with NEP 2020 for classes 6 to 10 

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