CBSE and Assessment

 Assessment is both an art and a technique. India's largest school education board, CBSE, has made a mockery of assessment this time with the first terminal examinations of classes 10 and 12. The pandemic forced upon all of us certain changes. CBSE changed its assessment methods by making them all objective type multiple choice questions. Well, circumstances demand certain changes and we won't grumble about that. But how can a mammoth educational board create downrightly ridiculous questions? Doesn't the Board have people with sufficient expertise to prepare effective assessment strategies and methods?

As an English teacher, I find the English question paper given to my students yesterday pathetically ineffective particularly in the Writing section. Let me provide a few examples. 

Question 20 is about the qualifications required for a receptionist. There are 4 options and 2 of them are: (a) personality, age, experience and (b) age, qualification, experience. Now, which is the right answer? Well, CBSE insists that only (b) is the right answer. Why not (a)? Doesn't personality matter for a receptionist? Earlier in sample answers, the Board used to insist on seeking receptionists with "pleasing" personalities. Has the pandemic obviated the need for a 'pleasing' personality at the reception?

Question 23 asks the examinees to choose the relevant information from the options given for a notice about enrichment classes for students of classes 10 and 12. According to the Key provided to evaluators, dress code of the students is in and time table for the classes is out. How are the examinees to know that the dress code matters more for the Board than class timings?

Questions 24 and 28 both are the same: "Select the option that lists an appropriate title for the article." [Well, it could have been put more elegantly: Select an appropriate title for the article.] There are different options provided for both questions showing that different answers are acceptable in questions like this. But CBSE will decide which option should be chosen by the examinees. How is an examinee to know CBSE's choice?

Question 27 gives 4 different quotes and asks "Which quote should Vijay (the article writer) use to sum up the idea of his article?" All four quotes are about the topic and all of them are good enough to conclude an article with. How is a student to divine the Board's likes and dislikes here? 

I have just highlighted some prominent absurdities. There are many more. Let me wind up with one from the literature section. Question 33 is from the lesson 'Deep Water' which describes the author's narrow escape from a drowning experience. "I had experienced both the sensation of dying and the terror that the fear of it can produce...," the author says. Now the question is: Of the four meanings of 'sensation' select the option that matches in meaning with its usage in the extract (the quote above). And the right option, according to the Board's Key, is: 'Physical response to a stimulus.' Really? Did Douglas mean to describe his physical response to dying in that part of the lesson?

The question paper has a lot more anomalies. Such examinations do no good to anyone, not to the students anyway. Like a lot many other teachers with whom I discussed this matter yesterday after the exam was over, I hope that CBSE will look into this matter with all the seriousness it demands. 


  1. ������

  2. So very true Sir, I could agree with each and every word you said

  3. Appreciate for your good observation nd commitment of a good cbsc teacher. Thanks sir

  4. Hey completely support evry point given here. I mean u have told the same dilemma of the options i had in the exam hall. Sooo good to hear that from a teacher...

  5. Yes sir what you said is 100 percent correct

  6. Completely agree with you sir.. Few years back CBSE decided for English to be as the first exam for XII th was to make the students tension free.. this year what happened has affected them so badly.. they lost confidence for the coming exams.. Certainly CBSE should look forward seriously and do justice to students..

  7. Very true sir, children lost their confidence too😒

  8. " Such examinations do no good to anyone, " Why are they even holding it if they can't assign the job of setting the question paper to a competent person.

    1. In fact there was no need for this exam. One annual exam as usual would be enough. Why does CBSE make things unnecessarily complicated? The Board doesn't even pay teachers on duty. Many including me are yet to get the remuneration for exam duties of last year. It's such a miserable Board.

  9. Thanks a lot for the information, it will help a lot Magarpatta school


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