CBSE had recently proposed to start the exam for classes IX and X from March 2014

The CBSE’s proposal to introduce an examination based on the ‘open-book’ concept for classes IX and X, starting March 2014, has generated interest among city schools.

They, however, said it is too early to assess the merits of the proposal as details about how it will span out are not known yet.

Students, however, will not be allowed to carry textbooks into the exam hall, a senior CBSE official said, adding a committee is presently working on the proposal. A report would be released soon, the official said.

Minister of State for human resource development, Shashi Tharoor, in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on March 13, said the system would be used in Summative Assessment II (SA II). A component of the assessment would be based on text material supplied to students in advance, he said.

The SA II examination presently carries 30 per cent weightage in the overall marking scheme.

Mr. Tharoor also said the open-book examination would be implemented in the form of ‘open case study-based approach’ for classes XI and XII. “The question paper will have a separate section named ‘case study section’ which will have a set of questions based on the case studies related to the subject,” he said.

The idea, he said, is to reduce the pressure on students, and conduct an examination that does not require rote learning.

Padmini Sriraman, principal, The Hindu Senior Secondary School, said they are already following a methodology quite similar to the ‘open case study-based approach’ in social science.

Students are given an analytical question based on a portion in the book. “It improves their thinking skills, and allows them to fully understand, comprehend and reflect on a concept,” she said.

A principal of another CBSE school, while positive about the proposal, cautioned against introducing it without providing adequate time to schools.

The CBSE, said Mr. Tharoor, will bring out guidance material for students and parents, and train teachers using multiple modes.