CBSE scraps Problem Solving Assessment test for Std. IX, XI

Mid-way through the academic year, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Friday decided to do away with the Problem Solving Assessment (PSA) test from the 2015-2016 academic year. The assessment began in 2013 for students of classes IX and XI, who were expected to solve application-based problems to hone their research and analytical skills.

Ever since the PSA was introduced, it was resented by faculty members and students, who cited its ambiguous nature of the assessment, particularly students inclined towards humanities and social sciences subjects. The test aimed to help students assess their ability to comprehend and process information and did not merely assess the subject matter.

On Friday afternoon, to the surprise of CBSE school principals, an e-mail came from the regional office, intimating them of the PSA being dropped with immediate effect. K.K. Choudhury, Controller of Examination, in his communication to school principals, said that the board has “decided to do away with the conduct of PSA in classes IX and XI from the session 2015-2016”.

Students who were unable to attend the PSA in class IX and scored poor marks were allowed to take up a formative assessment test in class X. Friday’s circular issued by the board, however, asks school to conduct a formative assessment for students who were in class IX in 2014-2015 academic year and could not attend the PSA or want to improve their scores.

While a section of teachers welcomed the move, saying that there was a lot of “ambiguity” and it was a hard assessment to crack, a teacher of the Bengaluru-based school, however, said that this was a “good experiment” of the board that failed since it did not have clear cut directions.

Deepa Sridhar, principal, Sri Kumaran’s Children’s Home, Bengaluru, said that she was not happy with the move as she felt that it was a good method for students to analyse their aptitude. “Particularly in the light of emphasis given to the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation method, assessments like the PSA would help children as well as us gauge their aptitude,” she said.

What is PSA all about?

One of the objectives of the assessment was to help students analyse life situations, comprehend and interpret it. The test assesses three aspects such as language convention, qualitative reasoning and quantitative reasoning Problem Solving Assessment (PSA) score is 10 per cent of total assessment for class IX for one language, mathematics, science and social science for class IX students. In class IX, students had three formative assessment, one PSA and two summative assessment For class XI, students were issued separate certificate for the assessment. Once the students go to class X and XII (who appeared for PSA when they were in IX and XI) they are given the option to improve their PSA score. It consists of 60 multiple choice questions that carry 60 marks.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 9:29:10 AM |

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