CBSE Board Exam to be Conducted Twice a Year: On Wednesday, August 23, 2023, a Joint Workshop of the National Curriculum Framework Oversight Committee and National Syllabus & Teaching-Learning Material Committee (NSTC) was chaired by the Union Education Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan. Through the meeting, the Ministry of Education (MoE) introduced a new curriculum framework for school education until the higher secondary level.
As per the revised curriculum, the board exams will henceforth be conducted twice a year. However, unlike the two-term exams conducted for AY 2021-22, the revised CBSE board exam framework as per NEP 2020 will not have the term-wise examinations. Instead, two separate board examinations will be conducted and the students will be allowed to retain the ‘Best of Two’ scores. This change has been introduced in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and the National Curriculum Framework (NCF).
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will implement the MoE’s decision from AY 2024-25 onwards while for the state boards, the final decision on whether to go as per the revised framework will be retained with the respective state governments. The revised syllabus envisions meeting the requirements of the 21st century while retaining traditional Indian thinking.
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CBSE Board Exam to be Conducted Twice a Year: 5 Major Highlights
The major highlights of the directive change introduced by MoE as per NEP and NCP guidelines are enlisted here:
1. Two-Exam Pattern and Focus on Competencies
The existing pattern of a single exam restricts the student and focuses primarily on recalling information as given in the textbooks, thus inaccurately representing the competencies of the students. Hence, the revised board exam curriculum will be based on creating a valid and reliable picture of the student competencies.
Conducting the exam twice provides the students with an additional opportunity and they can appear for the exam when they believe themselves to be ready. In addition, if the student is to appear for both exams, he/she will retain the ‘Best of Two’ scores.
To meet the two-exam pattern, the school boards are to develop capacities to undertake ‘On Demand’ exams in due course of time.
2. Flexibility of Subject Choice
As per the framework followed until now, the students are only allowed to choose subjects that fall under the stream chosen by them such as Arts, Science, and Commerce. However, the revised framework uplifts these restrictions, allowing students in Classes 11 and 12 to choose the subjects of their choice.
3. Focus on Languages
In the revised board exam framework, the students of Class 11 and Class 12 must mandatorily select two languages as a part of their syllabus as opposed to the current minimum requirement of one. Also, one of the languages that must be chosen will be an Indian language, thus fulfilling another NEP 2020 objective of learning native languages.
4. Creation and Assessment of Board Exam Papers
All individuals involved in the creation and assessment of the board exam papers will now be required to complete the university-certified courses before continuing with these responsibilities. Additionally, as the responsibility of creating the revised syllabus has been given to NCERT, it suggested the implementation of a ‘Comprehensive Test Item Bank’. This aims to aid in ‘On-Demand’ examinations. Furthermore, the test item bank may also serve as a repository of questions for developing question papers using appropriate software.
5. Optimization of Textbook Costs
With this change, the Ministry of Education also points to discontinuing the current practice of the grant of textbooks, thus streamlining the expenses related to it. The revised textbooks by the NCERT will be published by 2024.
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