The HRD panel said that multiple choice questions should be removed from the board exam system and weightage of theory and practical assessment should be enhanced. The panel also suggested that subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics should be evaluated on the basis of theoretical and practical assessment carrying a 70:30 weightage ratio.
The panel appointed by the HRD Ministry also said that long answer questions are very important to scrutinize the knowledge retained by students. The number of long, short and very short questions should be in the ratio 2:4:8, the panel suggested.
The panel was appointed by the HRD Ministry in 2015 to devise a standard pattern for the Class 12 Board exam papers. Chairman of Meghalaya state board, E P Kharbhih led the panel. Among the other panelist were C. Arthur W, Chairman, Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur; K K Chaudhary, Controller of Examination, CBSE; Professor Y Sreekanth of NCERT and Ranganathan, Joint Director, Department of Pre-university, Karnataka.
The panel submitted it’s reported in early 2016. According to a member, the aim of the panel was to come up with a standard exam pattern so that students from two different boards could be evaluated on the same grounds.
Some of the suggestions made by the panel are:
- With every two long answer questions, there must be four short answer questions and eight very short answer questions in a question paper.
- No choices must be given for the very short answer type questions (example: attempt any four out of six questions).
- Subjects with practical assessment should be evaluated out of 100 marks having 70% theory weightage and 30% weightage for practical.
- There should be no open book examination for Class XII board examination.
- Additional 15 minutes should be given to the students – prior to the examination – so that they can read the question paper.
- Mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology papers must have a weightage of 100 marks each across all boards. Three hours must be given to students to attempt these papers.
- There should be a common core curriculum of different subjects based on which the question paper must be prepared.
- The percentage of difficult, average and easy questions in every question paper must be 25%, 40% and 35%.
The panel stated that eliminating multiple choice questions will irradicate the chances of cheating in the examination and long answer type questions will help in examining the students in detail.
The HRD Ministry has also suggested the NCERT, CISCE and CBSE to come up with a procedure for the moderation of marks. The ministry said that the students of Class 12 must be given percentile as it will help in standardising the results of various board exams and will prepare students for competitive exams.