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Deciphering CBSE's new announcement - Uniform System of Assessment

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is an individualised learning system having international benchmarks. The main aim of the board is to enhance skill development, and help students develop new views by divulging them to quality learning material. However, many students will now have to shift to the old CBSE syllabus leaving parents and teachers with no choice.

From the academic year 2017-2018, CBSE has replaced its Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) scheme to bring in ‘uniform system of assessment’ for classes VI to IX. This change has been emphasised on uniformity, standardize teaching and evaluation around schools affiliated to it.

The previous CCE scheme, had 60% of the assessment done through written tests and the other 40% assessment was evaluated by teachers based on students’ performance in various activities. The previous CCE tested students through the year, reducing the burden of studies. Each semester had two formative tests to help students assess their strengths and work on weaknesses and one summative test to assess the full year’s performance. Students in classes VI to VIII gave 1st term exams based on 1st term portions and 2nd term exams based on 2nd term portions only. Every exam written had contributed towards the weightage in the final grades; therefore skipping one exam due to a health condition or unavoidable situation did not lead to a demotion.

However, the recent storm of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) circulars left schools and parents confused, when it announced restoration of the Class 10 Board exams from the 2017-18 session, replacing CCE (Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation) with a remodelled assessment structure. From current year, students have to focus on one annual final exam. Each paper will be of 100 marks - 80 marks for the final written exam and 20 marks for the internal assessments. The new exam format will now have students studying the complete year’s portions for the final exams and 90% weightage is given to written tests and the remaining 10% to Subject Enrichment Activities.

Most of the affiliated schools have been following various methods of examination and assessment so far in Classes VI to IX and this measure is a step linked to the restoration of the CBSE Class X Board Exams 2018 onwards.

The main aim of the board is to increase the confidence in students to start preparing for Class X board examination when they join the upper primary stage in class 6. Another significant policy change by the CBSE is the return of mandatory Board examinations for Class 10th. This, in essence, means the removal of the optional examination scheme put in place five years ago. Additionally, it was also announced that marks of Class 9 would not be included in the Class 10 grade sheet cum certificate of performance. There are also rumors about a sixth vocational subject which will be added to the (two languages, science, social science and mathematics) being studied currently.

CBSE's Major Announcements in 2017

  • Jan 31 Restoration of Class 10 Boards
  • March 9 Vocational Course added to subjects studied in Class 10
  • March 15 Marks of Class 9 not included in the Class 10 grade sheet cum certificate of performance
  • March 15 Schools were directed to submit CCE results data online to the board
  • March 21 Two-semester from Class 6 onwards with half yearly and annual examinations; uniform assessment, examination pattern and report cards for classes 6 to 8.
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