CHENNAI: After reducing 30% of the syllabus for Class XII, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has now changed the question paper pattern, giving more weightage to multiple-choice based questions and those based on case studies.
After sample question papers for Classes X and XII were released, schools said the weightage for MCQs had increased by nearly 10%. For subjects like physics, questions based on thinking skills such as ascertaining and reasoning have been introduced. In biology, MCQs have been replaced with short-answer type questions.
Geetha Govindarajan, principal of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Senior Secondary School, K K Nagar said the new pattern was aimed at testing children’s comprehension. “Earlier, the question paper would focus on knowledge based questions. Now, they are shifting to understanding and application oriented questions. But, the paper appears to be lengthy and we are providing practices to students,” she said.
N Vijayan, chairman of Zion and Alwin group of schools, said the quality of questions had improved and a paradigm shift in teaching and learning process was required. “Now, teachers and students have to focus more,” he said, pointing out that the number of questions in mathematics had gone up from 36 to 38.
Welcoming the reduction of syllabus, Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidhyashram principal P G Subramanian said the question papers had been made simpler without compromising on the standard.
Many city schools expect to complete the portions by the first week of December after beginning online classes in April, but, principals feel it may not be enough. “We need to give them revision and orientation before the exams,” Subramanian added.
Students have not been writing full three-hour tests. “Writing practice is limited as the tests are only for 90 minutes. We are worried about it,” said Sunitha Vipinchandran, principal of Asan Memorial Senior Secondary School.
Vijayan said the productivity of online classes was only 50% compared to onschool classes and wanted CBSE to consider postponing board exams to July to give more time for students to prepare.
Another principal said students needed to be given more training in the new question paper pattern.