CBSE Board Exams: New assessment pattern has little scope for subjectivity and creativity, say school principals

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on October 18 announced the date sheet for term-1 board exams 2022. The exams for class 10 will begin on November 30 while that of class 12 exams on December 1.

Despite all the efforts, teachers and principals continue to be jittery about students’ performance in the new assessment pattern. As per the new scheme, the exams will be of only 90-minute duration having multiple-choice questions (MCQs). This year, the syllabus has also been bifurcated and the reading time in each exam has been increased to 20 minutes.

The term II examination will be conducted in March-April 2022. It will be either subjective or objective only, depending on the COVID-19 situation in the country during that time.

Mukti Shaw, who teaches at Vivekananda Academy in West Bengal’s Hooghly district, is hopeful that students will be able to ace the exams. “We have conducted a couple of exams based on the new pattern but the only challenge is that they were conducted in online mode. Students have not been accustomed to the new scheme in offline mode,” he told

More than 150 students of class 10 and around 250 students of class 12 will be taking the term-I exams from her school next month. She added the students have been advised to go through the topics as if they were preparing for subjective questions because MCQs would require the application of concepts.

Principal, DPS-RNE Ghaziabad, Pallavi Upadhyay told that the central board should have given a choice between objective and subjective exams.

“Students have been learning from home for a long time now and objective questions appear to be a convenient method of assessment amid coronavirus pandemic. But, having a choice would have made students feel more comfortable. Besides, the marking and scoring scheme is worrisome because, unlike subjective answers where students get marks for steps and keywords, objective questions have either wrong or correct answers. There is no scope for anything in the middle,” she said.

The school concluded the first pre-board exams on October 18 and the same format is also being adopted for classes 9, 11 as a means of “early familiarisation” with the pattern.

“We may conduct the second pre-board exams before the commencement of term-1 exams since many students are still facing problems but we also have to be careful that the duration of the second term is shorter and that the syllabus is completed on time,” she said.

Lakshay Singh Kashyap, a class 12 student at Vishwa Bharati Public School, Sector 28, Noida, has a different take on the bifurcation of the syllabus and said it will add to students’ stress.

“The pattern is completely new and students may not face challenges with MCQ-based exams but most of us are also preparing for competitive exams. Earlier, board exams with a complete syllabus used to act as a revision session but now we will have to spend additional time revising concepts before the entrance exams. I am currently appearing for pre-board exams in school and unable to attend my coaching classes, which is creating a backlog and is likely to affect my preparations,” said Lakshay, who will appear for JEE Main 2022, as he aspires to join the BTech programme.

Sixteen-year-old Abhay Patil is a class 10 student at the Jain Public School in Karnataka’s Vijayapur district. He is confident about acing the exams and has been practising via YouTube videos, classroom notes and CBSE sample papers.

“I want to join the science stream in class 11. Hence, I must achieve a decent score. The current scheme is better than getting a surprise at the end of the academic session where all marks were added up to prepare the final result. Knowing that these exams will decide the fate of our result, we have the clarity to invest our energy accordingly,” Abhay told

Principal, MRG School, Rohini, Anshu Mittal, is also concerned about the new pattern, which, she says, curbs students’ creativity leaving no space for subjectivity.

“With the hybrid mode of learning, the in-person attendance in schools has been only around 50 per cent. While schools have been making the best efforts to familiarise students with the help of mock tests, question banks, I am very concerned as the head of the school. MCQ-based questions seem easy and students may get casual in their approach while attempting the paper. So, we can expect to be surprised with the results,” she said.

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