The exam pattern for both class X and XII is set to change this year and CBSE says the new paper format will make it easier and faster. The new pattern has more ’very short answer’ type questions and lesser marks have been allotted for long answers than was the case earlier, ensuring less subjectivity.
The format change will affect most subjects including Maths, Social Science and Science and Technology for Class X, and Economics, Accountancy, Business Studies, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Maths for Class XII.
In line with the emphasis on testing ’higher order thinking skills’, there will be a compulsory section of one-mark ’very short answer type’ questions. “These questions resemble the multiple choice questions (MCQ) pattern and will judge conceptual understanding. However, we have avoided direct MCQs for two reasons — to ensure that the printed question paper itself doesn’t get too lengthy with four options for each question and to avoid chances of cheating,” said CBSE chairman Ashok Ganguly.
Last year, the board had introduced a 20-mark MCQ section for Science & Technology consisting of 20 questions. The new format will have nine questions each for one and two-mark types besides six three-mark short answer type and three five-mark long answer type questions.
“We have reduced the number of higher marks questions to minimise subjectivity. Similarly, the number of sub-parts in a question have been reduced but more internal choices have been introduced in the new pattern,” Ganguly said.
For Class X, both Social Science and Maths will have 30 questions including 10 one-mark very short answer types.
Earlier, the total number of questions was 24 and 27 in Social Science and Maths, respectively. “We’ve increased short-answer types and reduced long answer types, to see how students keep a good co-relation between speed and accuracy,” he said.