Taking the Board exams in 2020? Know what CBSE has to say

With board exams just around the corner, read some exclusive tips from CBSE.

By Team ParentCircle

Taking the Board exams in 2020? Know what CBSE has to say

With Board exams 2020 in progress, ParentCircle reached out to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on its current practices for the Grade 10 and 12 exams. CBSE spokesperson Ms. Rama Sharma talked at length about how the CBSE is introducing changes in its approach toward examinations and how the parents and students stand to benefit from these changes. Read on for an exclusive conversation.

What is the difference between basic and standard mathematics?
The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) speaks about the need of two levels of examinations to cater to different kinds of learners and for different levels of testing. This kind of testing also helps in reducing overall student stress levels. In view of above aspect of NCF as well as Board results, the Board has introduced two levels of examination in Mathematics in Class X Board examination from the academic session ending March 2020 onwards. Both, Standard-Level and Basic level Question papers shall be based on the same syllabus. However, the existing Mathematics examination is called Standard Level Examination and assesses higher mathematical abilities, while the other one is Basic Level Mathematics.

Previously the exams were of a 2-month period now it is reduced to a month. Is the board happy with the outcome?
CBSE decided to pre-pone Board exams by conducting Skill Education (Vocational) and related subjects in second half of February from 2019. The purpose is to ensure that the results including that of revaluation are made available to students before the cut-off date for admission in colleges and the University of Delhi (in pursuance of the orders dated 11.07.2018 of Hon’ble High Court of Delhi). It has been well received by students and school community. The Board is satisfied with the fact that this initiative worked and helped declaration of results 2019 more than 20 days earlier as compared to year 2018. It is a student friendly initiative as it assists in timely completion of evaluation process and early declaration of results and will further enable students to go for admission process at higher levels.

More than 2 lakh teachers have undergone specialized training for the exams. Could you tell us more about that?
The Board’s Regional Offices/The Centres of Excellence (COEs) established by CBSE have conducted several programmes on Examination and Evaluation to make teachers aware about the importance of timely and error-free evaluation of X/XII Answer Sheets along with procedures/scheme of evaluations. As result, the possibility of error in evaluation decreased drastically and has also helped in early declaration of results. In order to minimize human error further, CBSE has strengthened the system with teachers and evaluators training and increasing appropriate technological interventions aimed towards the overall improvement for the benefit of students.

What measures is CBSE taking to prevent unfair practices during exams?
CBSE has taken many steps to do away with the menace of unfair means:

  • 100% appointment of Observers, Centre Superintendent (CS) and Deputy CS mandatory for every Centre.
  • Mandatory duty of CS to collect question paper (QP) and take safety and security measures of QPs.
  • Ban on use of communication devices, carrying of old QP to exam hall.
  • Spreading wrong information or fake news regarding board exams or question papers through social media is considered as unfair means.
  • Careful selection of every examination centre and reduction in self-centres
  • Very close monitoring of fake news, and fake sites, planned with strict measures in every case with media engagements
  • Formation of groups of Centre Supervisors for monitoring activities very closely
  • In order to ensure accurate data, the board has integrated portals for identifying discrepancies, various quality checks.
  • Two new portals have been developed for ensuring rapid communication system with schools and with regional offices.
  • Photo tagging of Custodian and Centre superintendent has been added with the image of centre material for Examination 2020. This has been done for safe collection and delivery of materials.
  • Redesigned Admit Cards with QR Code for Examination 2020.
  • Integrated Portal was developed for submission of Internal Assessment as well as Practical marks for Class-X and XII with photo tagging of practical exam Labs, Examiners and Examinees images.
  • The number of encrypted question papers has been increased from 19 to 50 this year.
  • The portal for collecting real time data of absentee students has been strengthened.

What is CBSE doing for parent education? Even today parents are obsessed about grades and not very willing to prefer learning over outcomes.
Board keeps guardians/parents abreast with Board’s decisions from time to time through media, its website, and social media. The Board has especially written letter to parents in the beginning of session 2019 and shared important decision/ initiatives of the Board and aspects of Learning outcomes, importance of Experiential Learning, Art Integrated Education, need of push sports and physical Education, options like compendium of courses after +2 for students, new available courses like Artificial Intelligence available with students for choosing combination of subjects. Early Childhood Care Education and Yoga, curriculum changes, sample question papers etc. for further guidance to students on the basis of information shared by the board. The Board also actively responds to queries from parents/guardians on its email ids and tele-helplines with relevant information and advice/tips.

What are the most important recommendations CBSE would give to parents and children during the exams season to counter stress?
For Parents:

  • Give sufficient time to children. Help them in studies
  • Guide the child in planning, organizing and setting a Time Table.
  • Be caring and receptive to the problems of your child.
  • Give emotional cushioning. Do not rebuke or pressurize child to study all the time. Do not mix academic problems with family conflicts.
  • Help the child in maintaining confidence especially when the child seems discouraged by dropping marks or grades. Do not displace your anxiety on the child.

For Students:

  • Physical Exercise is vital for maintaining mental fitness, and it can reduce stress. You can try Jogging, Skipping, Walking, or Aerobics
  • Sometimes listen to music and Rejuvenate as it helps to get relieved from and calm the mind. Playing musical instruments also helps to express yourself and relieve tension.
  • Don’t resort to drugs or medicines for improving memory until prescribed by a doctor.
  • Take proper sleep/rest and meals during preparations of exams. Have a light but adequate breakfast.
  • Don’t take any barred item in the examination centre.
  • Leave for the examination hall well in advance. Ensure that you are well seated in the exam hall by 10 am as late entry is not allowed. Avoid revising things just before entering the examination hall.
  • Just remain calm: avoid people who panic. Tell yourself ‘I can do this’. Take deep breaths, do a prayer and be relaxed.

What are the measures CBSE is taking to avoid student suicides?

  • Managing student queries/ problems on emails and phone
  • Pre and Post Examination counselling through multiple modes in two phases i.e. pre and during exams and post result
  • Webscast Program, Radio Programs to address student issues Dissemination of crucial contact details
  • E-content in Audio-Visual formats with FAQs are made available on website and Social Media Channels.

This Exam season what are your messages for both parents and children?
Parent’s support is vital for good preparation and optimum use of potential of their wards during exams. They should join hands with the efforts of the Board to make exam a hassle-free experience for the child.

  • Students must believe in hard work and honest preparation. They have to understand that exam is one among the thousands of things in life. It is just a journey towards discovering the real potential and uniqueness.
  • Marks will not have as much importance in future as compared to their capabilities like hard work and creativity.
  • Parents should not achieve their own aspirations through their child. They must lead children to become innovators and entrepreneurs by recognizing the unique potential of the child, rather than compare with others.
  • To ensure instructions of Board issued from time to time are followed during exam time.
  • Parents should maintain composure and encourage their children.

Interviewed by Team ParentCircle on 26 February 2020.

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