Do you think you can get more marks by copying if the open book method comes?; There are advantages, and challenges – CBSE Revolutionizes Exam Strategy: Piloting Open Book Exams for Enhanced Learning | Education News

CBSE is preparing to implement the open book method of writing exams for students of classes 9 to 12. There is a proposal in the new National Curriculum Framework to consider the possibilities of open book examination. Then the Governing Council meeting held in December approved the recommendation of the CBSE Curriculum Committee. Discussions are progressing to pilot this year in English, Science, Maths and Biology. Initially, it is planned to be implemented in some schools on a pilot basis. Through this, the pilot project is aimed at evaluating the time required for the examination, whether it is suitable for the existing evaluation method, and evaluating the views of students and teachers. The timeline for this will be fixed by June 2024. Along with this, it is aimed to conduct a pilot test of the open book method in schools in the months of November-December after completing the methodology and review.

Through Open Book Examination, CBSE aims to develop students’ skills, factual analysis, problem solving, critical and rich thinking skills. For this, in teacher training, ‘How to implement the open book method effectively?’ will include the subject of The exam will have questions related to visual content and case studies based on the syllabus.

At first glance, the open book approach may seem beneficial to students, but this approach is fraught with challenges. While this can be beneficial for students who do well, it takes time for teachers and most students to adjust to this method. It is not possible to take the open book exam by studying Kaanapath. The questions will be indirect and require a lot of thought and analysis. In the beginning, preparing questions can be very difficult for teachers. Only a student who has thoroughly read and understood the entire text and has developed a good idea in his mind can write the answer easily. Openbook method is available in foreign universities and selected central universities in India. MG University in Kerala has decided to implement open book method from next year.

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Implementing an open book approach without clear preparation can do more harm than good. Students have a misconception that they can get more marks by copying everything if open book method is introduced. There will be no direct questions in the exam. Only a student who has read the textbook and analyzed it thoroughly can complete the answer in time. There is no need to memorize all the equations in science and math subjects. There will be an opportunity to refer them in an open book manner. Open book method requires a policy decision as to which books are allowed for examination. The new method will cause unnecessary stress in the students.


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There are different opinions about this method among the members of the CBSE Executive Committee. Many argue that teachers should adapt to this method and experiment on students. The recently published Annual Education Review Report (ASER 2023) conducted by Pratham has highlighted the inadequacy of quality in the education sector in the country. A study conducted in 28 districts of 26 states also published data from rural areas. Data was collected from 34745 students aged 14-18 years. 86.8 percent of them are studying in educational institutions. 55.7 percent pursue higher education in humanities/arts subjects. Those studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics account for 31.7 percent. Among them, girls are 28.1 percent and boys are 36.3 percent. 9.4 percent children are studying commerce.


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An executive committee member argued at the board meeting that open-book style questions should be upgraded to enable students to get into American universities. Judging by the ASER 23 report that 9th grade students struggle with 5th grade math and reading English correctly, it has to be said that expanding the open book method will have a negative impact on the students. Although the open book method is foreign to Kerala, it exists in many Indian universities like Delhi, Pondicherry, BHU, law schools, Jamia Millia etc. It has been around for ages in foreign universities. CBSE has tried and abandoned the open book method earlier at the school level.


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What is Open Book Method?
Students and teachers should know the methodology of open book method. This is not the method of opening the book and directly copying the answer. Rather, it is a method where you have to analyze the parts learned from the classroom and the book and write the answer. That is, it is a measure of the knowledge acquired by the student. So the open book method requires you to grind the book and drink it. A computer-based open book method also exists today. Don’t be mistaken that you can write the answer just by studying the lesson. It is a measure of knowledge. Students who do not know what a case study is, if such questions are included in the exam, the results will be reversed. Marks will be lost if the concept understood by the students is different. Open book exams will be difficult for students who follow the emergency learning method. But it will be easy for students who follow easy study method and study regularly. That is, about one-third of students are good while average students are struggling.


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Writing the answer within the given time in the open book exam will also create a crisis for the students. It takes time to read and understand the question and think and write the answer. So time management is very important. If the teachers do not teach this method, the learning quality of the students will be negatively affected. Therefore teachers need further training. While memory is assessed in standard tests, practical analysis, evaluation, creativity and comprehension should be demonstrated along with memory in the open book test. The open book method has been in existence for ages in the departmental examination conducted by the Kerala Public Service Commission. There are many people who open the book and lose.

It should be implemented scientifically
Although there are many criticisms about the open book method, the current examination method can be implemented on an experimental basis to make it scientific. There are many opportunities for this at undergraduate and postgraduate level. But to get familiar with the open book method, school students and teachers need clear preparation. There are many practical challenges to be faced while implementing the open book method at the school level in the current learning style. The skills for this should be developed in children..

Representative Image. Photo Credit: Prostock-Studio /

Representative Image. Photo Credit: Prostock-Studio /

A lot of mock tests will have to be done for this. CBSE teacher training should be made available in all CBSE schools beyond Kendriya and Navodaya Vidyalayas. Training programs for trainers should be included in the Malviya Mission training program implemented by the central government. Open book examinations should be prioritized for student-friendly procedures. By acquiring good skills at the school level, students will excel in higher education and careers both within the country and abroad.

Photo credit: Diego Cervo / Shutterstock

Photo credit: Diego Cervo / Shutterstock

A lot of criticism is coming from different levels in this regard. But it should be expanded only after objectively evaluating the pilot project. CBSE students should not lose marks through open book method when CBSE and State Boards adopt different method in terms of availability of marks/ assessment of learning quality. There are students who transfer from CBSC board to state board after class 10th.

Representative image. Photo Credit : Deepak Sethi/istock

Representative image. Photo Credit : Deepak Sethi/istock

GlobalSkills and Employment
In the 2023 Global Skills Report, it is clarified that the importance of skill development in the field of digital work is increasing. The Global Skills Report has been prepared by evaluating data from 124 million learners from 100 countries. The report focuses on skills required in the workforce, existing skills and the need for digital skills in the workforce. Economic growth depends on skill proficiency and internet service. More students are getting ready for digitalization and certification. This has also been clearly mentioned in the ASER report.

Representative Image. Image Credit: andreswd/

Representative Image. Image Credit: andreswd/

Alignment with the study abroad method
Eight and a half lakh students from the country come to foreign universities every year. There is an increasing trend of students who have completed Plus Two going for undergraduate studies. Students come to foreign campuses in search of new courses that do not exist in their own country. Students go to foreign countries to make friends with foreigners and get to know the culture of their country. There are various subjects for graduation. The major subject (main subject) can be chosen during the period of further study according to the interest and aptitude. Studying abroad helps in personal development, coping with life’s challenges and acquiring life skills. The opportunity to choose a variety of major and minor subjects will help students to focus more on the basic subjects. Environmental studies and travel will provide students with a variety of experiences. Studying abroad will give you the confidence to do things independently. Studying abroad will help you get to know the best teachers and researchers and discover innovative research areas.

Representative image. Photo Credit: Have a nice day Photo/Shutterstock

Representative image. Photo Credit: Have a nice day Photo/Shutterstock

Some of these are innovations aimed at future jobs, skill development programs, technology, excellent academic and research facilities, friendship with industry, internship, placement and assistantship programmes. Credit transfer facility, new courses as per interest and aptitude are available in foreign universities. For higher studies, you should find a country that suits your field of study. America is the best country for science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses, UK, Singapore, France and Australia can be chosen for management studies. Germany and Canada are the best countries for engineering. If the existing open book examination method is effectively implemented in foreign universities, it will be very beneficial for the students in the field of higher education. It should not be a hasty implementation but should be implemented in an objective manner to enhance quality. Tughluq, who had tried it once and retreated, should not change it again as a reformer.

(The author is an educationist and professor at the Transdisciplinary University of Health Sciences and Technology, Bengaluru)

The article is in Malayalam

Tags: marks copying open book method advantages challenges CBSE Revolutionizes Exam Strategy Piloting Open Book Exams Enhanced Learning Education News


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