Council praise for question pattern: Critical thinking creates positive impact in ICSE and ISC results

Jhinuk Mazumdar
Jhinuk Mazumdar
Posted on 07 May 2024
06:13 AM
Representational image

Representational image File image


Critical-thinking questions that were introduced in greater numbers this year were “well received” by students and the scores show they fared well in the ICSE and ISC examinations, said Joseph Emmanuel, the chief executive and secretary of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE).

Hours after the results were announced on Monday, Emmanuel told Metro: “The critical-thinking questions had a positive impact on the results. We were apprehensive of the children’s performance but they have done well.”

“The critical-thinking questions were well received by schools and students and the marks and scoring patterns show that. However, we are yet to do a detailed analysis,” he said over the phone from Delhi.


Emmanuel said the fact that “higher-order questions” were well received was an indicator of the “quality of schooling”.

Several school heads had said during and after the exams that there was a change in the question pattern this year.

Teachers have been working with children on the new pattern of questions based on specimen papers sent by the council. The council has increased the percentage of critical-thinking questions in every paper this year.

“In 2024, 15 per cent of the questions were critical-thinking questions. These were on real-life situations and applications-based. Next year, it will go up to 20-25 per cent,” said Sangeeta Bhatia, the deputy secretary of the CISCE.

Emmanuel said “real life-related questions” prepare students better for adult life. “Application of the concepts during their schooling would help students in real life.”

The council did not publish a merit list this year, breaking away from the tradition because it “promotes unhealthy competition”.

The merit list had been the norm for at least a decade, except for the pandemic years, an official said.

“A merit list can lead to unfair comparisons and promote unhealthy competition. It has been withdrawn because it is difficult to distinguish between students on the basis of ranks,” said Emmanuel.

There might not be any difference in talent between a student who scored 490 and another who scored 499, the council chief said. “It could be a matter of luck. We are moving away from rote learning to competency-based questions.”

Several schools said their class average this year was better than last year. Modern High School for Girls, La Martiniere for Girls, The Heritage, Sri Sri Academy and St Augustine’s Day School Shyamnagar were among the schools that reported better average results.

“Over the past two years, we have laid more stress on critical-thinking questions in our school exams. We had warned our students not to bank on 10 years’ question papers because those were more information-oriented rather than applications-based. The rehearsal exams were a wake-up call for our students,” said Damayanti Mukherjee, principal, Modern High School.

In Bengal, 42,372 students appeared for ICSE from 426 schools and 27,621 appeared for ISC from 320 schools.

The pass percentage in Bengal is 99.22 in ICSE and 97.80 per cent in ISC.

Last updated on 07 May 2024
06:15 AM
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