Board Exam

ICSE,ISC and CBSE schools exams to mirror board papers to prepare future examinees

Jhinuk Mazumdar
Jhinuk Mazumdar
Posted on 06 Mar 2024
06:24 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

Since analytical questions are recent introduction, schools do not have advantage of turning to question banks which contain question papers of board exams of past 10 years to prepare students

Several ICSE/ISC and CBSE schools are asking teachers to study the question papers of the ongoing board exams and use those as a reference for setting “critical thinking questions” in the school exams to prepare future examinees.

The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have introduced “critical thinking”, or analytical questions, in the board exams. The share of such questions will increase over the years.

The CISCE conducts the ICSE (Class X) and ISC (Class XII) exams.


Since the analytical questions are a recent introduction, the schools do not have the advantage of turning to question banks — which contain question papers of the board exams of the past 10 years — to prepare students.

Hence, the principals of a number of schools said, the questions in the ongoing board exams can serve as a good reference point.

“Some of the questions are such that students have to think before they start answering and cannot immediately start writing, as was the trend before. This is a precursor to what is to follow and we have asked our teachers to go through the (analytical) questions (in the board exams) in detail so more such questions can be incorporated in the school exams,” said Terence Ireland, principal, St James’ School, which follows the ICSE-ISC curricula.

Ireland said that once the board exams are over, the teachers who teach students in Classes IX to XII will be briefed in detail about the preparatory steps.

In some schools, subject teachers have started analysing the board questions.

“We have asked our teachers to make a note of what percentage of questions are application-based as and when the tests in their papers are over. Teachers have been asked to study those questions and give feedback so that we can teach our subsequent batches accordingly,” said Terence John, principal, Julien Day School Kalyani (an ICSE-ISC institution).

Across the two boards, teachers said students cannot expect only “common questions”.

“There is a change in the way questions are being framed,” said a teacher.

The CISCE had last year issued a circular announcing that the exams in 2024 would see a small increase in the percentage of critical thinking questions.

A CBSE academic head in the city had said last year that the percentage of “competency-based questions” — referring to critical questions — would gradually increase.

Both the boards have made sample or model papers available for the benefit of the teachers.

“The board exam is the most important paper and whatever is the pattern that is exemplified by this paper, it is natural that teachers
would use it as a benchmark. The question papers in internal exams will be modified
accordingly,” said Amita Prasad, director, Indus Valley World School, a CBSE institution.

Lovelorn Saigal, principal of Birla High School (affiliated to the CBSE), said they are waiting for the exams to be over to tell the teachers to go through the questions in detail.

“It is for the teachers to identify the right content and then train the students accordingly,” said Alok Tibrewal, pro-vice-chairman, Delhi Public School Ruby Park, a CBSE institution.

Last updated on 06 Mar 2024
06:24 AM
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