Offline pre-board exams have given teachers a clue to where students of classes X and XII of CBSE and ICSE/ISC schools stand, an insight that is helping teachers come up with remedial measures for the board exams to be held a month later.
Many school heads and other teachers said the examination system lost its sanctity in the online format, which was adopted after the outbreak of Covid-19.
The realisation prompted many schools to schedule offline exams, including the pre-boards, for classes IX to XII as soon as the government gave its nod.
The heads of at least two schools said students needed extra help to improve their handwriting and in writing detailed answers. The students have grown used to answering questions online but have to write their board papers offline.
“They haven’t been writing and a section of them does not know how much they have to write for a two-mark or a four-mark question. The answers are not in-depth and they are not explaining the points,” said Aruna Gomes, principal, Loreto House.
The school has prepared a roster for remedial classes ahead of the board exams.
Loreto Convent, Entally, has already started remedial classes. Teachers have been going from desk to desk, helping students solve maths and with maps. “While they are solving maths sums, it is haphazard and the work is untidy. The (offline) pre-boards not just helped students. They also helped teachers understand what kind of assistance each student needs,” said Jessica Gomes Surana, principal of Loreto Convent, Entally.
“This one month gives students time for remediation instead of rushing into an exam underprepared…. Teachers will discuss the pre-board papers with them and guide them accordingly,” said John Bagul, principal of South City International School.
Before the pre-boards, held in February and March, the students had appeared in offline tests for Semester 1 of the ICSE (Class X) and ISC (Class XII) exams and Term 1 of the CBSE exams (of both classes).
Many students as well as parents and teachers were not happy with the performance in those exams, where the examinees had to answer only multiple-choice questions.
The Semester 1 and Term 1 exams were held in November and December. The Semester 2 and Term 2 exams are set to start in the last week of April.
The Semester 1 and Term 1 exams were the first tests many students wrote offline since Covid had forced the closure of all campuses in March 2020.