Bye Bye Rote Learning? CBSE Considers Open Book Examinations (OBE) for 4 Million Students

Open the books! CBSE Pilots New Exams for Critical Thinking & Problem Solving.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is thinking about bringing Open Book Examinations (OBE) to Classes 9 through 12. This would be a big change to the way exams are given. This project is in line with what the new National Curriculum Framework says should be done. .Open Book Examinations (OBE) might end rote learning by encouraging critical thinking and problem-solving. This revolutionary move fits with the new National Curriculum Framework and signals a shift towards holistic evaluation. Read more, Education Minister Pradhan Announces Major Change: CBSE Board Exams Twice a Year for Students

Bye Bye Rote Learning? CBSE Considers Open Book Examinations (OBE) for 4 Million Students

Understanding Open-Book Examinations ( OBE)

With Open Book Exams, students can bring their notes, textbooks, and other study tools into the exam room, which goes against the idea that tests like these are automatically easy. Instead, the attention changes to testing how well students understand subjects, how well they can think critically, and how well they can use what they have learned.

Pilot Run And Subject Inclusions

Pilot Run and Subject Inclusions

As a step forward, CBSE is doing a test run in a few schools to see if OBEs can work and what their benefits are. English, math, and science will be taught in the pilot for Classes 9 and 10. Biology, English and maths will be taught in the pilot for Classes 11 and 12. The careful planning that went into choosing these subjects shows that they are in line with the general educational goals.

Key Highlights

  • The sample run is set to happen from November to December, and the main goal is to see how long it takes students to finish these tests and get feedback from stakeholders’ responses
  • During the training time, the test will focus on a wide range of skills, including higher-order thinking, application, analysis, critical and creative thinking, and the ability to solve problems.
  • New studies suggest that traditional closed-book tests might not really show how much a student knows or how well they can use ideas in real life. Open-Book Exams, on the other hand, have shown potential in helping students think critically and understand topics better.

Learning from Delhi University’s Experience

CBSE is not going into the unknown. Instead, it hopes to use what Delhi University (DU) has learned from working with OBEs. DU started giving open-book tests in August 2020, because the COVID-19 outbreak was making things hard. Even though there was resistance at first and court battles, DU continued to do OBE exams until March 2022. Because DU has so much experience, CBSE can use it to help shape the planning and development of the suggested test.

Key Highlights

  • Concerns about discrimination against students from disadvantaged and Persons with Disabilities (PwD) groups led to legal problems for DU.
  • Students who started at the university in November 2021 were allowed to do OBEs, showing that the university is flexible and open to everyone.



LPU College admission

CBSE’s Previous Experiment with Open Text-Based Assessment (OTBA)

It’s important to note that the experimented with a similar format called Open Text Based Assessment (OTBA) for the year-end exams of Classes 9 and 11 from 2014-15 to 2016–17. However, this format was scrapped due to negative feedback from stakeholders. The lessons learned from this experience have likely influenced the meticulous planning and execution of the upcoming OBE pilot.

In-Depth Curriculum Committee Discussions:

The curriculum committee discussions late last year provided insights into the meticulous planning involved in this transformative move. Members highlighted the necessity of developing high-quality textbooks to ensure students’ understanding and acceptance of the new assessment method. The proposal to have teachers take open-book exams first showcases a commitment to excellence, aiming to set a benchmark comparable to international standards.

Challenges and Considerations

The CBSE syllabus group has shown insight by taking into account possible problems and issues. The group stressed how important it was for students to have good guides to understand and accept this new way of testing. Some members suggested that teachers give open-book tests first to help students understand the idea better. The goal of the group is to keep the standard high, using the American Advanced Placement test as a guide. This planned method fits with that goal.

  • The idea of comparing the OBE materials to the Advanced Placement test shows that CBSE is serious about ensuring the quality and usefulness of the materials.
  • The committee’s talks make it clear how important it is to get both students and teachers ready for this big change in the way tests are given.
  • As a first step towards Open Book Examinations, CBSE will be leading the way, and the pilot run in November and December will be a key testing ground. Not only will we be judging how well the students did, but we will also be able to see how well the education system fits in with current teaching methods. The focus on higher-order thinking skills is a change from learning by rote and shows that the board is committed to improving students’ ability to think critically and solve problems.
  • The plan shows that CBSE wants to change the education system to fit current teaching methods.
  • The test run is very important for figuring out how well OBEs fit with educational goals and stakeholders’ standards

Final note

CBSE’s desire to try new ways of testing sets the stage for a more dynamic and interesting learning setting in a field that is changing quickly. As the plan moves forward, the responses from students, teachers, and other interested parties will be closely watched to make sure that Open Book Examinations fit smoothly into the Indian education system.

Also, read

New Teacher-Driven Approach introduced by CBSE for Addressing Errors in Board Exams 

Big Changes for CBSE Class 10 and 12! Decoding the Changes & Their Impact

Amity University

Meet Tanu Bhatnagar, an educational expert with extensive experience in teaching, research and mentoring.With a decade in... (Full bio)

Curated Latest
News For You

All News

The Sooner you start, the Better!

Millions of students have entrusted CollegeChalo to facilitate their seamless and smooth admission process to their dream colleges and universities. With CollegeChalo, you can gain a competitive edge by easily accessing exam and course details to stay ahead of the admission journey. What are you waiting for?

Search your dream college
admission enquiry

Enter Basic Details