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Schools experiment with format for midterm exam

Multiple-choice questions and testing analytical skills being given more weightage

Many private schools in the State, which have midterm examinations online, have tweaked the testing pattern this academic year. Some, for instance, have included multiple-choice questions, while others are changing the objective of the assessment.

Rather than testing students’ knowledge across the length and breadth of chapters, more emphasis will be on if students have understood core concepts.

Manju Balasubramaniam, principal of Delhi Public School, Bengaluru North, said the aim of the examination is to understand where children stand after months of online teaching and learning. “We want to use the examination as a diagnostic tool to figure out where students are going wrong, so that remedial classes can be held,” she said.

Dakshayani Kanna, principal of Harvest International School, Bengaluru, said they have introduced analytical questions that are open book. Students can refer to any notes to answer them. “More weightage, around 40 marks, has been given for multiple-choice questions and less emphasis on essay-type questions. We have allotted 20 marks for internal assessment and 20 for questions that require students to answer in the essay format,” she said. In the past, multiple-choice questions were allotted only 20 marks, while essay questions collected 60 marks.

DPS Bengaluru North is following an objective assessment for primary school students, while high school students have 60% objective and 40% summative questions.

No clarity yet

Initially, many schools considered doing away with the midterm assessment, but decided to go ahead with it as they were yet to get clarity on how their respective boards are planning to assess students for the 2020-2021 academic year.

For the most part, parents have approved the altered formats. Monica S., whose daughter is in class five, said: “Conducting assessments as rigorously as the previous year would be unfair on the students. We want the respective boards to declare the 2020-2021 academic year as a zero-examination year.”

However, some schools have stuck to traditional formats. B. Gayatri Devi, principal of Little Flower Public School, said they have regular assessments so that high school students are better prepared for the board examination.

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