CBSE Considers Open Book Examinations for Classes 9-12: Pilot Program to Assess Higher-Order Thinking Skills

CBSE Considers Open Book Examinations for Classes 9-12: Pilot Program to Assess Higher-Order Thinking Skills

New Delhi, 23/2/2024 – In line with the recommendations of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2023, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is exploring the introduction of Open Book Examinations (OBEs) for students in Classes 9 to 12. This initiative aims to assess students’ ability to analyze, evaluate, apply, and create knowledge, moving beyond rote memorization of facts.

“The NCF emphasizes developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for success in today’s dynamic world,” said [Name and Title], at the CBSE. “Open Book Examinations offer a unique opportunity to assess these skills by allowing students to access resources during the exam and focus on demonstrating their understanding and application of knowledge.”

Pilot Program Launched:

To evaluate the effectiveness and suitability of OBEs, the CBSE will conduct a pilot program in select schools later this year. This pilot will involve:

  • Subjects: English, Mathematics, and Science for Classes 9 and 10; English, Mathematics, and Biology for Classes 11 and 12.
  • Goals: Assess the time taken for exam completion, gather stakeholder feedback, and evaluate the effectiveness of OBEs in various subjects and grade levels.

Focus on Skills, Not Memorization:

OBEs are designed to move away from traditional testing methods that solely assess factual recall. Instead, they will emphasize:

  • Critical Thinking: Analyzing information, identifying key points, and forming reasoned arguments.
  • Problem-Solving: Applying knowledge to solve real-world problems and develop creative solutions.
  • Evaluation: Assessing the validity and credibility of information and sources.
  • Application: Using knowledge and skills in practical contexts.

Next Steps:

The pilot program will provide valuable insights into the feasibility and effectiveness of OBEs. Based on the results, the CBSE will make informed decisions about the future of this assessment format.


This is a pilot program, and no final decision has been made about implementing OBEs for all students or subjects. The CBSE remains committed to exploring innovative assessment methods that align with the goals of the NCF and prepare students for success in the 21st century.

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