CBSE Problem Solving Assessment PSA for Class IX and Class XI

This has reference to Board’s Circular Nos. Acad-40/2012 for Class IX and Acad-41/2012 for Class XI dated 01.08.2012 available on Board’s website related to conduct of Problem Solving Assessment (PSA) for Class IX and Class XI w.e.f. 2012-13.

See Video Overview of CBSE Problem Solving Assessment PSA  by SuccessCDs


The Salient features of the scheme are:

1 It is mandatory for all students of Class IX and Class XI to appear in Problem Solving Assessment (PSA).

2. There is no specific syllabus for `Problem Solving Assessment’. It will assess the Life Skills relating to following areas:-

  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Qualitative Reasoning
  • Language Conventions

3. The Life Skills shall be assessed within the following domains:

• Quantitative: which includes the reasoning seen in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

• Qualitative: which includes the kinds of reasoning found in Mathematics and Science

• Language Conventions: This includes different aspects of written communication (e.g. grammar, vocabulary etc.)

4. There will be 60 items of Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) and carry 90 marks. Distribution of 60 items shall be as follows:

Test Context Domain/ Item Type

No of Items



Qualitative Reasoning:

  • Stand alone MCQs
  • Passage based MCQ Set #1
  • Passage based MCQ Set #2

Sub Total – 18 ques

Quantitative Reasoning:

  • Stand alone MCQs
  • Passage based MCQs Set #1
  • Passage based MCQs Set #2

Sub Total – 18 ques

Language Conventions:

  • Grammar & Usage MCQs
  • Vocabulary in Context based MCQs
  • Passage completion based MCQs


Sub Total – 18 ques

5. The items will incorporate aspects of 21st Century Skills (Creative Thinking, Decision Making, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Communication) that lead to success at Secondary Stage. They would be assessing student’s ability to process, interpret and use information rather than assessing student’s prior subject matter knowledge.

6. The items in Problem Solving Assessment’ will be designed in such a way so as to improve the generic and higher order thinking skills. This will also result in improving scores within the core school subjects.

7. (a) For Class IX :

  • The `Problem Solving Assessment’ will be counted towards FA-4 which is 10% of total assessments of Class IX. This assessment will also be carried forward towards the FA-4 in Class X. This score will be reflected in one Language (English or Hindi), Mathematics, Science and Social Science w.e.f the session 2012-2013 for Class IX and 2013 – 14 for Class X. The same score will be reflected in FA-4 for class IX and Class X.
  • The students will have the option to improve their PSA Score in Class X, as they can sit for the test with Class IX students of the Session 2013-2014 in January – February 2014. The best scores will be reflected in the final certificate in case of those applying for improvement.
  • The schools which have already planned their time table and other details regarding FA-4 will take the best scores of FA-3 and FA-4 to count towards the total 10%, now available for FA-3 and FA-4 taken together

(b) For Class XI :

  • The students will get a certificate on the `Problem Solving Assessment’ by July, 2013.

8. There will be no separate time tables or periods for teaching or practice of PSA in schools.

9. The Question Paper containing OMR Answer Sheet shall be supplied by the Board.

Conduct of Examinations for Class IX and Class XI:

It is compulsory for all students enrolled in the school in Class IX and Class XI for academic session 2012-13 to appear in Problem Solving Assessment (PSA).

1. The examination shall be held on 14th

2. The examination shall be conducted in the school Feb., 2013 (Thursday) from 10.00 AM to 11.30 AM

3. Candidate shall appear against their Registration No.

4. The following shall be supplied by the Board:

• The Question Paper containing OMR Answer Sheet

• List of Candidates registered for Class IX and Class XI for academic session 2012-13

• Attendance Sheets

• Absentee Performa

5. At the end of examination, school shall send the following in sealed cover to the Regional Officer :

• OMR Answer Sheets

• Absentee Performa

• Attendance Sheets