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Students to get 30 minutes extra for open book exam: CBSE

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) asked all affiliated schools to grant 30-min extra to Class IX and XI students appearing in March 2014 final exams, especially for the OTBA.

Students of class IX and XI will be granted 30 minutes extra in their March 2014 final exams – especially for the open book exam, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced.

The Open Text Based Assessment (OTBA) or open book exam is scheduled to debut in March next year. It will be a distinct section within the main question paper, aimed to evaluate students’ ability to think out of the box as well as to test their aptitude for handling situational awareness. The OTBA questions will only be addition to the original number of questions as per last year’s pattern, and that is precisely why CBSE had decided to allow the extra 30 minutes.

“It has been provided in the circulars that OTBA questions will be in addition to usual questions set for three hours. In view of the above, schools are directed to give time of 3-3½ hours to the examinees in each of the subjects where open text based assessment has been introduced. This time will be in addition to the 15 minutes allotted to read the question paper,”  Sadhana Parashar, director of CBSE, wrote in a circular issued to all affiliated schools, Times of India reports.

30 minutes extra for open book exam

Students appearing in class IX final exam will be required answering questions from Mathematics, English, Social Science and Science in the OTBA, whereas students of class XI will be asked questions from Economics, Geography and Biology.

CBSE  made available a set of study material for students appearing in the OTBA four months ahead of the exam. The material, according to the Board, will also be printed as part of the question paper. All questions in the OTBA will be exclusively based on the study material provided.

Expressing her opinion on these revolutionary changes implemented by the CBSE, Ameeta Wattal, chairperson, National Progressive Schools’ Conference, stated: “Students had forgotten what it is to write. Papers consist of multiple choice questions and other objective questions which don’t really require students to write. This method will actually prod them to think and write. Considering that each question will carry five marks, they can write at least 500 words per answer.”

CBSE has also taken adequate measures in order to educate teachers about the nature and objectives of the open book exam.

The text material for OTBA

  • The text material made available by CBSE is 12-18 pages long for each individual subject.


  • The material provided includes illustrations and diagrams.


  • The text material for each individual subject is segmented into two distinct themes.


  • The themes include topics from both existing syllabi and recent events.


  • Themes in Mathematics are discussed about distance and area through planning of garden perimeter.


  • Last years Uttarakhand tragedy has also been included in the theme “Environment and Development”.

Also See : CBSE OPEN Book Exam System

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