The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) launched “Problem Solving Assessment” (CBSE- PSA) for students of Classes IX and XI from the second term of Formative Assessment (FA) 4. The only difference will be that Problem Solving Assessment (PSA) will be conducted by the Board in the respective schools and the evaluation will be done by the Board.
It is primarily aimed at assessing students’ reasoning skills, analytical skills, thinking skills and other higher order mental abilities.
PSA, introduced from the 2012-2013 academic batch in CBSE schools, has an exam paper pattern that consists of 60 multiple choice questions to be answered in 2 hours. PSA tests the students’ reasoning, analytical and logical thinking skills. Divided into qualitative reasoning, quantitative reasoning and language convention, the PSA exam is not based on a specific subject, but rather focuses on testing the students’ problem solving skills.
The poor scores in PSA indicate that a lot more needs to be done in FA and its classroom delivery to achieve desired goals of inculcating critical thinking and decision-making skills in students. The board agrees there is a need to change teaching methodologies as the average marks in PSA are less than 50% while average FA mark is 72% and above.
The average marks in PSA are less than 50% while average FA mark is 72% and above. While the average marks scored in FA in 2012 in both classes IX and XI were 72%, in PSA the same students managed just about 39.6% in January the following year. Similarly, the score in FA in 2013 was 73% but Class XI students got only 44.54% in PSA and it decreased to 40.78% in 2014.
PSA is an aptitude test that can be honed by simulated practice. A focussed approach in continuous practice is what is expected to deliver results for a test such as PSA.
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This article has been written by Arindam Lahiri, Chief Academic Officer of Studymate.