CBSE assessment framework for Science, Mathematics and English for Class 6-10A suggested assessmentframework for CBSEscience, mathematicsand English forclasses 6 to 10www.britishcouncil.in1
2CBSE assessment framework for Science, Mathematics and English for Class 6-10Submitted to the British Council by AlphaPlusA leading education assessment consultancy based inManchester, EnglandJanuary 2021Commercial in confidence.
CBSE assessment framework for Science, Mathematics and English for Class 6-103ContentsAbout the partners5Foreword6CBSE assessment specifications8High level design principles for CBSE end of year VI-X assessments11English15Assessment objectives – English reading16CBSE End of year test assessment specification17CBSE End of year test assessment specification19CBSE end of year test assessment specification23CBSE tests learning ladder – English27CBSE example assessment item: English VI40CBSE example assessment item: English reading VII43CBSE example assessment item: English reading VIII46CBSE example assessment item: Class IX - Reading - Q150CBSE example assessment item: Class IX - Reading - Q352CBSE example assessment item: Class IX - Reading - Q454CBSE example assessment item: Class X - Literature - Q256CBSE example assessment item: Class X - Literature - Q358CBSE example assessment item: Class X - Reading - Q761Mathematics65Assessment objectives – Mathematics66CBSE end of year test assessment specification: Class VI68CBSE end of year test assessment specification: Class VII74CBSE end of year test assessment specification: Class VIII79CBSE end of year test assessment specification: Class IX85CBSE end of year test assessment specification: Class X91CBSE tests learning ladder – Maths97CBSE example assessment item – Maths-6-paper 1-prime factors123CBSE example assessment item: Maths-6-paper 1-construction124CBSE example assessment item – Maths-7-paper 1-percentageloss and ratio126CBSE example assessment item – Maths-7-Paper 1-algebra128CBSE example assessment item – Maths-8-paper 2-area of a circle130CBSE example assessment item – Maths-9-paper 1-identify irrational number 132CBSE example assessment item: Maths-9-paper 2 – estimating probability134CBSE example assessment item – Maths-10-paper 1- find sum of an AP136
4CBSE assessment framework for Science, Mathematics and English for Class 6-10CBSE example assessment item – Maths-10-paper 2- use trigonometricratios138CBSE example assessment item – Maths-10-paper 2- find volume ofcompound shape140Science143Assessment objectives – Science144CBSE end of year test assessment specification: Class VI145CBSE end of year test assessment specification: Class VII148CBSE end of year test assessment specification: Class VIII151CBSE end of year test assessment specification: Class IX154CBSE end of year test assessment specification: X158CBSE tests learning ladder – Science162CBSE example assessment item - Science-class 6-plant growth216CBSE example assessment item – Science-9-velocity time graph221CBSE example assessment item - Science- Class X-plant growth224Acknowledgements228
CBSE assessment framework for Science, Mathematics and English for Class 6-10About the partnersCentral Board of Secondary EducationThe Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is a national Board underthe Ministry of Education, Govt. of India. The Board has more than 25,000schools affiliated to it in India and overseas, in 25 countries. These includethe Kendriya Vidyalayas, the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, Central TibetianSchools, Schools run/aided by the State Governments and Private Schools.The Board’s main objective is to encourage quality education focussed onholistic development of learners. It motivates schools and teachers to adoptlearner centric enquiry based pedagogies and use innovative methodsto achieve academic excellence. The Board is committed to providing astress-free learning environment that will develop competent, confident andenterprising citizens who will promote harmony and peace in the world.British CouncilThe British Council builds connections, understanding and trust betweenpeople in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education andthe English language. We help young people to gain the skills, confidence andconnections they are looking for to realise their potential and to participate instrong and inclusive communities. We support them to learn English, to get ahigh-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications.Our work in arts and culture stimulates creative expression and exchange andnurtures creative enterpriseAlphaPlusAlphaPlus is a leading education assessment consultancy based inManchester, England. AlphaPlus works across schools, vocational andprofessional markets both internationally and in the UK to deliver projects fora large number of clients each year. We work in partnership with our clients toensure that we deliver educationally valid solutions that meet their needs. Wework with partner organisations and our expert associates to support ourcore staff to ensure high levels of expertise that deliver outcomes whichimprove teaching, learning and assessment, based on sound evidence andbest practice.5
6CBSE assessment framework for Science, Mathematics and English for Class 6-10ForewordWe are honoured to partner with the Central Board of SecondaryEducation to bring you this publication. We want to acknowledgehere the amazing work done by CBSE teachers who joined theglobal teaching community in shifting from face-to-faceclassrooms to virtual classrooms almost instantaneously inresponse to the Covid-19 pandemic closures.I would also like to thank the AlphaPlus team of UK experts whoworked collaboratively with CBSE to create this publication, andthe British Council project team for their overall management ofthe project.This publication is a part of the CBSE competency-basededucation project and supports the assessment of NCERTrecommended learning outcomes. High quality assessment,curriculum and pedagogy are the golden triangle of anyeducation system and when these are made available to youngpeople in an enabling environment it has a profound impact onlearning outcomes. This project focuses on two of the threecritical areas, assessment and pedagogy, and is aligned to theNCERT curriculum.India has already set out to achieve its knowledge ambitionsthrough the new National Education Policy 2020. This sets out theroad map India has chosen for itself on this journey as it shifts itsfocus from access to high quality education and innovationpromoting conceptual and deep learning.Education is one of the key pillars of cultural relations and animportant aspect of the British Council’s work in India and acrossthe world. We hope that this project will truly transform youngpeople’s experience of assessment and learning in CBSE schoolsacross the country and we look forward to the opportunity towork with the Ministry of Education in the future.All the best and happy teaching!Barbara Wickham OBEDirector India, British Council
CBSE assessment framework for Science, Mathematics and English for Class 6-10ForewordCentral Board of Secondary Education with more than 25,000schools in its network, in both rural and urban settings, has beencommitted to excellence in education. Since inception, the Boardhas been taking initiatives to meet the continually evolvingrequirements of the changing school education system.The shift to the digital world and the recent pandemic hasdramatically altered ways of teaching and learning. In thedigitalised global world, the use and application of knowledge bylearners has become of crucial importance. Competency BasedEducation (CBE) is an alternative to ensure a future readygeneration proficient in relevant skills. CBSE with its focus onholistic education is facilitating this progression to CBE wherelearners would gain mastery of 21st century skills.It becomes critical to reinvent the ways of teaching and learningin the classrooms. CBSE in partnership with British Council hasinitiated a systematic process to progressively move towards acompetency-based education and assessment process. Underthis project, an intervention for Science, Math and English(Reading) from classes 6 – 10 is planned which aims to strengthensystem capacity; orient teachers to adopt relevant pedagogy,design and deliver competency-based assessments; and create aconducive environment that facilitates high-quality competencybased education.CBSE is working towards a seamless transition to CBE for whichpolicy-makers, school regulators and teachers are on-board aschampions of change. It is intended that the resources and toolsto implement their learning on the ground developed as a part ofthis programme will be made available as widely as possiblethrough digital and physical means.I would like to thank British Council for coming forward to partnerwith CBSE in this ever-important agenda.Manoj AhujaChairman, CBSE7
8CBSE assessment framework for Science, Mathematics and English for Class 6-10CBSE assessmentspecificationsThis document sets out the approach we have takento the design of the assessment specifications for theCBSE end of class tests and how the documentsproduced can be used by CBSE and teachers tocreate tests which meet the demands of the relevantaspects of the NCERT curriculum and CBSEsyllabuses.1.1. RemitAlphaPlus were commissioned by the British Councilto design and create assessment specificationsbased on the NCERT curriculum for English reading,maths and science for CBSE. The specifications wererequired to cover classes 6-10 end of class writtentests and were to use the CBSE syllabus documentsas a basis for the content to be assessed against theNCERT curriculum.This work is the second of a series of five projectscommissioned by the British Council in India to helpsupport a transition to a competency-basededucation and assessment system. The first projectwas a review of the current assessment approachcarried out by UK NARIC. The third and fourthprojects will involve upskilling assessment designersand item writers and producing a bank of questionswhich can be used by CBSE and/or teachers tocreate the end of class tests. The final project is tosupport teachers in moving to a pedagogy whichsupports the aims of the NCERT curriculum.1.2. ApproachThe NCERT curriculum is based on a series oflearning outcomes and pedagogical approaches withsome examples of content/context suggested. Thefocus of the curriculum is on the students developinga broad range of skills within the relevant subjectareas which support their progression in school andmore widely as global citizens.These learning outcomes set out at a relatively highlevel the skills that students are expected to be ableto demonstrate and are written in a way that facilitatethe teaching of the content of any of the differentIndian exam boards. In other words the NCERTcurriculum is not a definitive national curriculumwhich sets out what should be taught in each of theclasses for each subject.The intention of the NCERT curriculum is thatstudents should develop higher order thinking skillsthat better prepare them for later life, rather than afocus on learning of facts. Whilst the NCERTcurriculum is well known to teachers it is notuniversally well understood and there is a significantamount of teaching practice which still focuses onstudents learning facts and teaching to the text bookrather than developing these broader skills.In commissioning AlphaPlus to produce assessmentspecifications for a suite of end subjects for CBSE theBritish Council expects that the tests which will beproduced (using items created in a later project) willencourage teachers to focus on higher orderthinking skills and move away from rote learning. Theexpectation is that there will be a positive washbackeffect from the assessments on the pedagogyemployed by teachers. This change will also besupported by the final project which will producelearning resources and train teachers on the bestway to deliver the NCERT curriculum intentions.1.2.1. Defining the assessment contentThe first step in the process was to review the NCERTcurriculum and identify how the relevant CBSEsyllabus which sets out the content to be taughtcould be married to the curriculum. This mappingproduced a ‘Learning Ladder’ which identified bothpedagogy and learning outcomes from the NCERTcurriculum which is then aligned with the contentfrom the CBSE syllabus. This learning ladder ispresented so that the assessment content is linkeddirectly to the NCERT curriculum which will facilitateamendments to be made if the curriculum changes infuture.As part of the initial review of the NCERT curriculumthe learning outcomes and pedagogical approachesrelated solely to writing, listening and speaking skillswere removed from the English reading learningladder as the assessment focusses solely on readingskills.
CBSE assessment framework for Science, Mathematics and English for Class 6-1091.2.2. Creating design principlessignificantly increases the length of the assessment.As the first stage in a series of projects (of which thedesign of the assessment specifications is thesecond) the British Council had contracted UK NARICto review the approach taken by CBSE to the designof their standard X exams. This review produced areport detailing the strengths and weaknesses of theapproach when compared to other internationalexamples. It identified a number ofrecommendations which CBSE could adopt in orderto strengthen its assessment approach. This reportand the recommendations were then used to identifythe high level approach to the design of theassessments. These became the high level designprinciples against which the assessmentspecifications were created.For maths the need to assess students’ abilities touse a calculator and in mental maths means that twoseparate assessments are required. The mentalmaths skills are more important in lower classes soare more heavily weighted in these classes andhence the non-calculator tests are longer. Forclasses 9 and 10 the non-calculator assessments areproportionally shorter but for all classes there is atotal time of 2 hours split across two assessments.1.2.3. Producing the assessmentspecificationsThe assessment specifications were designed tosample the assessment content set out in thelearning ladders and using the design principles. Thesize of the assessment and the length of time allowedare a balance between sampling enough content toallow the assessments to be valid and show whatstudents know and can do and not being so long thatthe administration of the assessments is a burden forboth the student and the school to deliver. Theassessments are generally shorter for lower classesas there is less content to sample and shorter testsare more reasonable for younger students.Assessment objectives specific for each subject werecreated using the learning outcomes in the NCERTcurriculum as a starting point to identify the highlevel skills which needed to be assessed. Theseassessment objectives are similar to those used inother international qualifications for 11 to 16 year oldstudents and are applied to all classes, though theproportion varies for each class. Generally, there area greater proportion of higher order thinking skillsassessed in classes 9 and 10 than in the lowerclasses.Each subject takes a slightly different approachbecause of the nature of the subject and the skillsand content that they need to cover.For English the focus on assessing reading meansthe assessments are relatively shorter in classes 6-8than the other subjects as teachers would also beexpected to assess student’s listening, speaking andwriting skills. This changes at class 9 with theintroduction of literature skills into the assessmentand with more extended response questions whichIn science the emphasis is on assessing the ability ofstudents to apply their knowledge and analyse dataand evaluate information and this increases inclasses 9 and 10. Aspects of practical skills can beassessed in written tests but the students ability tomanipulate equipment and carry out practicalprocedures cannot be assessed in a written test sothese skills should be assessed by the teacherthrough lab books, projects and practicalassessments.1.2.4. Creating example itemsIn order to illustrate the approach to be taken whencreating the actual assessments some exemplaritems were created. These illustrate the types ofquestions which can be used and the way in whichquestions can be linked together, particularly inEnglish with common sources used and in sciencewith questions linked to a common theme.The items also demonstrate the approach to markingusing both point based mark schemes and level ofresponse mark schemes for extended responsequestions. The level of response mark schemes usedin English reading and science are generic and willbe used throughout the assessment items producedfor that subject with changes to the indicativecontent for each question.1.3. DocumentsThe following documents exist: Learning Ladder – sets out the content for eachclass for each subject Assessment objectives – set out the skills to beassessed and the proportion of marks for each Assessment specification – sets out the guidancefor test duration, number of marks, contentcoverage, question types, mark scheme approachand rubric requirements. Example items – illustrate the types of items which
10CBSE assessment framework for Science, Mathematics and English for Class 6-10can be used and how they can be grouped.1.4. Using the documents to create testsThe assessment specification and the learning laddershould be used to identify the specific topic areaswhich will be covered in an assessment and the itemwriters should then be commissioned to produceitems which meet the required content andassessment objectives. This step is the creation ofthe detailed blue print for a specific test. This isbeyond the design of the assessment specificationand hence the scope of this project.If a bank of items are created then items can betagged with metadata showing content andassessment objectives coverage and this can beused to select items from the bank to meet therequirements, though it is likely that a small numberof items may need to be commissioned to completethe tests to ensure a balanced content andassessment objectives coverage is achieved.The example items would serve as a guide to itemwriters on the style and type of questions which canbe used to cover specific assessment objectives.1.5. AcknowledgementsAlphaPlus would like to acknowledge the support ofCBSE in producing these assessment frameworkdocuments and specifically the following subjectexperts who reviewed the learning ladders andprovided invaluable feedback and answered queriesabout the content.Ms. Meera Bhardwaj, Ms. Ruchi Senagar andDr. Praggya M. Singh for English.Ms. Sapna Makan, Sh. Rahul Sofat andDr Subash Chand Garg for maths.Ms. Mridula Arora, Ms. Arti Wadhwa, Dr. Arpan KrishnaDeb and Dr. Sweta Singh for science.
CBSE assessment framework for Science, Mathematics and English for Class 6-1011High level design principles forCBSE end of year VI-X assessmentsThis document sets out the high-level designprinciples for the CBSE end of year tests for classesVI, VII, VIII, IX and X. These assessments are end ofyear tests and are designed to assess the content ofthe NCERT curriculum for that class and for class IXand X the relevant content of the CBSE syllabus.1.1. Aim and underpinning principlesThe design of the assessments will take into accountthe review of the CBSE Standard X syllabus andassessments carried out by UK NARIC where theyhave made a number of recommendations whichwould also be relevant to end of year summativetests for class VI-X. These are: Create subject specific assessment objectives Assess a more significant proportion of higherorder thinking skills such as analysis andevaluation Reduce the
4 CBSE assessment framework for Science, Mathematics and English for Class 6-10 CBSE example assessment item – Maths-10-paper 2- use trigonometric ratios 138 . The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is a national Board under the Ministry of