CBSE Introduced Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) Questions

The Central Board of Secondary Education has revised the design of question papers in all the major subjects of Classes XII and X to assess Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) in children. The revised edition will focus on the development of evaluating and analytical skill of a person rather than memorizing skills.

HOTS, as the name suggests, focuses on thinking skills and tries to move beyond rote learning. The focus of the question paper this year was to measure students' abilities to reason, justify, analyse, process and evaluate information.

It's all about going beyond textbooks and widening the horizons of students. HOTS is basically a concept wherein we are concentrating on application-based questions and discouraging rote-learning. The problem lies in the fact that neither coaching institutes nor guides focus on application. The aim of education is to ensure that students should know how to use the knowledge acquired to real-life situations.

According to Bloom's Taxonomy, education has four pillars — knowledge, understand-ing, skill and application. Our education system faulters at the last one and HOTS is an attempt to work on application skills of students. The aim is that students should be able to construct knowledge and that is what HOTS is all about.

Mr Ganguly, Chairman CBSE states, "The aim of the new pattern is to develop the critical thinking and analytical skills of the pupils... Besides testing understanding of information, the focus will be on measuring students' abilities to reason, justify and evaluate information."

In the newly designed paper about 10 per cent questions will be very short answer type and about 20 per cent questions will assess HOTS. The subjects in which HOTS will be implemented are: Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, Political Science, History and Economics in Class XII and Languages, Social Science, Mathematics and Science in Class X.

Sample question papers developed on the new design have been published. They are also available on the CBSE website. The format of the question paper will include very short answer type, short answer type, and long answer type questions. These sample papers contain the blueprint of questions, providing marking schemes and helping students learn about the pattern of questions and the weight assigned to different topics. If a student scores 100% in this paper, then he's really the best.

Meanwhile, from 2008 onwards five chances will be given to clear paper through compartment examinations. Up to 2007 only 3 opportunities were being given.

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