Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Friday decided to do away with the Problem Solving Assessment (PSA) test from the mid academic session 2015-2016. The Problem Solving Assessment kick-started in the year 2013 for students studying in class 9 and 11. On Friday afternoon, to the surprise of CBSE school principals, an e-mail came from the CBSE regional office, intimating them of the PSA being dropped with immediate effect.
In PSA the students were asked to solve application-based problems to sharpen their research and analytical skills. K.K. Choudhury, Controller of Examination, in his communication to school principals, said that the board has “decided to do away with the conduct of PSA in classes IX and XI from the session 2015-2016”.
The section of teachers welcomed the move, saying that there was a lot of “ambiguity” and it was a hard assessment to crack. However a teacher of the Bengaluru-based school was of the view that it was a “good experiment” of the board that failed since it did not have clear cut directions.
Since the PSA has been introduced, it has always been in the limelight as it was neither liked by the faculty members nor by the students. The reason was the ambiguous nature of the assessment, especially for the students inclined towards humanities and social sciences subjects. The test was launched with an aim to help students assess their ability to comprehend and process information and did not merely assess the subject matter.
PSA Improvement of Score: Earlier the candidates who did not attend the PSA in class 9 and scored poor marks were allowed to take up a formative assessment test in class 10. As per the new circular issued by the board, the schools have been asked to conduct a formative assessment for students who were in class 9 in 2014-2015 academic session and could not attend the PSA or want to improve their scores.
Deepa Sridhar, principal, Sri Kumaran’s Children’s Home, Bengaluru, said that “she was not happy with the move as she felt that it was a good method for students to analyze their aptitude.” Further she said “Particularly in the light of emphasis given to the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation method, assessments like the PSA would help children as well as us gauge their aptitude.”
What was PSA?
PSA was problem solving assessment which examined three aspects such as language convention, qualitative reasoning and quantitative reasoning. For students of Class 9, Problem Solving Assessment (PSA) was conducted for one language, mathematics, science and social science and has a weightage of 10 per cent of total assessment. So the students had three formative assessment, one PSA and two summative assessment For class 11, the students were issued separate certificate for the PSA assessment.
The students also had an option to improve their PSA score in the next academic session that is when they were in class 10 or class 12 respectively.
It consists of 60 multiple choice questions that carry 60 marks.