The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is streamlining and improving the delivery mechanism of its popular Students Global Aptitude Index (SGAI) test by outsourcing its end stage process. SGAI is conducted only for Std X students with the aim of helping them decide which stream (Science, Commerce, Arts) they are best suited for. Now with over one lakh students appearing for this optional test, the board wants to ensure that the entire process is handled efficiently. It has invited tenders from firms to develop software that will assess, generate and print the final reports.
SGAI is scheduled for November and CBSE is hopeful of choosing a firm before that. The final assessment report has to be delivered to students by December, so they can make up their mind for Std XI academic stream well in advance. SGAI test initiative, being spearheaded by one of CBSE's long serving employee and official spokesperson Rama Sharma, is of 90-minute duration and is divided into two parts - aptitude battery and interest profile. The aptitude battery has five sub-tests of 15-20 items each under Science aptitude, Mathematical/Numerical aptitude, Social Science aptitude, Behavioural Science aptitude and Creative/Art aptitude. Interest Profile will have 20-25 items.
SGAI's concept is in tune with the core philosophy of CBSE's Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) introduced in 2009. CCE is all about making the evaluation more comprehensive and continuous to assess both scholastic and co-scholastic abilities of students. A statement by the board points out that "as learner's readiness to take an examination has become paramount, the examination reforms were a logical consequence. Assessment for learning was to be a major shift in the extant paradigms of examination oriented learning. A major step of reform in this direction was making the board examination in Std X optional especially when the certificate is not very important for further continuance of studies."
Based on individual differences, SGAI is used to assess five aptitudes together with interest. While this assessment is only an indicator or a facilitator, it helps parents, teachers and students to start thinking about academic choices in Std XI. The CBSE statement further adds that "the results of SGAI taken together with the student's assessment from other sources should help students and parents make informed choices. SGAI assessment may depend upon child's environmental stimulus and motivation level for which mental preparedness and sincere responses are prerequisites."