Karnataka introduces internal evaluation for PU students in subjects without practical exams; experts wary

The move is aimed at reducing the exam anxiety and stress among students, besides helping them develop professional skills.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Jul 11, 2023 | 7:55 PMUpdatedJul 11, 2023 | 7:55 PM

Karnataka PU Board Exams

In a bid to remove exam anxiety and stress among students, the Karnataka government has decided to introduce an internal evaluation for 20 marks in pre-university subjects that do not have practical examinations.

The decision, made based on a proposal by the director, Department of Pre-university, will be implemented from the ongoing 2023-24 academic year. It is expected to promote a comprehensive evaluation approach.

By reducing test anxiety and stress, the government hopes to provide students with a more holistic assessment and foster the development of their professional skills. The move also seeks to establish uniformity in student performance across subjects.

The new evaluation system will be implemented for core subjects such as Mathematics, Economics, Business Studies, Languages, and others, while subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Electronics, Computer Science, Home Science, and National Skills Qualification Framework subjects will retain the 70+30 pattern.

However, private candidates and repeaters will have to take an exam for 100 marks.

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Project works to carry 10 marks

Of the total 20 internal marks, 10 will be awarded based on the average of the first- and second-unit tests, as well as the mid-term exam. The project works and assignments will decide the remaining 10 marks. The new pattern will be implemented for both PU-I and II courses.

“As many as 37 subjects, including languages are being offered to PU students. Each student has to mandatorily opt for six subjects including two languages,” an official said.

“The new pattern will be applicable to all non-practical subjects. The theory paper will be of 80 marks instead of 100,” he said.

“At present, practical exams for 30 marks are being conducted for Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Electronics, Computer Science, Home Science, NSQF (National Skills Qualification Framework) subjects, Carnatic and Hindustani Music. The examination pattern for these subjects will continue,” he added.

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Move to sharpen skills

Stating that the new examination pattern is being introduced to reduce pressure on students, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Madhu Bangarappa said: “The decision to introduce internal evaluation as a component of PU exams is motivated by several key objectives.”

“First and foremost, it aims to alleviate the burden of test anxiety and stress on students, fostering a more conducive learning environment,” he told reporters in Bengaluru on Tuesday, 11 July.

“By including internal assessment, students will be encouraged to take class quizzes and mid-year examinations more seriously, and thereby enhance their overall academic engagement.”

“Additionally, the government hopes that the internal evaluation system will nurture students’ professional skills, thereby preparing them for their future endeavours. The students can easily score 20 marks in internal assessment and can prepare for board exams carrying 80 marks,” Bangarappa explained.

“The students will go to schools and colleges with a mentality to prepare for final exams. It shouldn’t happen,” he opined.

“This initiative will motivate them to study throughout the year, instead of only for examinations. Their way of thinking and attitude towards studies should change,” the minister added.

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Expert wary of new pattern

Responding to the state government’s move, academic experts urged the government and officials concerned to consult students before making such decisions.

“This is not a new system. It was in place earlier. It needs a lot of preparation before introducing a new evaluation pattern. The board exams are held for 100 marks,” academician Niranjan Aradhya told South First.

“The internal assessment has to be more objective than subjective. The government must consult either all stakeholders before making such unilateral decisions. These kinds of unilateral decisions might push children into vulnerable situations,” Aradhya stated.

“When the government entrusts the institution with the entire 20 marks it might prove complex for a few students to score full marks,” he said.

“In a few cases, there are chances of the faculty targeting students for asking critical questions in the class. Teachers may not take the questions in the right spirit and might reduce the marks,” Aradhya added.

He urged the government to provide PU colleges with proper infrastructure such as good libraries to help students to write assignments.

“This is a good initiative. This new pattern will help students to improve their performance,” Archana Pradeep, Principal of the Mysore Institute of Commerce and Arts, told South First

“It will mainly reduce the burden/pressure on students. However, it will be challenging for the faculty to get students to write assignments. This pattern already exists in schools and degree courses,” she added.