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Problem Solving Assessment (PSA) for Class IX in the second term

It is a widely acknowledged fact that research and analytical skills, ability to apply basic concepts of different subjects, solve application based problems in Mathematics and Science, comprehend and analyse written text and effective communication are the skills which ensure success in Higher Studies and Professional areas.These dimensions of 21st Century life skills will greatly assist learners in acquiring higher order thinking skills such as Problem Solving and Decision Making.
It is in this connection that the Board is planning to initiate a `Problem Solving Assessment’ (CBSE-PSA) for students of Classes IX from the second term of this session 2012-13.

The features of the ‘Problem Solving Assessment’ (CBSE-PSA) will be as follows: –

1. It will be compulsory for all students of Classes IX and carry 90 marks. There will be 60 items of MCQ type.

2. It will assess the following areas:-

  • Quantitative Reasoning (found in mathematics, science and technology)
  • Qualitative Reasoning (found in humanities, arts and social sciences)
  • Language Conventions

There is no specific syllabus for Problem Solving Assessment (CBSE-PSA).

3. The items will incorporate aspects of 21 Century Skills (Creative Thinking, Decision Making, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Communication) that leads to success at Secondary Stage. They should be able to assess student’s ability to process, interpret and use information rather than assess student’s prior subject matter knowledge.

4. The Assessment will contain items that will assess written expression, including grammar and usage, vocabulary in context and passage-completion.

5. The test items will be so designed that they will also help in improving scores within the core school subjects as the Problem Solving Assessment test items are designed to improve generic and higher order thinking skills.

6. The items will be able to assess students ability. The test items will be so designed that they will also help in improving scores within the core school subjects as the Problem Solving Assessment test items are designed to improve the generic skills.

7. The ‘Problem Solving Assessment’ (CBSE-PSA) will be done during the month of January – February 2013 for students of Class IX. The ‘Problem Solving Assessment’ (CBSE-PSA) will be counted towards FA-4 which is 10% of total assessments of Class IX.

8. This assessment will also be carried forward towards the FA-4 in Class X. This score will be reflected in one Language( English or Hindi), Mathematics, Science and Social Science w.e.f the session 2012-2013 for Class IX and 2013 – 14 for Class X. The same score will be reflected in FA-4 for class IX and Class X.

9. The students will have the option to improve their PSA Score in Class X, as they can sit for the test with Class IX students of the Session 2013-2014 in January – February 2014. The best scores will be reflected in the final certificate in case of those applying for improvement.

10. The schools which have already planned their time table and other details regarding FA-4 will take the best scores of FA-3 and FA-4 to count towards the total 10%, now available for FA-3 and FA-4 taken together.

11. There will be no separate time tables or periods for teaching or practice of PSA in schools.

Format Class XI Development Numbers for Items and Passages for the 2 forms of the CBSE-PSA

Test Context Domain/ Item Type

Target No. per Test Form

No. of Items

No. of Passages Total No. of Items


  • Stand-alone MCQs
  • Passage-based MCQs








  • Stand-alone MCQs
  • Passage-based MCQs







Language Conventions

  • Grammar & Usage MCQs
  • Vocabulary in Context MCQs
  • Passage-completion MCQs










For details visit CBSE circular PSA


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