What is Internal Assessment (20 Marks) in CBSE class 9 and 10

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CBSE has introduced the internal assessment (20 Marks) in all subjects. Now the fact is, CBSE has also introduced a new pattern of Internal Assessment. Most of the parents are not aware of that. They are assuming that schools will award marks on the basis of periodical tests and school notebooks only. But CBSE has changed the format. Here are a few points that every student and parent must know. Let us discuss the same. You can download myCBSEguide App to score high in exams.

Internal Assessment

What is an Internal Assessment?

Internal Assessment (20 Marks) is formative in nature that is conducted within the school premises only. One time year-end examination is complemented and supplemented with Internal Assessment (IA) that assesses students in a diverse manner, at different times and also examines a broad range of curriculum objectives. IA, in effect school-based assessment, plays the dual role of providing a complete picture of students’ abilities or progress towards fulfilling the aims of education and informing teachers’ of students’ progress and therefore supporting classroom learning. It also informs the individual learner about his/ her progress over a period of time enabling them to develop strategies to improve learning.

Parts of Internal Assessment

Internal Assessment has mainly three parts. These are:

  1. Periodic Assessment (10 Marks)
  2. Portfolio (5 Marks)
  3. Subject Enrichment Activities (5 Marks)

As discussed, an internal assessment is formative in nature. The aim of this is to find out areas for improvement and assess the student comprehensively. Let us understand all these points in detail.

Periodic Assessment (10 Marks)

The main purpose of the Periodic Assessment is to assess the learning progress of students. Such Assessment done at regular intervals provides feedback and insight to teachers regarding learners’ needs and helps them to improve instruction, do remedial teaching and set curricular targets for a student or a group of students. The feedback also helps students to know their errors as well as strengths and weaknesses. The students, thus, are enabled for better learning and setting up realistic goals. In essence, this is an assessment for, of and as learning. Periodic Assessment is further divided into the following:

1. Periodic Tests (05 marks): As earlier, these would be restricted to 3 in each subject in an academic year and the average of best 2 would be taken for final submission of marks. These tests tend to follow a pattern, which is quite similar to the final end of course examination and have a gradually increasing portion of content. Hence, they also tend to prepare students for final summative exams in a more confident manner.

2. Multiple Assessment (05 marks): Multiple assessment strategies relevant to particular learning outcomes are advised over the period of curriculum transaction. The subject teachers would determine the type and frequency of these. This would make the assessment more comprehensive and provide schools/teachers flexibility to use multiple and diverse techniques to assess learners. Some examples are as below:

  • Observation
  • Oral Tests
  • Individual or group work
  • Class discussion
  • Field-work
  • Concept maps
  • Graphic organizers
  • Visual representation

Hence, the schools are given autonomy to use alternate modes of assessment as per the demand of the subject and the context towards addressing the goal of assessment for and as learning. Caution must be observed that recording of such assessment is not cumbersome and can be easily translated into individual student scores. Thus, developing simple scoring criteria and rubrics becomes of equal importance when deciding to use a particular technique. In tune with the purpose of periodic assessment i.e. to provide feedback to improve teaching and learning, it becomes of equal importance to use follow-up measures in case students are found deficient in the proficiency of relevant learning outcomes.

Portfolio (5 Marks)

The creation of portfolios is suggested to broaden the scope of learning and achieve diverse curriculum outcomes by examining a range of evidence of student performances being assessed.

What is a portfolio?

  1. A portfolio is a purposeful collection of intentionally chosen student’s work representing a selection of performances that is assembled over time and describes the learner’s efforts, progress, growth and achievement in key areas learning outcomes. It is a tool for assessing a variety of skills not usually testable in a single setting of the traditional written paper and pencil tests. The assessment would include self and peer assessment among others. Its use is recommended as a support to the new instructional approaches that emphasize student’s role in constructing knowledge and understanding.
  2. For a more simple approach in the first year, it is suggested that the portfolio take the form of a journal or notebook that would include besides classwork, students artifacts selected within a coherent framework along with their reflections. Learner here is an active participant involved in constructing his or her journey through the portfolio building process of selecting, organizing and reflecting. In the second year, Schools are expected to develop the portfolios as mentioned above paragraph.
  3. This portfolio can be seen both as a process and as a product: As a product, it holds the performance records and documents, a student has produced during the learning course and represents a collection of their learning achievements. As a process, it enables learners to monitor their own learning systematically, reflect on their performance, redirect their efforts and set future goals.
  4. What purposes does a portfolio serve?
    In a general sense, a portfolio

    1. offers the possibility of assessing more complex and important aspects of a learning areas or subject matter that can’t be assessed through traditional forms of testing;
    2. provides a profile of learner’s abilities – in-depth growth and progress
    3. serves as a concrete vehicle for an ongoing communication or exchange of information and feedback among various stakeholders – students, peers teachers, administrators. It may even be used to compare achievement across classrooms or schools;
    4. serves as a lens and helps to develop among students an awareness of their own learning. The focus on self assessment and reflection helps students to identify their strengths and weaknesses thereby facilitating setting up of realistic improvement goals. The active role that students plays in examining what they have done and what they want to accomplish, not only motivates them but also help to develop metacognitive skills which enable them to make adjustments not only in their learning in school but beyond as well;
    5. provide an opportunity to share own learning with peers and review and give feedback on each other’s work. Peer Assessment thus becomes a great support that further facilitates a clear understanding and evaluation of personal goals;

Thus, a portfolio, on one hand helps to establish a common vision of goals and holistic picture of students learning, on the other, increases accountability and contributes to improved teaching and learning. Enabling review of curriculum and instruction, it may also be seen as a tool for curriculum enhancement.

How to prepare a portfolio?

At the outset, it is important to know why a portfolio is being created and be clear of the purposes without purpose. Without purpose, it simply becomes a catalogue of student’s work. It is suggested that the portfolios be an extension of notebooks developed subject-wise. They would include classwork and homework assignments that would help evaluate learner’s progress. Besides this, portfolio should be a space for the student to display his/her exemplary work in the related area. The attention should be to promote techniques such as annotation, identification of key words / topics / themes, summarization and organization of ideas and content.

The sample of creative work and evidence that demonstrate process skills or development of critical thinking or problem-solving merit inclusion as well. A periodic review of the evidences includes in the portfolio would facilitate self-assessment by learners who would be more aware of their own learning and be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses. The portfolio also provides an opportunity to learners to share and comment on each other’s work. Such peer assessment facilitates understanding of criteria of good work to students. It is advised that such criteria be developed and made clear to students. Initially, this self and peer assessment would be a guided endeavor.

Assessing Portfolios

Students’ portfolio can be effectively evaluated using a simple scoring rubric. The criteria – the factors to be used in determining the quality of a particular student’s portfolio needs to be carefully developed and shared with students. They key elements of the particular criteria need to be specified as well. Suggested are some elements to judge student’s portfolio:

  • Organization – Neatness and Visual Appeal
  • Completion of guided work focused on specific curricular objectives
  • Evidences of student’s growth
  • Inclusion of all relevant work (Completeness)

Teachers can include other subject relevant criteria and elements to assess portfolios.

A Word of Caution: Portfolios need to be developed in an easy to manage form. They need to be meaningful but simple and accessible. Developing them should not be a burden on students- both in terms of cost and time.

Subject Enrichment Activities (5 Marks)

Subject enrichment activities aligned with the secondary school curriculum aimed at the enrichment of understanding and skill development. They provide in-depth learning that motivates students to dig deeper into the discipline. These enrichment activities need to challenge students and permit them to apply knowledge to the next level. These activities become an important instrument to learn the processes by which knowledge is generated in a particular discipline. They ought to provide an opportunity to students to explore their own interests as well along with an understanding of the nature of particular discipline. It is important that the Subject Enrichment Activities be conducted with rigour and focus. Some suggestions for this are as follows:

  • Languages: Listening and Speaking skills
  • Maths and Science: Experiments and Lab work
  • Social Science: Project work

Languages provide ample space and autonomy to subject teachers to develop relevant listening and speaking skills. Teachers need to use this opportunity to full advantage and use excerpts from relevant suitable literature to develop vocabulary and heighten students’ awareness and sensitivity.

The specified activities in practical work in Science and Mathematics need to be conducted in the investigatory spirit incongruence to be the spirit of the subject. The focus must shift from confirmatory nature of lab experiments to explorations that focus on the development of science processes. Students need to be encouraged to raise questions, generate hypotheses, experiment, innovate and find solutions to questions/problems encountered.

The discipline of Social Science puts the responsibility on concerned teachers to facilitate students to design and execute relevant projects. It is suggested that social science being the subject relevant to social context, projects be related to Art and culture and include the development of Life Skills too. Art is not only about self – expression but is more about perceptions a special way of understanding and responding to work. Exploring into ideas and meanings through the works of artists/ experts/ writers/ poets, the students would develop imagination and critical awareness.


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