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CBSE Competency Based Questions

CBSE Competency-Based Questions

After the introduction of the National Education Policy of 2020, several changes were made to the CBSE curriculum. One of the most significant changes was the implementation of Competency-based Education. With the implementation of the Competency-based Education methodology, students were given a chance to assess their skills rationally, allowing them to sharpen their creative and critical thinking skills. Competency-based questions are the type of questions that require students to demonstrate their competencies and abilities. This type of question does not require the student to give a factual answer but to demonstrate his skills and abilities.

What are Competency-Based Questions?

Competency-based questions are also known as real-life situations or case study questions. These types of questions test your ability to apply what you have learned rather than testing your memory.

Competency-based questions are both subjective and objective as they assess the students’ understanding of theoretical knowledge through application in real-life situation-based questions. These questions allow students to assess the outcome based on their decision.

Question Pattern

Similar to traditional multiple choice questions (MCQs), Competency-based questions ask you to answer a question by selecting the correct answer from a set of options. In addition, Competency-based questions require you to demonstrate your knowledge and abilities by answering questions according to the criteria.

Competency-based questions include MCQs, case-based questions and even source-based combined questions. According to the new curriculum introduced in the NEP 2020, the question pattern for CBSE Class 9 and 10 will include at least 30% Competency-based questions. At the same time, the rest half will include objective-type questions, short answer and long answer type questions, similar to the old curriculum. Contrarily, 20% of CBSE Class 11 and 12 question papers will comprise competency-based and objective-type questions, and the remaining part will be the short and long answer type questions.

This question pattern will apply to most subjects, including Science, Maths and English.

Marks Allotment

Students need not worry about any changes in the marks allotment system. Under the new curriculum of Competency-based questions, the marks allotment will remain the same. In addition, students will get the same amount of time to answer the questions as before.

Key Features of Competency-Based Question Curriculum

 The new CBSE curriculum focusses on four primary elements that can help students develop their skills and adapt to the challenges of the current time.

  • Equal Opportunity for all students: Under the new curriculum, equal learning opportunities must be provided to all students. Moreover, students must be provided with the necessary resources to help them meet the same goal.
  • Encouraging Individual Learning Needs: The new CBSE curriculum for classes 9 to 12 suggests that teachers and schools must meet students’ individual learning needs. This will allow students to develop their strengths and improve their weaknesses.
  • Mastery-based Progress: The old CBSE curriculum was primarily centred on students’ time in the classroom. However, the new curriculum aims to shift the focus on promoting mastery of skills. Therefore, only students who successfully demonstrate mastery of all necessary skills will be promoted to the next level.
  • Focus on Self and Peer Assessment: The last and most important part of the new Competency-Based question curriculum is self-assessment and assessing the skills of their peers. This process allows students to understand their level of understanding better. Moreover, allowing students to assess their peers help them to develop critical skills.

Advantages of Competency-Based Questions

CBSE has implemented the new Competency-Based questions curriculum to promote rational and high-order thinking skills. The existing CBSE curriculum was focused on the theoretical understanding of students. Meanwhile, the new curriculum takes on a more practical approach to help students bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and its practical application. The new Competency-Based question pattern offers several more advantages to students, such as:


  • Prevents Rote Learning: The main advantage of competency-based questions is that it prevents rote memorisation and forces students to demonstrate their knowledge through application rather than recall.
  • Helps to Develop 21st Century Skills: Competency-based tests yield more useful information about student proficiency, making them ideal for measuring complex skills and knowledge applicable in 21st Century real-world scenarios.
  • Develop Practical Skills: The competency-based curriculum can help students develop crucial practical skills like analytical thinking and critical assessment. In addition, peer assessments will also enhance their social skills.
  • Students Master All Skills: The new CBSE curriculum focuses on developing all skills of students rather than selective skills. In addition, this allows them to have a well-rounded development.
  • Students Can Learn at Their Own Pace: A more customised learning approach under the new curriculum allows students to develop their skills at their own pace. Therefore, this eases the stress of fast-paced learning for students.

How to Prepare for Competency-Based Questions?

Students can easily prepare for competency-based questions by following NCERT books to understand the theoretical knowledge. In addition, you can refer to sample questions of subjects like Maths and Science. Solving sample competency-based questions can help you assess your level of understanding. 


The new CBSE curriculum is based on Competency-based Education, which aims to reduce the students’ dependency on rote learning for good results. The new question pattern of competency-based questions is applicable from the academic year of 2021-2022 and onwards.

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