Study for OTBA: Develop your Higher Order Thinking Skills
Read to know about some handy tips to ace your OTBA preparation and improve your higher order thinking skills.
Are you appearing for OTBA (Open Text Based Assessment) for the first time? Have you fully understood what OTBA is? Do you know how you should work on your preparation strategy? This article will answer all these questions.
Ace Your OTBA
If you appeared for OTBA earlier but did not clear it, then it is time to identify ‘where and how you missed out last time’. After you stand up and courageously accept responsibility, learning will eventually come your way. It is now time to draw strength from failure. Remember! Success is always noticed; nobody cares about your failure.
OTBA is a great tool to encourage a student’s understanding rather than emphasising on rote learning. For Class 9, OTBA is applicable to the subjects of English, Hindi, Mathematics, Science and Social Science. For Class 11, OTBA is applicable only to the subjects of Economics, Biology and Geography. In other countries, OTBA examinees are allowed to consult their class notes, textbooks and other approved material while answering questions. However, according to the CBSE OTBA, students will be given the study material at the examination centre but will not be allowed to carry their textbooks into the examination hall.
Purpose of OTBA
OTBA tests students’ ability to quickly find relevant information and apply knowledge by thinking critically. The idea is to develop Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) in students and improve their ability to understand and apply concepts.
OTBA question paper
Students will be informed four months in advance about the chapters and paragraphs from which analytical questions would be asked in the test. The OTBA question paper will have a separate section carrying a set of problems based on case studies related to the subject.
Questions in the formative assessment are based on a given theme. You would notice that OTBA questions are open-ended. The purpose here is to encourage students to present their arguments logically, coherently and cogently after going through the text. Due credit is given to the relevance of the student’s content, analysis, logical presentation of arguments and conclusions drawn in the answer. So, students can be subjective in their answers.
OTBA: Some Handy Tips
1. Brush up your concepts well. The chapter on which OTBA is asked should be studied thoroughly not just from the passage given but also all concepts in the textbook.
2. Read the question thoroughly before attempting to write the answer. Spending some time on understanding the twists in the questions will help you answer appropriately.
3. If you think a particular situation can be handled in a better manner, go ahead and give well-illustrated examples to support your claims. Develop divergent thinking skills that think out of the box.
4. When you are answering a question in the OTBA, try to look at the situation from various angles. This will help you get a comprehensive idea of the problem and you will be able to find out a unique way to solve the problem before you.
5. CBSE has already circulated sample papers for OTBA, so make full use of this opportunity to give your best.
OTBA passages are quite lengthy. So, you must be time conscious. Model questions, mock tests and exercises are easily available. Make full use of sample papers. Go through past year papers, and try to make a practical and feasible schedule. If required, seek help from your parents or knowledgeable peers.
While doing OTBA passage-based questions, identify the pattern, manage your time and then tackle the difficult ones. More importantly, read the passage carefully and thoroughly before answering passage-based questions. Finally, remember that problems feed on the disorganised. So, getting organised is perhaps a smart way to prepare for OTBA.
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