Shorter university exams; more internal marks mooted for upcoming 4 year UG courses in Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram: A committee appointed by the Kerala Government to suggest measures to revamp the university exams has made crucial recommendations such as reducing the duration of written exams and increasing the marks for internal exams.
The recommendations of the committee are expected to be implemented in the four-year undergraduate courses which will be introduced in the coming academic year.
Exams of postgraduate courses could be revised later after the guidelines of the University Grants Commission (UGC) in this regard are announced.

Major suggestions of the panel

  • The exams should test the knowledge of the students, not their skills at memorizing lessons.
  • Reduce the duration of written exams, depending on credit. Many courses will have exams lasting two hours, instead of three.
  • Change the ratio of marks for internal and university exams from 20:80 to 30:70 or 40:60. However, objections have been raised against the proposal for a 40:60 ratio citing the possibility of liberal granting of marks by self-financing institutions.
  • Allow textbooks during internal exams.
  • Many exam-related responsibilities should be handed over to colleges. For instance, colleges could conduct the exams for the first two semesters in undergraduate courses. For postgraduate courses, exams for alternate courses may be organized by the colleges. However, the question papers for these exams should be provided by the university. The university has to conduct the remaining exams.
  • Evaluation should be made onscreen, for which answer sheets have to be scanned and emailed to teachers.
  • Results should be published within 30 days of the exam.
  • All academic processes have to be carried out online, starting from admissions to exams to awarding of degrees. 
  • Barcodes should be introduced in answer sheets.
  • Answer sheets should be sent by e-mail to students who apply for revaluation.
  • A 15-minute cool-off time has to be provided before each exam.
  • Students have to be allotted an identity number based on the Aadhaar card.
  • Issue all certificates within 15 days after an application is submitted. 
  • Introduce a common entrance test for admission to postgraduate courses.

Exam malpractices
The committee has also made an interesting recommendation regarding exam practices. According to the panel, students found copying during the exam should not be expelled from the hall. Instead, their answer sheet has to be collected and a fresh answer sheet issued. 

However, university authorities said that this suggestion could not be imposed as the universities had the authority to take the final decision on the matter.

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