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Impact of Critical Thinking Questions on ICSE Results

Impact of Critical Thinking Questions on ICSE Results

Indian school examinations are experiencing a change with an emphasis, on fostering thinking abilities. This shift signifies a departure from memorization and focuses on the capacity to analyze data solve problems and apply knowledge in practical contexts.

Council members commended the implementation of critical thinking questions noting their impact, on the ICSE and ISC results. Joseph Emmanuel, the head of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) stated that students responded well to the increased inclusion of questions and performed admirably in the exams.

Following the announcement of the results Emmanuel expressed satisfaction with students performance. Highlighted the reception of these questions by both schools and students. He emphasized that further analysis is required to understand their impact.

Emmanuel also pointed out that the positive reception of "higher order questions" reflects positively on the quality of education provided by schools. Many school administrators observed a shift in question patterns this year attributing it to an increase in critical thinking questions across exam papers. Teachers have been actively preparing students for this revised question format using sample papers provided by CISCE.

The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) has been instrumental in driving this evolution. By introducing a proportion of " thinking queries" across diverse subjects they are prompting students to move beyond rote learning. These queries prompt students to engage in analysis assess information from angles and exhibit their comprehension by applying concepts in real life scenarios.

The emphasis on thinking has been well received within institutions signaling a move, towards fostering deeper analytical skills among students.

"In the year 2024 15% of the questions were focused on thinking centering on real life scenarios and practical applications " shared Sangeeta Bhatia, the deputy secretary of the CISCE.

Emmanuel highlighted that questions related to real life situations can better prepare students for adulthood. He mentioned that applying the knowledge acquired in school to situations can significantly enhance students learning experience.

This year the council decided not to release a merit list breaking away, from tradition due to concerns about fostering competition.

For over a decade except during years a merit list has been customary mentioned an official.

Emmanuel explained that a merit list could lead to comparisons and unhealthy competition. The decision was made as it is challenging to differentiate between students solely based on ranks.

The councils head emphasized that there might not be a difference in talent between a student scoring 490 and another scoring 499; it could merely be attributed to luck. The focus is transitioning from learning to competency based assessments.

Several schools reported an improvement, in their class averages compared to year.

Several schools including Modern High School, for Girls, La Martiniere for Girls, The Heritage, Sri Sri Academy and St Augustine’s Day School Shyamnagar have shown improved results.

Damayanti Mukherjee, the principal of Modern High School mentioned that they have been focusing more on critical thinking questions in their school exams over the two years. They advised students against relying on 10 years question papers as they were more knowledge based than application based. The practice exams served as a wake up call for their students.

In West Bengal a total of 42,372 students took the exams from 426 schools. 27,621 students appeared for ISC from 320 schools.

The pass rates in West Bengal stand at 99.22% for ICSE and 97.80%, for ISC.

On the whole incorporating thinking queries in school examinations signifies a positive advancement. This method empowers students with problem solving abilities preparing them not just for academic achievements but also, for the various challenges and opportunities that await them.


In summary the recent adjustments made to the exam format underscore the increasing importance of honing thinking abilities. Real Academy acknowledges this evolution. Actively integrates exercises into our curriculum. Real Academy's Team firmly believe that this approach not readies students, for exam triumph but also equips them with tools for lifelong learning.

Real Academy is committed to delivering cutting edge high quality education services. We provide an array of amenities and resources to support our students ensuring they are well equipped to thrive in the assessments and beyond. We welcome you to explore the offerings at Real Academy for your child and join us in nurturing a cohort of thinkers and future trailblazers.



Q: In 2024 how did the introduction of thinking questions impact the CISCE exams?

A: The addition of thinking questions in the 2024 CISCE exams was intended to evaluate students ability to apply knowledge and analyze real world scenarios. This change was positively received by both schools and students leading to an improvement, in class averages reported by schools.

Q. Why did the ICSE opt not to publish a merit list in 2024?

A. The council voiced concerns regarding fostering competition among students. They believe that a focus, on a merit list emphasizes ranking over the development of skills and competencies.

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