By Songbriti Nath

Gone are the days of one final nerve-wracking exam which would decide the fate of students. Colleges across the country have slowly adopted a new and less stressful Continuous Internal Assessment (CIA) system. This allows the college to assess students throughout the year on different areas of the subject, taking weightages of the marks obtained. The system thus keeps students occupied and involved in academic activities all year.

The CIA may include presentations on various topics, written assignments or tests. The students say the CIA encourages them to display their comprehensive abilities which cannot be projected through exams that take place twice in a year. But students also see some flaws in the programme, especially the written assignments which have room for plagiarism. The Hindu EducationPlus sought a feedback on CIAs from students.

Deepa Macharanda, first year Electronic Engineering, CMRIT, Bangalore

CIAs are definitely helpful as they cover the syllabus for the semester exams thoroughly. We have three CIAs totally and the aggregate of best two are taken. So, even if a student fails to perform well in one CIA, he/she still has two chances to perform better. Moreover, CIAs are basically related to the portions of our semester exams, so they reduce a lot of pressure which we usually face during semester exams. If we take our internal assessment seriously, it eases our pressure as the concepts of the chapters will be easier to understand. CIAs also keep us involved in academics all through the year and are a good way of avoiding piling up portions for the last minute. It’s good that we have CIAs because we have huge portions to study and an exam alone would not be a good judge of a student’s abilities.

Bhavana Gowda, third year BBM, Jain College CMS, Bangalore

I feel CIAs have both positive and negative aspects. Practical assessments like presentations are really helpful as they reduce the stage fear a student has and increases the confidence level of the student. However, I feel written assignments are not very helpful because most of the students seek help from the Internet or any other source to get done with the assignment for the sake of marks. In case of presentations they need to read what they are going to present and this is helpful for exams.

Assessments which are conducted in the form of tests for 30 or 50 marks are of great help for the exams. CIAs like tests and presentations make us familiar with the portions of the semester exams and once we perform well in our CIAs, there is no need to panic during exams.

Regina Marian D’Cruz, second year B.A. (Psychology), Mount Carmel College, Bangalore

CIAs are a very good way of keeping students involved in coursework instead of students rushing to make notes or borrow them right before the exam. College is not only about scoring well in the exam; it should also include interactive activities like presentations, internships and written assignments. All these will help us gain experience. CIAs keep us busy and focused on our career.

I want to be a psychologist and for me gaining experience of the work is more important than written exams. CIAs like surveying or experimenting with people and interacting with them gives me a better idea about certain concepts of psychology. CIAs put a certain amount of pressure on us which is helpful for the end-semester exams as we are able to handle the deadlines in the long run.

Arun Davis Soman, second year BBM, St. Joseph’s College of Commerce, Bangalore

As a management student, the elements of presentations and projects in CIAs are very useful for me. In the management field, it is very important to make good presentations and have innovative ideas. CIAs are a good source for expressing our ideas and it also improves our soft-skills.

Working in a team is also very necessary for any management job. CIAs train us to unite and work when it is a group project or presentation. They also develop inter-personal skills of the student as they provide scope to showcase our abilities and ideas. From the exam point of view they help us master the syllabus way before the exam and not procrastinate.

Vishaka Aggrawal, first year, B.Com (Tourism), Christ University, Bangalore

CIAs keep us active and alert all through the year. They boost the confidence level of a student. The more we make presentations and research on a topic, the more our knowledge develops and adds to what the text books provide. As a part of a CIA in tourism studies, I had to visit a restaurant and make a presentation on it. This was really interesting as it gave me a chance to interact with the people and learn how the team works as a whole. Exams alone would not help in nurturing one’s knowledge. Practical experience is very necessary and CIAs provide a space for it. Students who find it difficult to score well in written exams have a chance to perform well in CIAs and get good scores as the marks of the CIAs are taken for the semester exams.

Shahrukh Ali, first year, Computer Science, Dayanand Sagar College of Engineering, Bangalore

Being a student of first year these Continuous Internal Assessments were new and hectic to me initially but later on I got used to them. However, I find written assignments are very time consuming and don’t even help much from the exam point of view. Internal tests conducted on a monthly basis are really good as we don’t need to slog to complete the huge syllabus before the term exams. But a disadvantage of these tests is that they are completely marked by the internal faculty of the college and sometimes marks are biased due to this. Overall, CIAs definitely make us study on a regular basis, which is good.

Courtesy: The Hindu , April 29, 2013




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