The last academic year witnessed the participation of 38,322 students in a diverse array of examinations, spanning the Bhutan Higher Secondary Examination Certificate (BHSEC), Bhutan Certificate of Secondary Education (BCSE), Language and Cultural Studies Certificate (LCSC) for both Class X and XII, and the Competency-Based Assessment (CBAT) for Class VIII, excluding the Competency-Based Assessment for Class VI.
This year reflects a significant surge in student enrollment, with an impressive total of 46,764 students anticipated to engage in examinations. Notably, this includes 10,143 students in BHSEC XII, 10,561 in BCSE X, 167 in LCSC XII, 45 in LCSC X, 14,913 in the Competency-Based Assessment or Common Exam for Class VIII, and 10,935 in the Competency Based Assessment for Class VI. However, it is crucial to recognize that these figures are provisional and subject to change, as they might be influenced by potential last-minute dropouts. The educational landscape is evidently dynamic, reflecting the evolving participation of students across various examination levels in Bhutan.
In light of the observed improvements in past performances, Bhutan Council for School Examinations and Assessments (BCSEA) anticipates a positive trend in this year’s results. This optimism stems from the recent transition from traditional question formats to competency-based assessments.
“This shift not only encourages students to delve deeper into their acquired knowledge but also provides them with opportunities to explore beyond the conventional curriculum,” said Mr. Kinley Dorji, Officiating Controller of Examination.
Furthermore, to familiarize students with the new assessment format and to promote a more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter, BCSEA has introduced trial papers this year. They were specially designed to serve as valuable practice materials for the board examinations.
Mr. Kinley Dorji also mentioned that it is noteworthy to mention that while the trial paper prepared by BCSEA possesses a comprehensive rationale, it can nonetheless function as a valuable practice examination for our students. That is one reason why BCSEA says they anticipate better performance this year.
“We appreciate the dedication of students and teachers in adapting to these changes, and we look forward to witnessing the positive impact of these efforts on the academic outcomes of our students,” added Mr. Kinley.
The BCSEA introduced Competency-Based Assessment (CBAT) for classes VII and VI in 2016. There has been a recent shift in policy, making CBAT a common exam for class VIII last year and for class VI this year, each with distinct programs serving different purposes.
Previously, BCSEA used CBAT to formulate questions for year-end examinations in classes VIII and VI. These questions were then distributed to schools, where examinations were conducted, papers assessed, and results declared. However, there has been a significant policy change, directing BCSEA to conduct CBAT as common examinations, similar to other high-stake examinations of BHSEC and BCSE.
On the other hand, National Educational Assessment (NEA) that was introduced in the year 2021, is a large-scale assessment that evaluates the health of education and provides recommendations for system improvement. Conducting NEA requires a significant budget and typically spans three to four years for one cycle. BCSEA undertakes NEA for classes VI and III.