The Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) Class 12 mathematics exam on Monday left students in tears with most of them claiming they couldn’t complete it on time as it was lengthy. The board was flooded with online complaints about the daunting paper for the March 14 exam and faced flak too over a reported question leak in the Patna region. In lieu of this, CBSE issued circular stating that the feedback received from students, subject teachers and examiners will be placed before the committee of subject experts. Thereafter remedial measures could be in the form of lenient checking. Board officials said students will get marks for following correct steps to solve a problem even if they failed to get the answer right.
CBSE Board, last year, also had drawn criticism for setting a difficult maths paper. The committee of subject experts reworked the marking scheme when answer-scripts were checked. Students, who demanded a retest or grace marks to compensate for the difficulty level, said the 2016 paper was tougher than last year’s exam.
So as not to face the same problem from the following year, Board has decided to appoint experts who would review the current question paper ‘design’, that is, the proportion of marks carried by various kinds of questions: long or short, difficult or easy. From the next year, it is expected that Central Board of Secondary Education will reduce the number of difficult questions and those that require long answers. This is not so the complaints have been pouring in since the board changed the question pattern last year, apportioning more marks to the tougher questions that need to be worked out at length.
How is it possible that the Board takes the decision and the Principal or the pupils and their parents do not raise their opinion? So they are of the view that the question papers should retain a level of difficulty to enable students to make better career choices. That the board should come up with two sets of mathematics papers, one for those seeking a career in engineering or science and the other for the rest of the examinees. This is so because all the learning achievement surveys suggest that most students are not doing well in mathematics. So, there could be two sets of questions.
The government has promised that the allegations that the mathematics paper was too difficult and that questions had been leaked in Bihar/Jharkhand will be investigated and proper action would be taken. However as per the Board sources, the subject expert committee is looking into the complaints about the paper’s level of difficulty. The government has not asked for a new committee. The board has ruled out a question leak.
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