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Friendlier, shorter exam papers for CBSE students

Students can expect “friendlier” question papers in subjects that have traditionally caused them stress, starting from this year’s board examinations.

Class X and Class XII students will get 15 minutes “cool-off” time to read and understand questions, which will be fewer in number and contain less sub-sections.

Class X students can expect these changes in their Maths, Social Studies and Science question papers while their Class XII counterparts will encounter “friendlier” Accountancy, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Business Studies and Economics papers.

“For these 10 subjects, we will design the question paper in such a way that it can be answered in two-and-a-half hours. This implies a cut-down in the number of sub-sections in a question. This also means that a paper will not have more than 28 questions,” CBSE chairman Ashok Ganguly said.

Trying to make board examinations less stressful and more flexible, Ganguly explained the rationale behind the 15-minute cool-off: “From the feedback, we are aware that an emphasis on speed in writing answers is primarily responsible for examination stress. We want students to plan out their answers properly.”

Starting this year, students who fail in an additional sixth subject (for class XII) can appear for a compartment exam the same year. “This will ensure that students don’t waste a year,” Pavnesh Kumar, Controller (Exams) said.

Ganguly stated that no school can withhold admit cards on the basis of pre-board examination results or hold more than one pre-board exam. “Pre-boards should not be a cause of undue stress,” he said.


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