Amidst complaints among CBSE class XII students over the “difficulty level” of their mathematics examination, the board has called some school principals for a meeting to discuss the matter and is also mulling whether to give a relaxation in the marking for the paper.
According to HRD ministry sources, one of the options on the table could also be an “improvement exam”, on which a broader consensus has to be evolved.
Board officials said there have been some changes in the pattern of the paper and that schools may not have been “intimated accordingly” in that regard.
The all-India exam conducted yesterday left students disappointed and concerned as they found the mathematics paper too tough. Teachers also felt that the paper required higher order thinking skills (HOTS) which, as per the examination pattern, forms 10 to 20 per cent of the paper.
“There have been some changes in the question paper pattern and some schools may not have been intimated accordingly. So, we want to ensure that students are not put through any kind of harassment,” said a Central Board of Secondary Education official.
These issues would come up in the meeting with the principals which, the official said, would include “the nature of the questions, the level of difficulty, etc”.
The official also said that an evaluation committee will meet after the exams are over to take stock of the grievances of the students and decide whether any grace marks could be awarded to them. It was also indicated that the question pattern framed was to ensure that there is rationalisation in the marking system.
But some teachers have said that the questions were different from the “traditional pattern”.
“The questions were not out of syllabus, but needed in- depth knowledge and HOTS. It was more of an application-based paper, much different from the traditional pattern of the paper,” said Neha Agarwal, mathematics teacher at The Indian School.
“It wouldn’t be easy scoring a perfect 100, so not only average students, the above average ones too will be affected,” she added.
Radhika Qwatra of Summer Field School, Gurgaon, also shared the concern and said, “A large percentage of the question paper was not from the NCERT textbook, which is the usual pattern followed over years and needed more analytical skills.
Another teacher said, “The high scores achieved by most of the students pose a big challenge for universities during admissions to undergraduate programmes. That could be one of the reasons behind such a question paper.”