CBSE’s decision to do away with sample papers for the class XI and XII students from next year has evoked mixed response in the State.

Indira Rajan, State general secretary, Kerala CBSE School Managements Association, has welcomed the move pointing out that it would help stundents have a more comprehensive and rounded education rather than limiting their preparations to just a few set of questions.

Ms. Rajan said based on her interactions with CBSE Chairman Vineet Joshi she had come to learn that the printed sample questions would be replaced by an exhaustive list of questions in all subjects covering the entire textbook and syllabus that can be downloaded from the website.

“It had emerged that the sample question papers were not helping students to get thoroughly acquainted with textbooks. It also gave rise to constant complaints of exams being tough whenever questions deviated from the pattern followed in sample question papers,” she said.

Ms. Rajan said a national level study had revealed that students preparing based on sample question papers were not able to perform well in competitive exams that called for in-depth knowledge of subjects.

Maya Mohan, principal, Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Vaduthala, said sample question papers often prompted students to stick to a definite pattern. “So when they come across questions that explored the scope of textbooks and the syllabus or even adopted a different methodology from what has been followed in sample question papers, it led to an uproar of questions being asked from out of syllabus ,” she said.

Ms. Mohan said that it may prompt teachers to be more creative and original rather than simply following the pattern of sample question papers. “CBSE’s move should be seen as an attempt to prepare students for a more global kind of education,” she said.

However, Geetha Lakshmi, principal of Rani Public School, Vadakara, felt the presumption that sample papers were the reason why more students were able to score marks in excess of 90 per cent seemed far fetched. “Our school does not excessively depend on sample question papers but still has been able to produce students who scored in excess of 90 and 95 per cent marks. Anyway questions at board exams do not always follow the pattern of sample papers as the mathematics and physics papers in the last board exam proved,” she said.

Ms. Lakshmi said while making available an exhaustive list of questions in place of a few sample question papers was good, it would come to naught if they were not made available on time.

Sivaprasad S, who topped the board exams in the Chennai region and secured third rank in the State engineering exams, said exposing students to a large number of questions was a definite plus. “It will help them in identifying their weak areas. But the thing is that students who limit their preparations to selected questions will still be able to do so,” he said.

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