Nearly 1,550 candidates, including those belonging to the Kerala State Open School, were present to take the exam

The stress, anxiety, and fear of students disappeared as they pored over the question paper of the first of this year’s Higher Secondary (HS) Board examinations.

There was palpable relief as most students of city schools found the Political Science paper fairly direct and uncomplicated. They expect it to be so till March 22, the last examination day.

As per Education Department estimates, close to nine lakh students, in different streams, will appear for the final school examination in the State, Lakshadweep, Mahe, and the UAE this time.

Monisha, a class XII student of Government Model Higher Secondary School for Girls, Pattom, said she and her classmates were apprehensive of completing the paper in time but managed to finish well ahead.

“It was very straightforward and this puts us in a better frame of mind for the next paper,” said Archana, referring to the Economics paper on Wednesday.

Their significantly larger neighbouring institution, St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School was also witness to smiling candidates and relieved parents who waited in groups in school verandas all morning.

Nearly 1,550 candidates, including those belonging to the Kerala State Open School, were present to take Monday’s exam here.

Worrying parents

Government Higher Secondary School for Girls, Cotton Hill, also saw groups of worried parents discussing their ‘examination worries’ under the canopy of trees on the campus.

St. Mary’s school also hosts one of the largest groups of students under the Inclusive Education for the Disabled’ programme with around 120 appearing for the paper here alone.

Depending on their condition [categorised as Mentally Retarded (MR), Hearing Impaired (HI), Visually Impaired (VI), and Physically Handicapped (PH)] the students are either accorded additional time to answer questions or they get the assistance of a scribe or are given 25 per cent grace marks, school Principal Rev. Fr. Varkey Attupuram said.