The Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examinations commenced on a relatively easy note for 8.35 lakh candidates across the State on Thursday amidst complaints of poor quality answer sheets.

The initial 15-minute breather did help mitigate the anxiety of these first-timers to the public examination experience. Students were tested on the Second Language (Kannada/ English/ Optional English) paper.

The 2010 examinations saw a pattern change with fewer multiple choice questions.

Of the total number of candidates, 4.47 lakh are boys and 3.88 lakh girls. Thursday saw 25 students debarred for malpractice.

Emerging from the hall, Pradeep K., a student of Sri Vinayaka High School, told The Hindu that the paper was “pretty easy” though he was a little disappointed by the pattern change.

But the paper was a little tough for Manikantha and Sarala, students of Government High School in Sultanpet. “As we are from a Kannada-medium school, we felt the teachers should have prepared us better,” said Sarala.

Poor quality

A large number of candidates complained that the quality of the answer sheet was poor saying it was too thin and tore when they started writing on it.

M.N. Baig, director of the Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board (KSEEB), acknowledged that there was a minor variation in the grams per square metre (GSM) in the ream used to make the answer booklet.

Complaints received

“It is a minor variation; students will not be affected by it. We also received complaints regarding the same and verified it immediately by weighing the paper,” he said.

He said the examination, held in 2,895 centres, of which 304 were classified as sensitive and 174 as ultra-sensitive, went on smoothly though 25 students were debarred — 22 students for copying and three for impersonation.

Six were caught for copying from Kolar, two from Chikmagalur, eight from Bijapur, three from Gulbarga, and one each from Belgaum, Raichur and Bidar.

All the three cases of impersonation were from Bellary.

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