Books published by the Tamil Nadu PTA are some of the most sought-after

With class X and XII board exams approaching, sample question papers are back in demand in book stores across the city.

While guide books and question banks dominate the market at the beginning of the academic year, in the later months, shops are flooded with students scrambling to get hold of model question papers.

Books published by the Tamil Nadu Parent Teacher Association (PTA) are some of the most sought-after, say students. However, they are not always the easiest to get, as they are always in demand and are available only at the Directorate of Public Instruction complex here and at the office of the chief educational officer in the districts.

A source at the PTA said the second set of books for class X would be available at the PTA office this week, after the first batch is sold out.

“The books for Class XII are already on sale and every year the model papers for both classes are available from August onwards,” the official said. According to the official, close to 2 lakh students buy the books each year.

Under the current schooling system where a student is constantly pressured to score, it is almost a given that most students use guide books and model papers before exams. These are sometimes used even over textbooks.

S. Yogeswari, a class XII student at a matriculation school, however, relies on PTA question banks only at the time of revision. “Even at my tuition class, they use the PTA model question paper books,” she says.

Outside Vijaya Book House in Mylapore, every second person who enters enquires either about a class X or a class XII question bank or guide book.

“Ever since CBSE introduced continuous and comprehensive evaluation for class X, the sale of CBSE model papers has gone up, because it is a relatively new system, and parents are anxious,” says V. Sridhar, manager of the store. He adds that students buy sample papers towards the end because there is a possibility that the question paper pattern may change.

The demand, he says, is also high because, sample papers are printed in limited quantities since they have to be sold within a stipulated time. “The same book cannot be sold the next academic year,” he says.

Echoing a similar view, Abdul Rehman of Thaai Book Mart on Badrian Street who sells and publishes guide books and question banks, says that sale of question paper banks picks up post the half-yearly exams when students begin studying entire portions in one stretch.

“Students only want the latest edition, so when the books go unsold this academic year, we insert the latest question papers as a supplements and sell it at the same price before printing fresh editions for the year,” he says.

Even second-hand book stores cater to these students. Alwar Mary who runs a second-hand shop on Luz corner says that question banks and guide books at her store are more frequently bought compared to regular books.