Higher Secondary examinations began on Monday with students finding the Language Paper I easy and officials reporting no incidents.

“The paper was easy and all questions were from the book. I think I will score 90 per cent easily,” said Manikandan, who wrote the Tamil paper at a Government Higher Secondary school at West Mambalam.

Students taking other languages, including French and Hindi, expressed similar views.

However, those who had taken German, which is being introduced after four years, were worried a lot as they did not have previous years’ papers for reference. More than 150 students from five city schools, including St. Bede’s Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Egmore, and Lady Andal Matriculation Higher Secondary School, took the German paper on Monday.

Teachers said a majority of students were satisfied with Paper I, which was also in a new pattern.

Many students were apprehensive about how they would perform as there were no guides or old question papers to refer to, though a model paper was provided to schools.

A release issued by the Director of Government Examinations said 6,89,687 students had registered themselves for the exams this year from Tamil Nadu, around 42,000 more than the last year.

The number of private students was 53,564.

In Chennai, 48,730 students wrote the exams in 137 centres, while 12,588 students appeared for the exams in 30 centres in Puducherry.

Around 100 students with disabilities, including blindness, deafness and other handicaps, were allowed to employ scribes and given an extra hour to write the exams. Students with dyslexia were also given an extra hour. All students were given an extra 15 minutes to go through the question papers as was done last year.

The Chief Educational Officer said flying squads in the city were active, but no malpractices were reported.

There was a report of a mobile phone belonging to one student being claimed by another, but the student returned the phone and the problem was resolved. Students were being advised not to bring mobile phones to the exam centres.

Referring to reports of students being asked to remove belts, socks and shoes, he said it had been a common practice in the last few years to avoid malpractices.

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