Meera Srinivasan

2,500 students from 94 schools will take examination

CHENNAI: About 5,000 students from Tamil Nadu will appear for the Class 12 examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), starting on Thursday. In Chennai, about 2,500 students from 94 affiliated schools will take the examination in 33 centres.

In a new practice this year, students will be given answer scripts with the pages numbered. M.V.V. Prasada Rao, joint secretary, CBSE - Chennai region, said, "Class 12 students will be provided with answer books that have 48 pages. This is to minimise use of additional sheets." He said this would ensure students did not lose out because of tying their sheets improperly.

Students would also receive an extra 15 minutes to allow them to read their question papers carefully, a practice introduced last year.

With the government having decided to scrap the Common Entrance Test (CET) this year, engineering and medicine aspirants will have to depend solely on their scores in core subjects for admission into professional colleges in the State. Every additional mark secured in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology would have a bearing on their ranking.

Sivaswami Kalalaya principal G.Neelakantan felt CBSE students were at a disadvantage irrespective of the conduct of CET, as the evaluation patterns were different. CBSE toppers usually scored in the range of 296 or 297 out of 300, in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry put together, while State Board students scored higher. "This year, CBSE students disadvantage has escalated because there is no common ground and they will have to compete with State Board students."

With the chances of scoring centum in these subjects being far less for them, the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) is a reassuring factor. "Some set their sights on IITs and work towards it. For others, AIEEE is an opportunity to make it to institutions of repute," Mr.Neelakantan said.

It is only in the context of the absence of a CET that CBSE students are seen as being at a disadvantage. Otherwise, the performance of Tamil Nadu students has been very good in the past. Last year, of the 4206 students who appeared for the examinations from the State, 4012 passed.

A total of 5,52,831 candidates will appear for the Class 12 Higher Secondary Examinations, which also begin on Thursday.