Changes in examination pattern this year keep many students on their toes

Nileena M.S.
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Board examination is being held under Samacheer Kalvi Syllabus

Anxious time:Students doing last-minute revision before appearing for the Board examination.-File photo: S. SIVA SARAVANAN
Anxious time:Students doing last-minute revision before appearing for the Board examination.-File photo: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

It is that time of the year when students get busy poring over their books as they gear up for the annual examination.

This year the attention is on the SSLC students as it is the first time that the board examination is being held according to Samacheer Kalvi Syllabus (Uniform Equitable Syllabus).

Over 40,000 students from the district would be appearing for the SSLC examination to be held from April 4. The Higher Secondary Board's theory examination will begin on March 8.

Students, teachers and parents appeared anxious about the changes in the examination pattern, introduction of practicals and distribution of marks for Standard X.


Many opined that a change in the teaching method during their final year and the delay in starting classes due to uncertainty in implementation of the syllabus had disrupted the academic year's schedule. This had put the students under tremendous pressure.

Though the new syllabus have given more importance to activity- oriented learning and was aimed at doing away with rote learning system, it appeared that this has not helped to reduce ‘exam fever' among students.

“Many schools pressurised students to score more marks without considering the learning difficulties faced by children. Parents should not overburden students but motivate and help instil confidence in them. Giving over importance to examinations and pushing beyond a students' ability should be discouraged,” said M.K. Swaminathan, parent of a Standard X student.

Many students were excited about the new pattern while others were a little worried about being the first batch to take up the exam according to the new syllabus.

Questions that required independent and creative thinking were the main changes that were pointed out. The question paper pattern was entirely different from last years'.

“With one-mark objective type questions and practical examination we hope we would be able to score good marks,” said said A. Aruna and V. Priya, Standard X students of Corporation Government Higher Secondary School, Ranganathapuram.

Prabhavathi D. and Abhinaya P., students of S.R.P. Ammaniammal Matriculation Higher Secondary School, said that they did not have to spend much time on studies at home as the preparations at school helped them cover all the portions.

Managing time was difficult with the new question paper pattern, but the tests had helped them to get a better idea of the pattern, they said.

Model papers

The Government had provided model question papers for all subjects. Teachers from many private schools said that they also depended on question banks and other resources available in the market to prepare students for the exams.

Tamil Medium students found English paper tough. The students found questions on paraphrasing poems and expanding ideas given in the English II paper to be of much higher level.

They would have answered those questions well if they were following the syllabus from primary classes itself, said S. Jayamani, teacher at a corporation school. Mathematics and Tamil II were other subjects that the students found difficult while they hoped to make up for that in science and social science subjects.

Many schools said that sessions on stress management, health and diet were conducted before the examination.

But many others said that focus on finishing portions on time and conducting model examinations had not given much time to concentrate on these.

Central Board of Secondary Examination, which would conduct the board examination in March, had given a stress buster with tips on preparing for exams.

Identifying symptoms of stress, coping with stress, preparing for examinations, need for physical exercises and relaxation, healthy diet and even presentation of answer sheet were some of the aspects covered in the guide. (It is available at helpline/final_2012.pdf)

Frequent power cuts was another problem that the students complained about while a few parents said that the power cuts had cut down the time that the students spent on television and other electronic gadgets.

A few parents form private schools said that the disputes over fee structure had effected the smooth functioning of classes which caused additional pressure on students.




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