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Two different streams: easy and tough

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Question hour: XII Standard students of CBSE and State Board had different experiences this examination season. —
Question hour: XII Standard students of CBSE and State Board had different experiences this examination season. —

Meera Srinivasan

CHENNAI: This year’s Class XII Board examinations illustrate how the testing pattern in the State Board stream continues to be largely easy despite syllabus upgradation, while that in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) stream seems to be getting more and more challenging, point out academics.

According to senior faculty members, the mathematics, physics and chemistry papers in the State Board examination were direct and very simple. Both the board examinations were conducted last month. While the State Board results are expected early next month, the CBSE results may take a little longer.

The centum stories

A senior professor of mathematics predicts that there will be a significant increase in the number of centums this year.

“In terms of adherence to the blueprint, the math paper was perfect. But two compulsory questions in parts B and C were from the same chapter and this is very unusual,” he said.

Also a member of the textbook committee, he feels that important concepts, which are of great importance in higher studies, were ignored. “The paper did not reflect the entire textbook,” he said, adding, “It is high time we had papers testing students’ understanding instead of merely increasing number of centums.”

Problems aplenty

The CBSE math paper was a different story altogether. One of the codes had a six-mark integral calculus problem, which could not be solved. CBSE’s Controller of Examination M C Sharma told The Hindu that a meeting was held to address this issue. A fair mechanism of marking would be adopted to ensure no child loses out, he assured. In the case of physics, the State Board paper was very simple, while the CBSE paper was quite challenging.

G. Santhanakrishnan, faculty of physics, “If a student in the CBSE stream scores 80 per cent in physics, it is equivalent to scoring 99 percent in the State Board examinations,” he said. He felt the CBSE paper was a good paper in terms of testing students’ understanding . “It was application-oriented.” But numericals had more weightage than expected, he said.

The chemistry and biology papers in both streams seem to have been fairly easy. Whether the papers meant to bring about an increase in the number of centums or test the students’ understanding, the average student ultimately undergoes a lot of pressure, point out teachers.

Students’ perspective

“This year has been quite challenging for CBSE students. It was not just about a problem which could not be solved, but also the time we lost attempting to solve it,” said Adithyan Asokan, a student of the CBSE stream.

“We grew so tense in the examination hall that answering the remaining easy questions also became a challenge later,” he said.

“Most of my friends were unable to complete the physics paper,” he said.

Adithyan, who has taken the IIT-JEE as well as the AIEEE, said both the entrance examinations were also of a considerably high difficulty level.

On the other hand, C. Sai Sabharish Reddy from the State Board stream is already confident of making it to a good medical college in the city.

“Our math, physics and chemistry papers were very easy. The difficulty level of biology was slightly higher. But there was nothing we needed to know beyond what is there in the textbook,” he said.

Sai Sabharish Reddy added, “I knew that getting into a good college will be very difficult and switched to State Board after Class X.”

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