iconimg Friday, May 29, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 19, 2015
Many students writing the Central Board of Secondary Education’s Class 12 mathematics paper on Wednesday went hot and cold over a set of high-difficulty questions called HOTS, taking to social media to vent their frustration and register complaints. The board faced flak for setting around 50% questions on higher order thinking skills (HOTS), which should ideally be around 10% to 20%, though most of these were broadly based from within the syllabus. These questions were of a higher difficulty level, requiring in-depth conceptual understanding.

“I have slogged and did everything that the board and teacher-suggested sample papers, old questions papers and what not. Yet, I cannot recover from the horror that the maths and physics papers presented to all of us,” wrote a student on www.complaintboard.in.

Another student, Jimmy Singh, put into perspective the agony amid a rising demand on Twitter, Facebook and other online forums for re-examination of the maths paper. “The paper should be based on NCERT textbooks and hardly there were any questions from it. I may not be an excellent student but seriously, it becomes so difficult for people who are average and below.”

The anxiety stems from the fact that students look forward to high scores in subjects such as maths to push up their total marks in Class 12, a nerve-wracking obligation these days because of extreme cut-off percentages at good colleges.

“Dear CBSE please conduct a re-exam, otherwise the future of thousands of students will be in misery,” reads an online appeal that has gone viral.

“CBSE decided to create such tough papers that students will think twice and shudder before dreaming about getting above 90%,” wrote Sanaa Zahid Shah on Facebook.

CBSE was trending on Facebook and a page titled Retest of the Mathematics Examination for Class 12 CBSE 2015 has also come up on the site where students are posting requests for a retake of the exam.

“#CBSE When you can’t stick to the prescribed books and pattern, then why do you prescribe them?” wrote Shashank Shekhar, a student.

On Twitter, hashtags such as #CBSE and #cbseboards revealed the outpouring of outrage. “Why didn't you inform people about the changes before? It hardly could've been a spur of the moment decision. #CBSE #cbsemaths #cbsephysics,” tweeted @IshaniSen.

Many students said the paper was particularly difficult for those not preparing for engineering entrance exams. “The exam pattern was more cruel to those who are not going for IIT, like commerce students. #CBSE #CBSEMaths,” Avijit Singh tweeted under the handle @avijeet_s.

The CBSE’s officiating officer Satbir Bedi has reportedly said the board’s evaluating committee would take in account the difficulty level following complaints from students.