The Central Board of Secondary Education is set to announce the result for the Class 12 board examination on Saturday.
Ahead of the results, we revisit a controversy that erupted over the mathematics examination this year:
The unusually tough and lengthy mathematics question paper this year drove millions of students to tears across the country and triggered a debate in Parliament.
The CBSE was flooded with online complaints about the daunting paper for the March 14 exam and faced flak too over a reported question leak in the Patna region.
Board officials said students will get marks for following correct steps to solve a problem even if they failed to get answer right. More than a million students in the country appeared for the exam.
Students complained that they had to do elaborate calculations even for a one-mark question. For four-mark questions, calculations ran into pages.
“Sections B and C were particularly tough, it took me nearly a half-an-hour to answer one of the questions,” said Shubhankar Mishra, a Class 12 student from Rajhans Vidyalaya in Mumbai’s Andheri. “This is also the first time that I needed 45 pages to answer a maths paper. My friends said it was tougher than last year.”
The board had drawn criticism for setting a difficult maths paper in 2015 as well. The committee of subject experts reworked the marking scheme when answer-scripts were checked.
Students, who demanded a retest or grace marks to compensate for the difficulty level, said the 2016 paper was tougher than last year’s exam.
A high score in mathematics is imperative as it is expected to drive the overall percentage of marks obtained by the student and is crucial for college entrances, where cut-offs regularly touch 98-99%.
Parents complained that the paper was as difficult as the IIT entrance test. “There is so much pressure on the kids because of Delhi University’s abysmally high cut-offs,” said Sonu Anand, a parent in New Delhi.
“Moreover, kids planning to study abroad must have conditional marks. There will be suicides, depression, lack of confidence, and psychological problems.”
The CBSE echoed prominently in Parliament, too, with the government promising an inquiry into the reported paper leak and complaints that the questions were extremely difficult.