Students of class 12 were a jittery lot on Friday as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) exams kick-started with papers in English core, Functional English and English Elective.
It was a good beginning for the boards, said both teachers and students. "Both English core and Functional English were good. Questions catered to both average and above average students. Framing of questions was done in such a way that no one would be at a disadvantage," said Rumna Mitra Lala, Head of Department (English), Tagore International, Vasant Vihar.
Students had been worried about value-based questions, which were introduced in all major papers this year, to test what values were reflected by the content. Though some students said the questions required analysis, most found them simple.
"The question in my English core paper was on the qualities that one can emulate from Gandhiji putting a stop to exploitation of indigo farmers. It was quite general and easy," said Anirudh Saxena, a science student from Ahlcon International School, Mayur Vihar.
However, some students, mainly those appearing for Functional English, found the paper lengthy. Some even missed 2 to 5 marks or did not get time to revise. "The paper was a bit lengthy and not very easy. It was higher than CBSE standards," said Tanaya Raoraj, a commerce student.
"The paper wasn't lengthy but the kind of questions that were asked in writing skills required us to think," said Dhruv Singhal, an English core student.
Teachers said this may have been due to the addition of value-based questions. "In Functional English, value-based questions were added without removing any other questions so some students may have found the paper lengthy. However, core should have been fine as content was removed to accommodate value-based questions," said Usha Ram, Principal, Laxman Public School and an English teacher.
Questions in the writing skills section were related to current affairs such as the recent Assam floods and issues such as air pollution and obesity in school children.
Outside exam centres, anxious parents were present to give moral support to their children. "It is an acid test for my son today since it is his first board exam experience. I've taken an off from work to be here for him," said A Bhowmick, a parent.