“Please help me. My life depends on this exam. I need to pass. I’m requesting you to help me pass this paper. Please try and understand my problem. I have to pass this exam.”
This is part of a page-long note an examiner found in the SSC answer script she was correcting. Now that examiners are ploughing through papers of SSC and HSC exams, a variety a tactics used by students to influence examiners are being unearthed.
While one student wrote a note trying to win over the examiner’s sympathy, another was more aggressive and slipped in a crisp, Rs 1,000 note within the answer booklet, much to the examiner’s shock.
“Students should not take these risks during the board exams. I can’t believe they think they can get way with this,” said an examiner who came across such tactics.
The board is now conducting an investigation. “These tactics amount to malpractice and will be dealt with severely,” said Basanti Roy, board secretary, Mumbai Division. “Even drawing religious symbols is not allowed. These instructions are clearly written on the hall ticket and at exam centres.”
More than five lakh students took the HSC and SSC exams this year and the number of cases of copying and malpractices has actually seen a drastic drop. Last year there were 434 cases while this there have been just 90.
To keep a check on malpractices, the board has flying squads that visit centers to check on students. This year, the squads also monitored oral examinations that were conducted and marked by the school.
Punishment for malpractices by students varies from one case to another and may even result in the student being debarred from examinations. They are decided after the board meets the students and gives them the chance to explain their action.