Central Board of Secondary Education’s (CBSE) lengthy class 12 mathematics and Maharashtra state education board’s tricky SSC science and technology part-two papers left students frazzled on Monday.
Students appearing for the CBSE mathematics (041) paper — which drove many students to tears last year — found the paper to be relatively easier, but they couldn’t complete it on time. This happened despite the board taking special measures this year to scale down the difficulty level of the paper after it drew flak for setting ‘extremely tough’ papers for the last two years.
CBSE had raised the number of questions from 26 to 29, adding short-answer type questions, but reducing the weightage of the controversial Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) questions.
While these measures made the paper a tad easier than last year, it also made it lengthy, complained students. “It was quite easy compared to the earlier years, but I felt the paper was a bit lengthy in my set,” said Amaan, a class 12, CBSE student from RN Podar, Santacruz. His views were echoed by his classmates. “I found it very lengthy and couldn’t complete it in time,” said Abhay Budki, another student.
Some students missed out on writing questions that could have gotten them six to seven marks. “The paper was very easy compared to the previous year, but there was one tricky six marker question in set two which many of us didn’t get,” said Ritwik Godha, another student.
Teachers said that students took longer to write the paper, because they weren’t used to the new pattern. “Even though the short-answer type questions — which are new this year — carry only two marks per question, students are required to do calculations to arrive at the answers, which is a time-consuming affair,” said Deepshikha Srivastava, principal, Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri.
Also, the science and technology part-2 paper evoked mixed reactions from the SSC students. Some students complained that the paper was tough and based on an unfamiliar pattern. “I turned blank after seeing the paper, everything looked unfamiliar,” said Nilay Joshi of NL School in Malad.
Others found the paper to be longer than previous years. "It was a long paper. There are talks about pattern change but I was pretty much comfortable with the way my paper turned out to be,” Akshata Mali, a student of St Anne's School, Borivli.