Science students, who appeared for the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams, have complained to the state board that the physics paper on Wednesday was tough to crack.
Several students rang the board helpline, inquiring about the minimum marks required to clear it, as they were worried about clearing it.
Close to 85,546 students had appeared for the paper from the Mumbai division, which includes Thane, Raigad and Palghar.
The paper was based on the new syllabus introduced a couple of years ago. Students found the paper lengthy and difficult.
Even, the helpline of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) received calls from panic-stricken students complaining about the difficulty level of the paper. “We received at least seven to eight panic calls from students about the paper,” said a counsellor manning the helpline.
Students complained that the entire paper consisting of part one (derivation and numerical) and part two (theory-based questions) were equally tough. “The paper was extremely tough. Usually if one part is difficult then the other is a bit easy but this time both theory and numerical were complicated,” said Nilofer Kudia, a science student from Bhavan’s College, Andheri. “This paper was tougher than the past papers.”
Though all the questions in the paper were from the syllabus, students said the questions were tricky and time-consuming, making it impossible for them to finish writing the paper in the stipulated three hours.
“I had to leave questions carrying seven marks as I could not complete the paper in time,’’ said Suraj Kamble, a science student from Karamveer Bhaurao Patil College, Vashi.
“Also, several questions were asked from chapters, which were supposed to have less weightage.”
On the other hand, city teachers were surprised that the students found the paper tough. “I have seen the question paper and I don’t think that it was unusually difficult. Those who had prepared well would not have any problem solving it,” said Frederick Arlande, a physics professor with St Andrew’s College, Bandra.
However, board authorities said students are finding the new syllabus difficult, as they are relying too much on coaching classes. “Students are not studying the textbooks while preparing for the exams. Instead they give too much importance to notes provided by the coaching classes,” said Siddheshwar Chandekar, the divisional secretary of the board.