When asked how she was feeling about her exam preparation for the French paper on Tuesday, Ankita Urala (17) let out a long yell. “You can’t ever really finish preparing for a language exam,” she said.
The science students in particular, are in a last-minute scramble for their first couple of language papers. “No one has really paid attention to English. We have all been so busy preparing for our CET and trying to make sure we score well in our science subjects,” said SIES College student Saloni Bhogale (17), who was busy preparing for her first exam on Wednesday.
While the whole exam pattern has been maintained from the previous year, only the geography paper has been extended from a two-and-a-half-hour exam to three hours.
Vigilance units comprising board officials and government officers will make surprise visits. Certain exam centres will also be fitted with closed circuit televisions (CCTVs). “We have been using a video surveillance system for some years now. These will be present at what we have identified as the sensitive centres,” said V.S. Mhatre, the Mumbai divisional board secretary.
The board has a detailed list of penalties in place for those who are caught cheating in the examinations. The seven-page circular that will be put up at examination centres everywhere covers three kinds of wrongdoings: those conducted before, during and after the exam.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and Education Minister Balasaheb Thorat have appealed to students to have confidence and stay calm during the exams. “You have given so many exams, this too, is just another exam and should be treated as such.
There is no need to be tense. Success in life is not all about how well you do in an exam,” said a statement from the education minister’s office.