Tackling the French exam on Tuesday was far easier for Divanshi Shah than fitting into the furniture at her exam centre. “My exam centre was in the standard 4 classroom of a school. So, of course, the desks and chairs were for someone half my size,” said Shah.
The first day of the HSC exams in the state proved rather uncomfortable for Shah and some others. Students who appeared for the first exam were those giving one of the optional language papers —including Marathi, Sindhi, French, Bengali and Telegu, among others. But all the panic of day one eased off as students found the papers simple.
In another case of furniture-related blues, Jai Hind student Tesheem Reshamwala, who gave her exam at SNDT College had no place for even a bottle of water. “The small desks left no room for us to keep our water or stationery,” said Reshamwala. “There was no problem with the paper though.”
Board officials said everything was on track. “Everything went well. No cases of cheating or problems of any kind were reported from any of the centres,” said V.S. Mhatre, Mumbai divisional board secretary.
Of the 2,95 lakh students appearing for the HSC exams in the city, 1.22 lakh students took the language papers on Tuesday. Students will appear for the English paper on Wednesday.
Helpline to the rescue
Through the day, the board helpline received 155 calls – the most it has received since starting on February 10. On Monday, the eve of the first exam, a few callers had been more adventurous. A few had called to ask what questions would be coming in Tuesday’s exams. “What can you say to that? There is really no answer you can give,” said BM Kadam, who had been manning the helpline on Monday.