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Home / Education / CBSE board exams cancelled: Students across India say retests ‘unfair, discouraging’

CBSE board exams cancelled: Students across India say retests ‘unfair, discouraging’

Students and parents across the country said they were disappointed after CBSE decided to re-conduct the Class 10 mathematics and Class 12 economics board examinations

education Updated: Mar 28, 2018, 19:20 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Students coming out of Jawaharlal Nehru school after appearing in Class 10 mathematics exam in Bhopal on Wednesday.
Students coming out of Jawaharlal Nehru school after appearing in Class 10 mathematics exam in Bhopal on Wednesday.(Mujeeb Faruqui/HT Photo)

Students and parents across the country said on Wednesday they were disappointed after the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) decided to re-conduct the Class 10 mathematics and Class 12 economics board examinations over reports that the question papers were leaked.

The board said the dates for the retests will be announced on its website within a week.

“The Board has taken cognizance of certain happenings in the conduct of certain examinations as are being reported. With the view to upholding the sanctity of the Board examinations and in the interest of the fairness to the students, the Board has decided to re-conduct the examinations in the subjects,” it said in a statement.

Students appeared for the Class 10 maths paper on Wednesday and the Class 12 economics paper was held on Monday.


Deepika Ghosh, a Class 10 student of Green Valley Senior Secondary School in Bhopal, said the news was “really disappointing”.

“I had really worked hard. I am unable to understand why students should suffer due to the fault of a few people,” she said.

“Those who leaked the papers should be dealt with severe punishment but unfortunately the students are being punished too for none of their faults,” Soham Rana, a Class 12 student from Mansarovar School in the same city, said.

Sangeeta Yadav, a teacher at Bhopal’s St Joseph’s Convent School, said many students were not aware of the board’s decision but some called her.

“Some students told me that their parents had got tickets booked for summer vacation. They are disappointed,” she said.

PK Pathak, the principal of Rajiv Gandhi School in the Madhya Pradesh capital, also said panicked students and parents were calling the school authorities after the news about the cancellation of the papers broke.

“We are trying to talk to the board (CBSE) authorities as to what has really happened,” he said.


Like students and parents across the country, celebrations of the end of Class 10 board exams and an easy maths paper turned into disbelief and disappointment for many in Guwahati as well.

Students, both appearing for Class 10 and Class 12, are hoping that they wouldn’t have to reappear for the exams again.

“This is so unfair. Why are we being made to suffer for no fault of ours? The maths paper was easy and most of us did well. Now, we have no clue what the paper for the reconducted exam will be like,” Amlan Borthakur, a Class 10 student of Maharishi Vidya Mandir, said.

“It’s very discouraging for students. This is the first time such a thing has happened for CBSE board exams. We are still waiting to know if the exam will be reconducted for Delhi region or for all over India,” Dilip Sarkar, the maths teacher at Faculty Higher Secondary School, said.


Chaya Khanna, the principal Scholar’s Home in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun, said she was disappointed with the board’s decision to re-conduct the Class 12 and Class 10 economics and maths exams.

“It’s very unfortunate and very unfair. Just because of a few centres that reported some issue, it’s not fair to cancel the examinations which affect the students of small towns like Dehradun, Haridwar, and others.”

She said students of Class 10 and Class 12 were extremely happy about their papers.

“I feel dejected. We thought that our last exam went extremely well and it’s time to enjoy the holidays. But, the board’s decision has stunned everyone,” Ritika, a Class 10 student of Vivekananda School, said.

The board on Monday denied claims on social media that the economics paper was leaked ahead of the exam and being circulated on WhatsApp.

On March 15, the Delhi government said that it had received complaints that the Class 12 accountancy paper was leaked following which a probe was ordered, but the board denied any leak.


Most school principals in Mumbai were surprised that the board chose to hold the Class 10 maths exam despite knowing about the paper leak.

“What’s the use of holding a paper and getting lakhs of students across the country to appear for a paper, which was leaked before the exams began? Board exams are anyway very stressful so the board could have avoided this stress for students,” Deepshikha Srivastava, principal of Rajhans Vidyalaya in Andheri, said.

Many said that the news of the re-examination will disappoint the students.

“It’s very disappointing to know that paper leaks are still happening despite so much security and new technology in place. Mathematics is a difficult paper and asking students to give this paper all over again will not go down well with many,” said Jose Kurian, regional director (western zone II), DAV Public Schools.

He said that the worst affected will be those who have already booked their holidays according to the original exam schedule.

“Teachers too will be disappointed,” he added.

Most students were still not aware of the board’s decision by Wednesday evening and were shocked to find out about it late in the day.

“I have been practising various mathematical problems for several days now and was finally relieved once the paper got over. Since our paper now stands cancelled and there will be a re-examination, all my hard work has gone waste,” Arunima Roy, a Class 10 student, said.

Many were worried about the level of difficulty they will face in the same paper for the second time.

“Hopefully, the board will understand how anxious we students are and settle for a less level of difficulty for the re-examination,” Rahul Sheth, a Class 12 student from Mumbai, said.


Kush Bansal, a Class 10 student of Jayshree Periwal High School in Jaipur, said the news about the retest was not good.

“We have already given the exam. We did not know the paper had been leaked. It is not right that we have to give the exam again. It is their fault that they leaked the paper. It is not fair,” he said.

His schoolmate Khushi Goswami said she was shocked to know about the re-exam.

“Initially, I felt frustrated but I am fine with it now. I had made mistakes of 1-2 marks in the paper today. Now, I’ll be able to cover those up as well.”

Their maths teacher Rakhi Gupta said that it seemed the board does not think about students.

“After stepping out of the examination hall, students were happy that their exams have finished. Now, they have to go through the same trauma again,” Gupta said.

“Every student is not very good at maths. For an average student, to study for the same exam again and give it once more becomes very difficult. CBSE should pay attention so that the paper is not leaked, rather than making the students go through the same grind again. It is mentally harassing for both students and teachers,” she added.

Riddhi Jain, a Class 12 student of Seedling Modern High School in the Pink City, said the board’s decision to conduct the economics retest was a relief as well as a disappointment.

“It’s good that we will get another chance to give the exam and perform better, but it also very disappointing to appear for the same paper again,” Jain said.

“I feel very bad about it because the paper was so easy and we did very well on that exam. But now it’s being re-conducted. It is a very bad feeling to give it again and we still have to give two more exams. It is very disappointing,” her schoolmate Shruti Gupta said.

Monica Sharma, an economics teacher at Jayshree Periwal High School, said it is an additional burden on students as well as the teachers.

“Some students had gone out for a trip. They will have to come back, recollect themselves and make a fresh start to give the paper. Competitive exams are also about to start so many of them have started preparing for that. CBSE should have taken tight security measures so that such a thing would not have happened,” Sharma said.


Students and their parents in Chandigarh were left distraught after the news that the Class 10 math exam will be reconducted and directed their anger at the board.

“I still can’t believe that I’ll have to take the paper again. I was so happy a couple of hours ago. It went off so well and I was hoping to score above 75 but now this. I think the paper they will frame now will be difficult,” Poorva of Sherwood Convent School said.

“I’m feeling bad as my daughter will undergo the pressure of preparation all over again. Our plans to go on a holiday are cancelled now. The CBSE should have been more cautious. Things like this really affect the child,” her father Vikas Kohli said.

“I am shocked how the board gets away with by issuing a notification. Heads need to roll for this,” Dinesh Bali, a Mohali-based marketing executive whose daughter studies in a boarding school, said.

“The hostellers vacated the boarding school today after the exam,” he said, adding that his holiday to Kerala is now in limbo.

Shamsher Singh, a math teacher at Government Model Senior Secondary School, said it was unacceptable.

“The CBSE has to understand that if someone commits a mistake, the whole country can’t be made to suffer. Leaking the question paper has become a trend now. I can’t imagine the pressure students must be facing. Smiles have turned into sorrow,” Singh said.

Kiranjeet Singh, a Class 10 student of Stepping Stone Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh, said he was heartbroken.

“I hadn’t even changed my uniform when I got this news. I did well today. This is so unfair,” he said.


Students in Patna were anxious about the difficulty level of the questions in the re-test.

“I was mentally relaxed today as it was the last examination. But, as soon as I reached home and switched on the TV after few hours the news of re-examination made me disappointed and anxious. My examination went so well today that I was expecting above 70 marks out of 80,” Harshita Raj, a Class 10 student of St Michael’s School, said.

“Obviously, the reports of the paper leak are very disappointing but I am happy because I will get another chance to write the paper. I will appear with better preparations this time,” Samadh Khan, a class 10 student of Vivekanand English School, said.

Shweta, a Class 12 student of RPS Residential School said she was disappointed with the reports about the leak of the economics question paper

“Why do people do such things despite the fact that the questions of each examination were very easy? Now, we will have to go through anxiety for one more week until the dates are declared,” she said.


Nandini Sen, the principal of Kolkata’s Hariyana Vidya Mandir, said students should understand that such things can happen in life at times.

“While admitting that the retest will cause inconvenience for a section of the students, I personally feel that the decision of the retest has been taken for a bigger benefit ... So, I am confident that students will take the decision sportingly and abide by the decision without many grievances,” she added.


Class 10 students in the Uttar Pradesh capital were also disappointed over the decision that the maths paper will be held again and said they worked very hard and did well.

“The paper leak is something shameless and we were not happy with this decision,” Mohd Anas, a student of City international school, said.

Medhavi and Shreya shared similar views as they will have to prepare for the exam again and said they were worried about the difficulty level in the retest.

“I’m worried about the re-exam question paper. I feel that it will not be as good as the one today,” Sarvasva Pandey said.

The decision to reconduct the Class 12 economics paper also came as a shock to the students.

Nikhil and Dhruv of City International School said they gave their 100% for the paper and now coming back to the same mind frame would be difficult as they are preparing for various competitive exams.

Akhil, another student of City International School, said the decision would hamper admission for various graduate courses in good universities.

“The news is disturbing. Reconduct of the exam will definitely have an impact on the admissions of Class 12 students. The students who have worked hard throughout the year will be very disappointed,” GD Goenka Public School’s principal Raveen Pande said.

“I just wish that what happens next should be fair to all especially the ones who have been diligent in their studies,” Manvi Agarwal of GD Goenka Public School said.

“I don’t have any problem in giving the exam again but we should not suffer because of the people who cheated,” Krishnansh Gupta said.

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