Day 1: Students find HOTS cool
It was the first day of the CBSE annual examinations. Class XII students, who wrote Chemistry paper, described it as manageable. Some pointed to mistakes and printing errors in the question paper, which they said might have confused many. HOTS, or High Order Thinking Skills, however, failed to intimidate most.
Lakhs of students sat for the Class X and XII exams conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). While there are 7,65,095 candidates for the Class X exams, 5,48,815 students have registered for the Class XII exams. The main papers for Class X students will begin from March 3, but some students wrote their optional papers like Introductory IT.
Meena Dhami, department of chemistry head of Delhi Public School (RK Puram) said the paper had a few printing errors, while one of the questions was based on topic which was not provided in the NCERT textbook. “Difficulty level in the 3 sets were not the same. There were also some errors in the paper,” she said.
According to Dhami, Question 1 in Set 1 was actually not mentioned in the NCERT textbook. “The question ‘What is the co-ordination of each type of ion in a rock salt type crystal structure’. Actually, this is not in the NCERT book,” said Dhami. She also pointed out two other printing errors in the paper.
“There was an error in Question number 30, A, part-1 of Sets 1 and 3. It asked students to complete a reaction statement by giving a missing starting material reagent or product, as required. In place of O3, O2 is printed. Students did figure out that it was a misprint, but many others were confused,” said Dhami. Similarly, she said question 29 part D in sets 2 and 3 had given the wrong unit of KBK Goel, chemistry teacher at Rukmini Devi Public School (Pitampura) also confirmed the errors in the question paper. “It is not acceptable that there should be such mistakes in a Board paper,” he said. Goel, however, added that students were relieved after attempting the paper.
“Students were a bit worried about HOTS-based questions, but private schools usually prepare students well. But there were a few errors in the paper, but these were not because of HOTS, just plain carelessness,” he said.
The teachers felt that the questions papers were not drastically different from the preceding years and students also said that they felt the paper was easy.
“The paper was quite manageable. There were a few questions that were clearly meant for those with a higher aptitude,” said Soumya Mahesh, a Class XII student who wrote her Chemistry paper.