The class 10 students appeared for their second board examination conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Monday. The students appeared for the English language examination.
The students appearing for the exam were completely confused because of a small mistake by the board authorities in the English question paper. The CBSE had prescribed two novels this year, the schools having a right to choose whichever novel they wanted to teach.
The prearranged novels that the schools had to select from were Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank) or Story of My Life (Helen Keller).
The students had to attempt a 10 marks question within 200-250 words given in the novel section of the question paper from the prescribed novel that the school chose to teach.
Part-a of the novel section contained two questions from Helen Keller’s novel, while part-b contained two questions from Anne Frank’s novel. However, while printing the question paper, the word ‘or’ was missing between the parts of both the questions given, which led to panic among the examinees and confusion among the students.
The same type of question given in the CBSE sample question paper had differentiated between both the questions from the novels, whereas the board question paper did not quite clearly differentiate between them.
A student said, “There was no problem in the questions. There were two questions from each novel. We had to select one from the novel we studied. However, the choice between both sets was missing. Also, they were marked as part a) and b) due to which we thought we have to attempt questions from both novels. This led to confusion and some students over attempted the paper. Even as we had no idea about what the second novel is all about, students wrote whatever they could.”
A CBSE English teacher from Ludhiana said, “In some centres, students were told by invigilators to attempt just one question of the four and not get confused as it was a printing error. But since the question weightage is 10 marks, students were in a panic. But in centres where no English teacher was available, there was no one to clear their confusion. Now, the board needs to instruct teachers that during checking, they should ignore if students have over attempted. They should consider the one which they have answered the best. Students are nowhere at fault.”
Over 16 lakh students have registered for the class 10 examination, and the students will sit for their next examination, Science, on March 16. The exams of class 10 will end on April 4 and the class 12 examinations will end on April 13.