The Std XII mathematics paper of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) board examination was reportedly tough enough to decimate the wits of the smartest of students across the country. Demanding leniency in checking the paper, several students even signed their support on online petitions, but city teachers felt that while the paper did not have questions out of the syllabus, the students could have been given some more time to solve them.

The CBSE Maths paper was tough and lengthy. Representational pic
The CBSE Maths paper was tough and lengthy. Representational pic

Voicing her support for the same, Deepshikha Srivastava, principal of Rajhans Vidyalaya, said, “The paper did not have questions out of syllabus. But it required students to think. It must have proved difficult for those who studied mathematics by rote, instead of understanding its concepts.”

Expressing that taking a call in this situation would be tricky for CBSE, Avnita Bir, principal of R N Podar School, said, “Apart from the fact that the question paper was application-based, it was lengthy. It also had certain complicated calculations. These questions required time to think. While some students were not able to complete the paper, losing confidence in the mathematics paper can have a bad effect.”

“In this case, if students have not even been able to reach certain questions or have not attempted them at all, leniency in evaluation would not help. But students themselves do not want any re-exam as they have competitive examinations ahead of them,” Bir added.

Suruchi Papneja, a mathematics teacher at RN Podar School Suruchi Papneja said, “It was a completely unexpected question paper. It was nowhere close to what the board issues first as sample papers. It is not that the questions were out of syllabus, but the kind of thinking that it required to solve all of them in the given time was difficult.”

She added, “For example, a one-mark question will only have one step, but in this paper, it was more than that. Similarly, four-mark questions required more steps to solve than what is regularly needed. The six-mark questions were very tricky too. The children were not prepared for this. Most of my students who were hoping to get full marks and were preparing for it throughout the year were pretty disappointed. And mathematics is generally a subject where students can think of scoring high. For average students, it was certainly quite a difficult question paper.”

While students are nervous about the result, they are not in favour of re-examination. But, they hope for a lenient evaluation. A student from an Andheri School, said, “There were questions which I was able to solve as I am preparing for engineering entrance tests. But it surely must have been a boomerang for others. I am also quite disappointed as in the given time, I was not able to give justice to the paper.”

Another student from a Powai school, said, “Looking at the paper at first was so scary. The questions were not familiar ones. We have been solving so many sample question papers of CBSE for practice. But the question paper was entirely different. All of my planning for solving the paper went for a toss during the exam. I went on solving whatever I could and continued to do so until the last moment. In this hurry, I fear I might have had made some mistake.”

CBSE’s remedy
Meanwhile to calm anxious students and parents, the CBSE has issued a statement saying, “The feedback received from various stakeholders including students, subject teachers, examiners will be placed before the committee of subject experts and the board will take remedial measures before evaluation.”