CHENNAI: There were a lot of broken hearts when the Higher Secondary results were posted by the Directorate of Government Examinations on Thursday, as high flyers and students who were expecting 'sure shot' centums were done in by Physics.
Usually one of the more innocuous of the 'major' science subjects, the paper which had differently worded questions this year, rocked the centum boat, with only a meagre 124 centums being awarded as opposed to the 2,710 doled out last year.
Besides this, the results were fairly standard - with the pass percentage staying steady at 90.6%, with a marginal rise in students appearing. The students in Chennai schools were badly shown up in the State Ranks tally, as their counterparts from the districts bagged the top honours.
The Physics downer will drive cut-offs of Engineering and Medicine down. "I don't know what this will do to my chances of getting into Anna University," pouted Suhasini S, a student of a city school who had managed 195/200. "The cut-off will be much lower for all the competitive courses, so my father has agreed to ask for a re-evaluation," she added, nearly in tears.
This brought back memories of 2013 when the same thing had happened - only 36 centums were awarded that year, leading to a sea of outrage from parents and teachers alike. "We have been receiving lots of requests for re-evaluation and re-calculation for the Physics and Maths papers since the exam ended and all the requests will be attended to as per the norms," said a senior official with the Directorate of Government Examinations (DGE), speaking to Express.
Ironically, they needn't have worried about their Maths marks. Suhasini included, a whopping 9,710 students managed to secure centums in Maths this year - three times the already inflated 3,882 centums handed out last year.
While Maths teachers were overjoyed at the bountiful returns, Physics professors were not quite as affable. "It is much lower than what we expected. There were eight one-mark questions that had been twisted slightly, so we were expecting a drop certainly, but not to this extent," said Johnson S, a retired Physics teacher who undertakes home tuitions now.
A few Physics teachers like Abu Thaker from Vels Vidyashram, see it as a step in the right direction. "None of the students blamed the question paper despite being disappointed. Many of them managed 190-199, but not centums. This is a positive sign as students will start to move away from guides and tuition centres and start listening to teachers to learn concepts again," he said.