CHENNAI: For the second year in a row, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class XII mathematics paper was extremely tough for the students, leaving many in tears and parents fuming.
The students and parents were worried about admissions into professional courses as the mathematics score would have a direct impact on their cutoff set by top institutes.
“The question paper was very lengthy and tough, indeed the toughest paper seen from CBSE for a very long time. Close to five six-mark questions were based on multiple concepts from different chapters making us spend 15-25 minutes for every such question,” said S Arun, a CBSE student.
He said he realised that he was running short of time, but the questions were so complex that he could not complete the paper.
K Siva, a CBSE student from Coimbatore, said that many questions, which appeared under the six-mark category last year, were asked as four-mark questions this time around.
“My daughter’s paper was a complete disaster. The question paper was set on IIT-JEE standards and this would ruin her career and future plans,” said R Kapila, a parent.
V Vijay, another parent, said that while the textbooks were based on the NCERT, hardly 50 per cent of questions were based on them and the Board should come forward and provide grace marks for such questions.
A principal of a city-based CBSE school said that many parents had called, enquiring about the difficulty and whether there was a possibility of Board even conducting a re-examination.
It was an equally tough day for the counterparts from the State Board. Many students and teachers complained that a few questions in Chemistry were out of syllabus and there was no chance of students scoring centums.
A one-mark question in Section A of the question paper was about isomers of ether. “While the textbook only had a small table for isomers of lower orders, there was no mention about ether,” said a Class XII Chemistry teacher from a government school in city.
The teacher said even if the question paper setters expected students to apply the concepts to arrive at a solution, the steps or formula to be used were not made available in the textbook for the students.
J Bala, a student from Chennai, said the most difficult part was answering a 10-mark question on periodic properties and fluorine. He added that the minimal learning material provided by the School Education department and the blueprint suggested that student consider these portions as least important and many struggled to answer these ‘unexpected questions’
A government school teacher from Coimbatore said question papers with such level of difficulty would benefit students from residential schools in Namakkal and Dharmapuri where Class XI portions were skipped and Plus-Two classes were taken for two years.
“This would have an impact on schools in flood-hit areas which lost significant amount of classes two months ago”, the teacher added.