Delay in taking decisions by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) seems to be taking a toll on the mental health of students appearing for the exams of Class X and Class XII.
The latest is the newly released sample Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheet for Class X and Class XII Term-I examinations beginning next week. “I am totally confused with the new instructions of darkening the circles but again compulsorily writing the chosen response in another box. Also, we have to darken another circle if we want to skip a question,” M. Mariyam of Class X says.
If the box is empty and the response is marked in the circle, it will be considered that the question has not been attempted. However, if the response is given in the box and the circle is left blank, it will be considered that the question has been attempted.
The CBSE says that candidates have to respond both in a circle and box. Likewise, if all the three — four circles, box and last circle — are left blank, it will be considered that the question has not been attempted.
“Already, many schools have completed two model exams in standard OMR sheets. Now, we will have to organise practice sessions for students in the newly released format within a limited time-frame,” O. Rajalekshmi, a teacher, says.
In the wake of the pandemic, the CBSE is using the 90-minute Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) form of assessment for the first time. The OMR sheets will be evaluated on the same day of the examinations.
“The decision to use OMR sheets for Term- I examinations should have been taken at an earlier stage. So also, rationalising the syllabus owing to the pandemic,” Ms. Rajalekshmi adds.
However, Thara Krishnan, Principal of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, feels that teachers can guide students with the new OMR format in the next couple of days.
“The OMR initiative is good for students to develop logical thinking instead of the rote system of learning. We had conducted the model examination earlier in the old format. But now we will switch to a new OMR. Only a few students would need extra guidance,” Ms. Krishnan says.