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Testing times

How do Class 12 students feel about the cancellation of board exams? While some expressed discontent with the decision, others feel it was for the best

Taking cognisance of the rapid increase in Coronavirus cases, the CBSE and ICSE boards announced on Thursday that the exams scheduled in July for Classes 10 and 12 would be cancelled. Instead, the students will be assessed by a special marking scheme.

The decision came after a plea was filed in the Supreme Court by concerned parents who questioned the feasibility of holding the exams, fearing that it would pose a risk to the safety of the students. Around 23 exams were pending for Class 12 students.

Initially, the two boards decided that Class 10 students would be promoted without any exams, while the previous assessments would be used to determine the result of the pending exams for Class 12. However, on Thursday, CBSE told the Supreme Court that if a student appeared for four or more exams, the average of the best three will be taken to assess the missed exams. If a student appeared for only three exams, the average of the best two will be considered. However, if a student has appeared for less than two exams, internal assessment scores will be used along with the average of the exams.

Class 12 students will also be given the option of taking a retest on a later date, when the situation becomes conducive. CBSE suggested a deadline for students to decide on whether or not they would appear for the exams, but the top court turned it down.

Meanwhile, ICSE said it would come up with a “slightly different” model of assessment and inform the court about the same.

However, there is a lot of confusion among students regarding the marking scheme. A lot of students rely on their board exam scores to get admission in universities. The cancellation of exams has left many anxious about their future prospects.

Tamanna Singh is a student of a CBSE-affiliated, government-aided school in north Delhi. Described as a bright and diligent student, who is also the captain of her school, she has been studying for the past one year to excel in her Class 12 board exams.

“I was left with the business studies exam. It’s one of the essential subjects. Even during the lockdown, I kept on attending various classes,” Tamanna told Newslaundry. “I heard that they will be marking us on the average score of the other three subjects we have appeared for. I am not all satisfied with this.”

She added, “I don’t know if I would score well enough in all those subjects. I had hopes from my business studies exam. The universities have come out with their forms and I have no option but to fill them. Everything is so uncertain, I don’t know what to do.”

Abhinav Mudgal, a student of commerce at Maheshwari Public School, Jaipur, was due to appear for the business studies and informative practices exams in July. He’s despondent about CBSE’s decision to cancel the exams.

“I am not satisfied with this setup because had the remaining exams taken place now, I would have performed much better due to the ample amount of time we had,” Abhinav said. “I was preparing for the exams and had great expectations from them. My previous results cannot compensate for this. I plan to wait for the re-examination before applying to colleges because I want my percentage to be in tandem with the preparation that I’ve done.”

But other students felt differently.

“I already expected the exam to get cancelled eventually, because they were just dragging it on for months,” said Saumya Ghakkar, a science student at a private school in Delhi. “My computer science paper was pending. As far as I know, we will be marked on the basis of our previous exam.”

He added: “My previous result was fine but I won’t consider it good. And I feel that I could have done much better. But since I am going to pursue design, it wouldn’t affect me that much.”

A student of the Convent of Jesus and Mary, a school in Delhi, said, “I have mixed feelings about it. I’m frustrated that the exams were cancelled as I really wanted to take them. I had done upto five revisions and I am sure I would have scored well, but I do understand the situation and feel that it’s best for everyone’s safety. I will apply to universities, but also take the exams. Worst comes to worst, I’ll take a gap year.”

Kartikeya Parashad, a science student at Lucknow Public School, Uttar Pradesh, said: “I was left with the Hindi exam, but my pre-boards went well. I have already filled the Delhi University forms. But I was also preparing to appear for the JEE entrance which was scheduled on July 27 and now it’s uncertain whether or not the entrance exam would take place.”

Akshita, a student of humanities at Queen Mary’s School, Delhi, said, “It’s the best decision in this situation. They didn’t have an option. Although this might bring down my percentage, life and safety comes before grades.”