Several students and parents from Chennai have expressed concern over the disparity in difficulty levels with regard to the question papers for the Class X social science board examination conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
The exam, which took place on Friday, had three different sets of question papers and students who got the second and third set said they were at a disadvantage compared to those who got the first, owing to a tough five-mark question.
While students who got the first set had to identify and list the names of political parties mentioned as national or regional parties, students who got the second set were asked to write the name of one regional political party from each State with the election symbol. Students who got the third set of question papers were similarly asked to identify and list the symbols and the names of regional political parties with their States.
Madhumitha, a student who got the third set, said it was unfair to expect them to name a political party and its symbol from different States. “When the set 1 question paper expected the students to only differentiate between national and regional political parties, why was it tougher for us,” she asked.
Several schools from the city have written to the board, asking for moderation to be considered.
Sangeetha, parent of a student who wrote the exam, pointed out that this was not just the case with the social science paper. “We noticed these differences in the mathematics and science paper too. As parents, we have appealed to the board, hoping for moderation in the evaluation,” she added.
Sarada Narendranath, head of the social science department from Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram, said the textbook had provided the names of some regional parties with their symbols, but it was strictly for the understanding of the students.
“They have never been tested on this and it is unfair to expect Class X students to remember the different symbols of over 40 regional parties from across the country,” she said, adding that the paper was otherwise a comprehensive and good one. Bhama Ravi Venkatesh, head of the social science department from Sir Siva Swami Kalalaya, too said that the question was definitely tougher for students who got the second and third set. “Students are generally tested on the functions of parties or even specifically on a few national parties. There are so many regional parties across the country and allotting five marks to this is a lot,” she said.