70% questions for SSLC, Plus-2 exams from focus area; NCERT to train on question paper setting

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Thiruvananthapuram: The preparations for setting the public examination question papers for classes 10 and 12, based on the renewed guidelines regarding the focus area, have begun. Unlike last year, the questions from the focus area would be limited to 70%. The remaining 30% questions would be from the rest of the syllabus. Meanwhile, the lessons that are included in the focus area have been increased to 60% from last year’s 40%.

Last year, around 200% additional questions were included in the question papers, giving multiple options for the students to choose. However, this year, only 50% additional questions would be included.

As per the latest guidelines, there would be questions of 120 marks for an exam that carries a maximum mark of 80. However, questions of only 84 marks would be from the focus area. The remaining questions of 36 marks would cover the entire syllabus.

The changes in the focus area are based on the renewed guidelines that were published by the Kerala government last month for students taking the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) and Higher Secondary Examinations.

Meanwhile, a workshop is being conducted by the NCERT at the Pareeksha Bhavan to train subject experts on preparing questions based on these guidelines.

Flaws in previous pattern
Last year, 80% of the questions were from the focus area that comprised of just 40% of the syllabus. The remaining 20% questions were from the entire syllabus which also included the focus area. For the exam that carried a maximum mark of 100, extra questions up to 200 marks were included in the question paper. This allowed the students who had only studied the focus areas to score high marks. As a result, the number of students who scored A-plus grades for all the subjects in classes 10 and 12, had skyrocketed. This, in turn, created a crisis in the admission process as there weren’t enough seats for the plus-two and degree courses to accommodate all the eligible candidates.

Besides, a student could score high marks even if he/she studied only 40% of the syllabus. This led to criticism that educational standards could fall with such a liberal pattern.

All these negative factors were considered while publishing the renewed guidelines regarding the focus area.  

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