The Class 12 CBSE mathematics paper made students stumble for the second year in a row. Principals at exam centres say many students were weeping by the end of it because the paper — even some one-mark questions — was unexpectedly lengthy and they couldn’t complete.
“As I was walking down the corridor, I heard my classmates were talking about how they’ve left 15 to 20 marks worth of questions unanswered,” says Sanya Ahuja, student of Presidium School, Ashok Vihar. “The paper was slightly hard. Even the one-mark questions weren’t straight forward. But the length made it incredibly hard. When the invigilator announced that one-hour and thirty-minutes were up (half time), I broke down and started crying.” Ahuja found the paper had “too much vectors” and the four-mark integration question was hard too.
Tania Joshi, principal, The Indian School, says it was both “slightly tough and took too much time.” Two six-mark questions from matrices and determinants and one four-marker were all lengthy. “Some finished, some didn’t. With a lengthy paper, morale drops and kids find themselves not being able to keep up,” says Joshi.
Isha Patel who studies at Delhi Public School, R K Puram, found the calculus part especially difficult. “I have left about six-seven marks. We’ve been told when CBSE sets a tough paper, checking is usually lenient. Let’s see,” she says. Another student, stunned by how badly maths has gone, says that as many as 21 questions in the paper “were indirect.” “We solve 10-year papers and those are all direct questions. This time, 80% of the questions were indirect,” she says.
Ahuja adds that she was expecting over 90. “It’s a paper people expect to score 97-98 in. The Delhi University cut-off percentages are over that,” she points out.
Maths teachers at Mount Abu Public School, Nitish Gupta and Nisha Bajaj agree. “It was a balanced paper, though it demanded the students to face some tricky and twisted questions. Students could not get sufficient time to revise the paper as it was a bit lengthy and required much calculation. Scoring a 100% would’ve required good time management and fast calculation,” they write.