UAE: Grade 10 CBSE exams begin, students find paper 'easy'

Pupils were prepared for the exams as schools had provided guidance and practice on how to attempt the papers


Nandini Sircar

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KT file photo
KT file photo

Published: Tue 30 Nov 2021, 4:42 PM

The Central Board of Secondary Education's (CBSE) first term examinations of major subjects began on Tuesday in the UAE.

Grade 10 students who took the social studies paper said it was a ‘fairly easy’ one. They got 20 minutes to read the question paper and 90 minutes to answer it.

As the exams are being conducted on OMR (optical mark recognition) answer sheets, evaluation is taking place on the same day. After machine scanning, each answer sheet is manually checked by evaluators.

Archana Sagar, principal of Amity Private School Sharjah, said: “CBSE issued clear guidelines for all schools to follow. OMR sheets are to be downloaded beforehand and CBSE has provided schools with the passwords for the Question Papers (QPs) and answer keys in time. We did account for minor delays due to heavy web traffic.”

“However, overall it was a very smooth and systematic process. Students are well prepared and trained for this new assessment format, which is student-friendly and prepares them for other competitive exams. Through mock preparations conducted by CBSE, schools were also well informed. As the exams are taking place on the school premises, parents have been at ease with regard to health and safety protocols,”added Sagar.

In view of the pertaining Covid-19 situation, students have to wear masks, follow social distancing and other Covid protocols during examinations as mentioned on the admit card and by the authorities.

Srivalsan Murugan, Principal/CEO, Our Own English High School, Sharjah – Boys, said: “The examination was conducted well, all Covid-19 protocols were observed as mandated by our regulator, the Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA), as well as the CBSE, Delhi. We had 323 candidates who sat the examination, including five external candidates. It was a smooth flow from start to finish. There were no major challenges in terms of conducting the examinations – nothing that is beyond a good school equipped with good infrastructure and a great faculty.”

While children initially had apprehensions about the new format, school counsellors in the UAE kept meeting students to assuage their concerns while ensuring their emotional wellbeing.

With the change in question paper pattern, students were given a lot of guidance and practice on ways to attempt the paper. Amil Manaf, Grade 10 student of Our Own English High School, Sharjah – Boys, said: “The exam was conducted in an organised manner and our teachers prepared us very well for the challenge of a multiple choice question paper, which is the first-of-its-kind for board examinations. It was absolutely stress free.”

The new format did not pose much of a challenge to most students and a majority of them sailed through on the first social science paper.

Echoing similar sentiments Tarun M Rawat, Grade 10 student said: “Board exams can be stressful, but our teachers prepared us very well and were available to us 24x7. Thanks to them, we could do the exam extremely well.”

The Grade 10 first term exam will end on December 8. Another Grade 10 student, Devyani Singh, said: “I was quite confident as I had solved many sample papers. My school had also demonstrated how to fill up the OMR sheet. I feel MCQs are helpful for fetching perfect marks. I think my exam went off quite well.”

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