With CBSE Class 12th board exams if the year 2016 over wherein, Mathematics paper is being criticized for being inappropriate and CBSE Board has been blamed for the same. According to most of the students and teachers, the paper has been claimed for being tough, difficult, and lengthy that was meant for IIT aspirants. Online petitions have been filed in thousands and various social media sites and newspapers are buzzing with critical analysis of the question paper, including negative comments and demanding re-examination, grace marks etc.
Hope the purpose of the examination will not lost in the minds of the people amid all the criticism that, it is supposed to be the CBSE Class 12th Board Exam which is meant to test the candidates’ knowledge & understanding of the subject and the marking is done on the student’s responses which eventually makes them eligible for future undergraduate/ degree courses of their choice.
With increasing college admission cut-offs and growing intelligence among students, thanks to target oriented teaching by which students are being exposed these days. It is understandable that CBSE would also be having a challenge on-hand when it comes to testing a student at “school leaving stage”.
And, if one reviews the question paper in the context of the above facts & trends, it can be judiciously referred as a question paper with right content on the basis of prescribed NCERT syllabi to serve the purpose what it is meant for in the first place!
Having refreshed the purpose of the examination and now, going by the issues that have been raised in the question paper can be summarized as not being tough or out of NCERT syllabus as being made out to be– it was well within the parameters. The paper was very much NCERT based as much as some of the questions were taken straight from NCERT books & supplementary.
Here are some examples signifying that criticism is misplaced:-
• Set 3/ Section B/ Questions 13
In this question it has been asked to find the values at Two Points for First Derivative only. If one refers previous years’ question papers, same question can be found where Second Derivative had been asked. Basically, there is no much difference if any of the two types have been asked and as such it does not amount to be being tough or, lengthy.
• Set 3/ Section B/ Questions 14
This question is being claimed as for IIT Entrance Level (supposedly tough) while it could be solved using Trigonometric Identities in just 6 to 8 step that is very much of school level.
• Set 3/ Section C/ Questions 20
This question is claimed to be not from NCERT Book while these are very much part of the book. If one carefully goes through the book it can be found that similar questions are there as examples and in the examination paper, two questions from the books have been clubbed to make one question no. 20
• Set 3/ Section C/ Questions 23
This question too is from the NCERT Book and only the last line has been added in the exam to test the knowledge level of the students. The addition of last line neither makes question tough nor, lengthy.
On the criticism of it being “Lengthy” - It was lengthy or not would depend on ones understanding of the subject & ability to solve the problems which are not theoretical in nature. If a student is well versed with the fundamentals of the topic then there is no stopping for a student from solving the problem with correct solution. How can “one marker questions” in Mathematics be limited to just 'one liner questions'? If you don’t believe, feel free to check out previous years’ question papers.
Let’s take couple of examples of questions from the paper which are claimed to be lengthy:-
• Set 3/ Section A/ Questions 3 & 4
The Solution for these questions is just in 4 to 6 lines which could be solved if a student knows how to use determinant properties in Q3 and Cubic identity in Q4.
• Set 3/ Section B/ Questions 11
The Solution for this question could also be achieved in just 4 to 6 lines if proper trigonometry.
• Set 3/ Section B/ Questions 19
It’s a Differential Equation question that is based on Variable Separable method that is solvable in 6 to 8 Steps and no where it is as lengthy as criticized for asking a Particular Solution instead of General Solution. The fact of the matter is that for a simple question a Particular Solution was asked which matched the placement of question in Section-B, of 4 marks.
• Set 3/ Section C/ Questions 24
Both the options in this particular question are on the NCERT pattern. The topic for these questions is Matrix & Determinants and there have had always been questions in the board exam on the same Topic. Question asked this time was commensurate to its marks value of 6 & nothing new asked as compared to previous years’ questions.
The Mathematics question paper for the year 2016 class 12th exam was from within the NCERT syllabus and the level of questions was on the expected lines. Better learning with good grasp on fundamentals & preparation makes all the difference.
I strongly believe that it was a paper meant to test a student’s problem solving ability and not just memorizing power and I would commend CBSE for achieving that objective.