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Inclusion of MCQs in HSC Exam?

For the first time, the Class 12 or Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams that would be conducted under the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Education (MSBSHSE) in February 2019, will include multiple choice questions (MCQs) in the style of the NEET and JEE competitive entrance exams.

Please note that this alteration about the MCQs in HSC Exam will be applicable only for Science stream students in their Physics, Chemistry, and Biology and Mathematics and Statistics question papers.

This decision has been conclusively taken to boost the writing skills of the students so that they can fare better in these entrance tests.

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) exam is designed for students who want to take up medical and dental courses; whereas, the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) – Main is meant for students who are aspiring to be engineers.

Students give these entrance tests after they complete their HSC board exams. They then need to practice vigorously for these tests by joining coaching classes and special tutorials. Since a huge number of science students choose engineering or medicine post-HSC, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) has finally decided to introduce this alteration.

Krishnakumar Patil, the additional divisional chairman of the Mumbai division, MSBSHSE, confirmed to the Indian daily newspaper, The Asian Age that this idea of also having inputs from NEET and JEE was explicitly done for the benefit of students. He further added that it would serve as opening lessons for their entrance exams after the HSC examinations. Mr. Patil also stated that the pattern has been altered on the basis of the outline recommended by the Council of Boards of School Education. So, students who are giving the exams in 2019 would need to attempt the MCQs compulsorily.

Subhash Borse, joint secretary, MSBSHSE, Mumbai division, also confirmed, “We have trained teachers so that they can set question papers according to this new format. We understand there are some students who do not take up engineering or medical courses after Class 12, but the number is dwindling.”

According to the paper pattern declared by the Maharashtra state board, Physics and Chemistry, which would be a 70 marks paper, will contain MCQs carrying four marks (four questions, one mark each).

For now, the 70 marks Biology paper would include eight marks (eight questions, one mark each) and the Mathematics & Statistics MCQs would have six marks for six questions. For all these exams, students will not get any access to calculators inside the examination hall.

But what if students who are not keen on taking up NEET or JEE and still have to attempt these papers? Sudha Shenoy, a parent, said, “Most number of students who nowadays choose the science stream will go for competitive entrance exams after Class 12. This will only make life easier for a majority of the students when they start preparing for such tough examinations.”

Quick Exam Overview

  • Each year, around 15 lakh candidates give the HSC examinations in the entire state.
  • The online application process of filling up the examination forms and the fees is still ongoing, with the last day being November 16.
  • For the upcoming year, the HSC exams are scheduled to be held from February 21, 2019, to March 20, 2019.

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