As reported by Sonia Sarkar on on 27 February 2008: Board exams: The marks game

Board exams: The marks game

For 4 lakh students across the Capital appearing for the Boards this year, believe it or not, your fate will actually be decided in just 14 minutes.

Aditya Prasad cleared his Class XII examinations two years back but he was not satisfied with his marks.

Curious to know how examiners of the Central Board of Secondary Education or CBSE check answer sheets, he filed an application under the Right to Information or the RTI Act this year.

The CBSE has told him it takes examiners less than 15 minutes to decide the fate of a candidate who appears for a 3 hour exam.

''Examiners check the paper in just 14.4 minutes, whatever effort you may put in AKLL through the year, your fate will be decided in these 14 minutes. This includes everything right from marking the answer script to totaling the marks to copying the marks to the other sheet,'' said Aditya Prasad, RTI applicant.

CBSE examiners get just 5 to 6 hours to check not more than 25 answer scripts each day. The examiners also say the guidelines they get to award marks leave a lot of room for interpretation.

''Examiners do not stick to any marking scheme. Each of them has their own marking scheme,'' said Anjali Malik, Maths Examiner, CBSE.

The examiners also complain there is not enough incentive for their work. Checking an answer sheet of Class X gets them Rs 8 per script and Rs 11 for Class XII.

Be it poor incentive or a case of different teachers interpreting the rules differently, students complain it is they who are at the receiving end.

''It is a cause of concern. One can check Maths in 14 minutes but language papers need some more time,'' said Hardik Gupta, Class X Student, Modern School, Vasant Vihar.

''There should be proper training for the CBSE examiners, revise the mechanism,'' said Suraj Prakash, Head Examiner (Physics), CBSE.

Even as CBSE made tall claims to make the system more student friendly, they seem to be inept at a crucial job, which is giving the students their due through a proper system of evaluation.