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Matric exams from Feb 25

Cuttack/Bhubaneswar, Jan. 11: Matriculation exams will be held from February 25 to March 9, announced the Board of Secondary Education today.

“But unlike previous years, the exam will start at 9am instead of 7.30am,” said board president Dakhya Prasad Nanda. He said the schedule would be declared shortly.

More than 5.7 lakh candidates, including 70,000 ex-regular students, will appear for eight papers at 2,500 centres across the state this year.

This time, a question paper-cum-answer sheet has been introduced. The board has decided to provide the booklet 15 minutes before the commencement of each examination. But students will be allowed to write the answers only at 9am.

Candidates will have to answer within a specified ruled space on the question paper itself. The blank space will be ruled. An additional 20 per cent space will be provided for each individual question and two extra blank pages will be attached after the last page to allow students to rewrite answers.

For papers carrying 100 marks, the duration will be 2.5 hours, and for 50-marks papers, 1.5 hours. Examination scheduled from March 6 to 9 (50 marks) will be held in two sittings for regular students, from 9am to 10.30am, and for ex-regular students, from 12 noon to 1.30pm.

There will be a gap of one day between the examination for regular and ex-regular candidates. The questions will also be uploaded on the board’s website, so that students may use it for reference.

For smooth conduct of the exams, board officials have written to the district administration officials and police for security arrangements.

As many as 301 nodal centres have been set up for the security of the confidential examination materials. The move was taken keeping in view last year’s question paper leak in seven subjects from an exam centre in Puri.

The question papers will be dispatched to the centres a day before the start of each exam.

A three-tier squad would be formed to conduct surprise inspections. “Apart from central squads consisting of board members, other inspecting teams will be led by district education officers. District collectors have been told to strengthen security,” said Nanda.