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Changes sweep ICSE, ISC exams this year

- Candidates to get OMR sheets 30 minutes before test, seven-digit UID on admit cards

Their big test is knocking on the door and as Class X and XII students across 40-plus schools in Jamshedpur prepare for the challenge, they are also gearing up to adapt to a number of new rules that Council of Indian School Certificate Examinations have introduced.

To begin with, students appearing for ICSE and ISC will be given OMR (optical mark recognition) sheets 30 minutes before the exam starts and they will have to write their names, subject, subject code, date and roll number very carefully. The students will have to use only black ball pen to fill these OMR sheets.

An extra 15 minutes will be given to students for filling up the OMR sheets and another 15 minutes for reading the question paper. ICSE students will get two hours to write. But they will get 30 minutes extra to finish their maths paper and an hour more to write their Hindi paper. All ISC papers, however, will be of three-hour duration.

The council had sent a few sample sheets to schools for students to practise during pre-broads that were held in January. A sample OMR sheet has also been uploaded on the council’s website.

Till last year, students used to get an index number printed on admit cards. This has been replaced by a seven-digit UID (unique identification number) this year. This is aimed at ensuring confidentiality.

UIDs are random numbers with no bearing on the students’ centres or roll numbers. This means no one else will be able to access their marks from the council website. The examiner will not know the identity of the student or the school.

The seven-digit UID will remain with the student for life, even if they want duplicates of marksheets or change their names and want marksheets re-issued in new names.

“The rules have been introduced in tune with time and technology. Not only students, examiners supervising the test will also have to use OMR sheets for records and verification. In fact, the evaluator will also use such sheets while they check answer papers. I hope the evaluation this year will also be a bit different,” said Indrani Singh, principal of ICSE-affiliated ADLS Sunshine School.

The theory papers for ISC students will begin from February 21 and conclude on April 7, while the practical tests began on Tuesday with science students appearing for their physics practical examination. ICSE students, on the other hand, will write their first examination on March 3.

However, the Central Board of Secondary Examination has not changed any rule.

“We are getting ready for the examinations. Thankfully, CBSE rules are left unaltered and we will follow what we have been doing so far,” said Vipin Sharma, principal of Vidya Bharati Chinmaya Vidyalaya.