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Since 1st March, 1999
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CBSE splits science paper
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New Delhi, Jan. 11: Sitting for the CBSE Class X board exams this year' Gear up for a 90-minute multiple choice paper in science.

The Central Board of Secondary Education has for the first time broken up the science paper into three parts — the new multiple-choice paper will carry 20 marks, the main theory paper 60, and practical tests will account for the remaining 20.

The multiple-choice paper will require students to tick one out of four options given for every question. The test will be held on March 28, four days after the science theory paper, stretching the board exams further.

The multiple-choice question paper, CBSE officials said, will have 30 questions. The first 20 questions will be worth half a mark, while the last 10 will carry a mark each.

“The actual question paper the students get will be worth 40 marks, but the marks will be scaled down to 20,” M.C. Sharma, CBSE controller of examinations, said.

The board has sent sample question papers to schools across the country.

Till last year, the practical science tests in school laboratories carried 25 marks, while the theory paper had 75.

The duration of the main paper has also come down from three hours to two and a half hours.

“Students will, however, continue to get an extra 15 minutes to study the paper before they start writing,” Sharma said.

There is a change in the mathematics paper, too. From this year, it will carry 80 marks instead of 100. Twenty marks will be determined through internal assessment.

“Students have been assessed by teachers through the year, and the internal assessment marks will be given based on performance in school exams, particularly the pre-board exams,” said Jyoti Bose, the principal of Delhi’s Springdales School.

The CBSE had first announced the change in the exam pattern for Class X in 2004.

The same break-up of marks between theory, practical and multiple-choice papers, besides internal assessment in case of mathematics, was introduced for students promoted to Class IX in 2005, who will be sitting for their boards this year.

However, schools say they received the sample question papers only recently, and the break-up of marks and duration of the examinations were not clear earlier.

There’s some good news for students who cannot clear the board exams at one go. They will get five subsequent opportunities, two more than earlier, Sharma said.

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