Council of Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE)

Chemistry test anxiety grips ISC examinees

Jhinuk Mazumdar
Jhinuk Mazumdar
Posted on 28 Feb 2024
05:55 AM
Representational image

Representational image File image

The teachers are trying to allay their fears, saying their preparations would stand them in good stead

ISC (Class XII) examinees in several schools called up their teachers on Tuesday and expressed their worry over whether the next set of questions in chemistry would be tougher.

The teachers are trying to allay their fears, saying their preparations would stand them in good stead. The examinees, the teachers are saying, should treat the “postponement” of the chemistry exam as an opportunity for better revision.

On Monday, the ISC chemistry exam was cancelled barely one-and-a-half-hours before it was to start, leaving thousands of students confused and disturbed.


The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), which conducts the school-leaving exams, later announced that the chemistry test would be held on March 21.

It is natural for students to be anxious, said several teachers. It creates doubts about preparedness, upsets the rhythm and affects plans.

“Students fear that the next set of questions will be tougher. Teachers are speaking to them to calm them. We are telling them that the weightage of difficulty would be similar,” said Anil Jha, ISC coordinator, The Heritage School.

In one school, students and some parents called to enquire whether any other test would be deferred at the last minute.

“Teachers have been receiving calls from students and parents who are asking if there is a possibility of a repeat of what happened on Monday. We are telling them that it was an extreme situation. The council is a student-friendly body and they would see to it that students do not suffer,” said Rodney Borneo, principal, St Augustine’s Day School, Shyamnagar.

Teachers across schools said the postponement at the last moment — many students got to know about it either after reaching school or on their way to school — made it more disturbing for the examinees.

“They were ready for one paper, which did not happen. So it is bound to leave them a little flustered. Naturally,
they will seek answers from their teachers,” said Aruna Gomes, principal, Loreto House.

Rupkatha Sarkar, principal, La Martiniere for Girls, said students have been told not to “panic” and “revise” what they have studied.

A section of teachers feels that lack of knowledge about the reason for the postponement is only adding to the anxiety. The council cited “unforeseen circumstances” for the postponement.

“It can be less disturbing and distracting for them if the real reason (of the postponement) is in the open. But the students have been kept in the dark about it,” said Terence Ireland, principal, St James’ School.

Satabdi Bhattacharjee, principal, South City International School, said teachers are telling students to focus on the next exam, instead of worrying over chemistry. “We are telling them that now they have a few more days to prepare for the paper,” said Bhattacharjee.

A principal said such setbacks will also teach students to tackle life better as it comes.

“Children need to be resilient and life is the only learning ground. They have to learn to tackle situations and we must not try to prepare them for everything,” said Damayanti Mukherjee, principal, Modern High School for Girls.

Last updated on 28 Feb 2024
05:56 AM
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