The ICSE (Class X) and ISC (Class XII) semester 2 exams will have multiple-choice questions in addition to short and long answer questions, according to specimen papers published by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE).
“An MCQ (multiple-choice questions) component has been added to semester 2 exams. There will be short-and long-answer questions in addition,” Gerry Arathoon, the chief executive and secretary of the CISCE, told The Telegraph over the phone on Tuesday.
The council published the specimen papers for the semester 2 ICSE and ISC exams on Monday.
The total marks for the ISC papers is 35 or 40 depending on the subject. The writing time for all the papers is one-and-a-half hours in the specimen papers that have been published.
The total marks for the ICSE papers is 40 or 50 and the time allotted for completing the paper is one-and-a-half hours, according to the specimen papers.
Unlike in previous years, this year the council introduced two exams divided into two semesters.
Arathoon said that since the question papers for the semester 2 exams are not of 70 or 80 marks and not of two or three hours’ duration like before, there is a change in the marks pattern of individual questions, too.
“The time allotted for the exam has been reduced and the number of marks has also been reduced,” said Arathoon.
The first semester exams had only multiple-choice questions for both ICSE and ISC.
The semester 1 ICSE ended on December 16 and semester 1 ISC on December 20.
Several schools have also asked teachers to go through the specimens because they will have to prepare students for the second semester according to the specimen papers when schools reopen after the winter vacation, principals of schools said.
“Since the semester 1 exam was completely MCQ, it was a new pattern for students but in semester 2 there will also be short and long answers that we have been doing for so many years,” said a principal.
“However, MCQ does not mean it is going to be straight and simple questions. In some subjects, students will have to work out the answers,” the principal said.
Schools will reopen in January.
The practicals for ISC students have to be completed by January 31, which has been brought forward by about a month.