Matric reform: Exam duration extended to 3 hrs, 15-min grace for Math

Bhubaneswar: In its all-out effort to make the Class X board examination stress-free, the Odisha government on Tuesday decided to extend the time duration of the examination by half an hour to three hours. Besides, it also declared that the examinees will get a grace period of 15-minutes to solve the Mathematics paper.
Today, the Board of Secondary Education (BSE), which conducts the examination made six sample papers of the newly introduced format available on its official website, for the acquaintance of the aspirants.
Clarifying about the paper timings, School and Mass Education Minister Rabi Narayan Nanda said, “Since each paper consists of two parts- multiple choice and subjective, the transition between the two is a time consuming process that involves answer sheet collection and distribution, and we don’t want the students to bear it. So we decided to extend the time from two and half hours to three hours. I think the students will get ample time during the transition to concentrate on the subject.”
On the grace period for Math paper, Nanda said, “It was unanimously decided at the meeting that the examinees should be given 15-minutes more to solve the (Math) paper.”
The meeting was attended by district officers (DOs) who were trained about the nitty-gritty of the new format.
Officials attending the meeting informed that the state government would send sample hard copies of all the subjects to each school, so that the students can work on self-examination exercises.
“We are trying that the copies must reach the schools by 20th of this month,” said an official.
Besides, well-trained teams have been formed to guide the teachers as well as the students about the new format consisting optical mark recognition (OMR) sheets and the question-cum answer papers.  
“Five teams in each district will visit schools to clarify doubts, if any, of the students and teachers,” the minister said.
“We are sure the sample papers will give them a fair idea about the pattern and they must not worry about it. The new pattern with equal percentage of objective and subjective questions will acquaint the students to prepare for various national-level competitive exams,” he stated.
As per the new format, dubbed as student-friendly, in the first one hour the aspirants are needed to fill up the OMR sheets containing multiple choice questions, and in the next two hours they need to attend the subjective type requiring long type answers.