For the first time, 20 percent of the questions will be based on `high-order thinking skills’ as prescribed by the National Curriculum Framework (NCF), the guiding document for preparation of NCERT textbooks.

“This time, there will be a paradigm shift in typology and pattern of questions. It will require the students to interpret, critically think, analyse and synthesise for answering the questions,” CBSE Chairman Ashok Ganguly told reporters in New Delhi on Thursday.

“There may be a paragraph of text and the students may be asked to go through it to answer certain questions. There will similar questions that can actually test the understanding of the students,” he said.

Earlier, he said, students were able to answer knowledge-based questions by memorising from their textbooks.

Over 13.13 lakh students are appearing in the exams starting from 1st March.

While there are 7,65,095 candidates, including 4,49,742 boys, for the Class X exam, 5,48,815 students, including 3,18,618 boys, have registered for the Class XII exam.

The total number of candidates marks an eight percent increase over the number of students last year.

Over 12 lakh students had appeared in the test last year in the board exams, Ganguly said.

About 2,500 physically-challenged students will appear in the exams.

These include 373 visually-challenged students in Class X and 214 such candidates in Class XII, Ganguly said.

There will be 2,624 centres for Class X and 2,394 centres for Class XII students, he said.

About 18,000 students have registered for the exams from foreign countries.

In Delhi region of the board, 2,19,796 students have registered for the Class X exam while there are 1,60,414 students for the Class XII exam.

The CBSE has already put the sample question papers on its website.

It will also put the sample answer papers of those students who had secured 100 percent marks in the papers last year.

“This will give an idea of how to score better in the examination,” Ganguly said.

A 15-minute cool off time, given to help students read and understand the questions, will continue as before.

“This is really helpful to students to control their stress during the examination. We will continue it,” Ganguly said.

The CBSE has already decided to increase the compartmental examination chances to five from the earlier three.

The board has started a helpline in which counselling is being offered to the students.

“We have 36 counsellors who are attending to the queries of the students,” Ganguly said.

The board has also decided that if a student fails in Mathematics, he or she can opt for another subject in lieu of that subject in the compartmental examination.

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