The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and its equivalent exams have begun today with maintaining virus safety guidelines, after a break of eight months due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Around 14 lakh examinees – 34,000 more compared to last year – are expected to sit for the examinations at 2,621 centres, from 9,183 institutes under the 11 educational boards across the country.
Of them, 729,738 are boys and 669,952 are girls.
The tests are scheduled to be taken in two shifts – 10am-11:30am and 2pm-3:30pm.
The duration of each exam is one and a half hours.
The examination will end on 30 December.
This year's exam, which will have fewer subjects and a shortened syllabus, is being held eight months later than the usual schedule as the government waited for the coronavirus transmission to come under control.
The examinees will have to take tests only in three optional subjects. They will not have to sit tests in compulsory subjects like Bangla and English. The exams will carry fewer marks.
Guidelines for candidates
The authorities have issued several guidelines for the candidates attending the exams.
It urged the examinees to arrive at respective centres 30 minutes before the exam, to put their roll and registration numbers carefully, and not to fold answer sheets. Students would be allowed to use only general and scientific calculators but no calculating devices having other programmes.
Bringing mobile phones is strictly prohibited for the examinees. Only respective officials of the exam centres can use cell phones.
How this year's exam different
Due to the pandemic situation, this year's HSC tests are being held only on group-wise elective subjects with shortened syllabus.
The participants will sit for 6 papers under three group-wise subjects, unlike six subjects of regular time. There will be no test on common subjects such as Bangla and English. Instead, these will be assessed based on their previous public examination marks.
The science group students attend the examinations for 32 marks, business studies and humanities for 45 marks.
Science students have to answer the two essay questions out of 8. The mark of each answer is 10. Besides, they have to answer 12 MCQ questions out of 25.
Business studies and humanities students will have to answer two essay questions out of 11, and 15 MCQ questions out of 30.
Last year, the results of HSC examinees were determined on the basis of their previous SSC and JSC equivalent exams results while students of other classes got promoted to the next classes automatically.
The government also took this year's secondary school certificate (SSC), and equivalent exams on group-wise elective subjects with shortened syllabus.