The Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) and equivalent examinations begin today with maintaining virus safety guidelines, on group-wise subjects with shortened syllabus amid the pandemic.
The education ministry delayed the exams, which usually take place early April every year, by eight months due to the deteriorating Covid-19 situation.
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.
"I hope the examinations will be held in a congenial atmosphere across the country," Education Minister Dipu Moni said Wednesday while briefing reporters in the capital.
She sought cooperation from guardians, students and teachers to make the exams peaceful.
"We will not tolerate any unscrupulous activities like leaking question papers and irregularities," she said, adding that law enforcement agencies would be deployed at all the centres to avert any untoward incident.
The duration of each exam is one and a half hours and the tests are scheduled to be taken in two shifts – 10am-11:30am and 2pm-3:30pm.
The examination will end on 30 December.
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.