Indian students
[REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE] CBSE Class 12th maths exam in 2017 to be less difficult than previous yearWikimedia Commons

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has said that it will reduce the difficulty level of its maths exam for Class 12 students in 2017 after the 2016 exams left many in tears. The weightage of higher order thinking skills (HOTS) questions have been reduced to 10 percent now. 

Students will also have three two mark questions in the HOTS section and one four mark question. According to difficulty level, the 100 mark paper has been divided into 20 percent easy, 60 percent average and another 20 percent difficult. 

The academic board reduced the number of HOTS questions and introduced two mark questions in the forthcoming exam. The board has reportedly been conducting difficult maths exams for the last two years. 

There will be no overall choice, but 30 percent internal choice will be given in 4 and 6 mark questions, the circular read. 

"It is good that the CBSE has now defined what to expect and students can prepare themselves well. Also, splitting the HOTS into three two-mark questions (see box) will mean that students can at least attempt some of them," Jeeja K, teacher at R N Podar School, Santacruz, told the Times of India. 

Another teacher from a Maharashtra school said: "When a student doesn't know how to answer a six-mark question, he or she loses out on all the six marks. With more questions with fewer marks, they are likely to lose fewer marks. Shorter questions take lesser time to solve."

The difficulty of the March 2016 maths paper had been enough to warrant social media outrage and a discussion in Parliament. 

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