Model answer keys meant to bring transparency in MCQ based examinations such as WBJEE have instead led to confusion among examinees. Experts checking the model answer keys for the WBJEE (medical), now in public domain, have pointed to at least five ambiguous questions and answers in the biology section (four in zoology, and one in botany), two in chemistry and one in physics. All this, when the West Bengal Joint Entrance Board has announced to publish the results on August 27, though there is pressure to bring it forward.
What are model answer keys? They are a list of answers to all the MCQ questions that are uploaded so that students can tally the answers to make a self-assessment of their performance. These answers known as model answers are given by examiners and moderators in the WBJEE Board.The complaint that some answers are wrong, if found true, can put a question mark on the competence of the examiners.
What’s more is that the WBJEE Board has not denied the charge. Instead, the Board has asked candidates to apply for a review of the model answer keys by depositing Rs 1,000 to the board office along with supporting calculations and references. The board will send these to the expert com mittee of the WBJEE Board that will examine the objections and arrive at a decision.“The expert panel’s decision will be final. The final model answer keys will then be uploaded again and there will be no further change,“ said board chairman Sajal Dasgupta.
“It doesn’t speak well of a board when such complaints arise. I must say that it is very difficult to avoid ambiguity in setting MCQ questions. Examiners must take extreme caution to ensure that questions are clear and so the answers,“ said JU former dean of engineering Manoj Mitra.
Mitra feels that setting an ambiguous question does more harm than giving an incorrect model answer. “I have not gone through the question paper. But I feel that the WBJEE authorities need to give the benefit of doubt to students for each of such ambiguous questions. Model answers, if found incorrect, can be corrected.Even it shows the examiners in poor light,“ the former dean said. He said time taken to bring out error-free model answer keys won’t cause any further delay in publication of results.
anandabazar patrika epaper 13/08/2016 : http://www.anandabazar.com