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Explained: How candidates should use the OMR sheets introduced by CBSE for Class X, XII exams

The board will be using Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheets for the first time in the Term-1 examinations to be held for Class XII, X students on Nov 16 and 17, respectively

The board will provide OMR sheets to schools, which they will have to download in advance and keep under lock-and-key until the date of the examination. (Representational)

With the CBSE Term-1 examinations for both classes X and XII to be entirely in the form of multiple-choice questions, the board will use OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) sheets for the first time. The Term-1 examinations will be conducted in the offline mode and will begin on November 16 for Class XII students and on November 17 for Class X students.

Schools to hold practice sessions

The board will provide OMR sheets to schools, which they will have to download in advance and keep under lock-and-key until the date of the examination. Detailed guidelines have been sent to schools on the use of OMR sheets for exams and the board has instructed them to hold practice sessions for students on how to use them.

Each sheet will have space for answering 60 questions, irrespective of the number of questions in a given exam. Answers given in circles and boxes marked beyond the maximum number of questions in a paper will not be evaluated.

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Darken chosen option, write it in box

For each question, the sheet will have four circles labelled a, b, c and d. Once they decide on the answer, the candidates will have to completely darken the circle pertaining to the chosen option. The four circles will be followed by a blank box. Candidates will also have to write their chosen option a, b, c or d in the blank box. The reply written in the box will be treated as final.

The board has advised candidates to first mark their response by darkening the circle and fill the box only after they are fully satisfied with the answer. “Purpose of giving a box is only that if any candidate wishes to change the response, the same (should) be written in the box,” states a letter by the Controller of Examinations to all school heads.

Use only blue/black pens

After the blank box, there will be another circle with the relevant question number written in it. Candidates will have to darken this circle if they will not be attempting the question.


The board has also instructed candidates to use only blue or black ball-point pens for filling the OMR sheets. Using a pencil will be considered “use of unfair means” and action will be taken against the candidate.

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First published on: 06-11-2021 at 16:58 IST
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