The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has announced that class X and XII exams will begin on March 9, instead of the usual March 1due to elections in five states.

“The annual examinations of class X and XII will be conducted by CBSE from 9th March 2017 in view of the state assembly elections.... The board has given careful consideration to the situation before postponing the exams by a week which will now allow the students to get more time for the preparation and ensure uninterrupted sequence of examinations,“ a press release issued by the CBSE said. City teachers said the delay leaves little time for class XII students to prepare for entrance exams. The JEE (Main) is to be held on April 2, 8 and 9. “Usually , students would have a few days to prepare, but now it is very crammed,“ said a principal.

CBSE said it had made all efforts to maintain reasonable time gap between the major papers and also ensured that the students appearing for JEE and NEET complete the exam ahead of these entrance tests.

The class X exam ends on April 10 while class XII exam ends on April 29. “We usually have two weeks of classes for class XI in April, but with the delay in exams, it seems unlikely this year,“ said Avnita Bir, principal, R N Podar School, Santacruz.

This year, 16.67 lakh students will appear for class X exam, up 11.8% from 2015. The number for the class XII exam increased to 10.98 lakh, up only 3.12%.