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Essay questions removed

BC high school students may have studied for weeks in preparation for provincial English and Social Studies exams, but a last minute change means they will have to do some mental juggling as they turn over their papers.

The Ministry of Education says it has responded to worries from administrators and revised the Grade 10 English and Grade 11 Social Studies exams to remove essay questions.

The tests have been declared an essential service and must be supervised and marked by striking members of the B-C Teachers' Federation, but there's concern that not enough qualified markers are available to handle the estimated 70,000 papers due to be written Tuesday.

One of two essay questions has been removed from the English exam and both long-answer questions are gone from the Social Studies test.

Students will instead answer more multiple choice questions.

A full-scale strike by public school teachers officially began last Tuesday and no talks are scheduled between the union and the province as the two sides wrangle over wages, class size and composition. 

The Canadian Press

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