The dates for secondary school certificate (SSC) and higher secondary school certificate (HSSC) examinations in Punjab for all boards have been announced. The annual SSC exam for all boards across Punjab will begin on May 5, said a notification by the government. The HSSC exam for all boards across the province will start on June 12. After an extended closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, students from all public and private primary and middle schools and universities went back to school on February 1. Students of grades nine to 12 had already gone back to school on January 18. Unlike the previous year, the federal and provincial governments have decided that students will not be promoted without exams. Last month, Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani said that SSC board exams will be conducted from July 1 to July 15, while intermediate exams will take place from July 28 to August 16. Exams for students of pre-primary to class eight will be conducted in June, he added. The education minister also announced the steering committee’s decisions on the paper pattern for the 2021 board exams. Exam duration will be two hours as opposed to the previous three-hour time. Half the exam will consist of multiple-choice questions, while 30% will have short questions and 20% long questions.