Over 21 lakh students are sitting for Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent examinations this morning across the country.
The exams will begin at 10am at 3,497 centres. Students will have to take seats 30 minutes prior to the tests.
This year, a total of 21,35,333 students -– 10,70,441 boys and 10,64,892 girls – from 28,682 institutions have registered for the exams.
The number of examinees rose by more than 1.03 lakh from last year.
The written tests will end on February 26, while the practical tests would be held from February 27 to March 14.
Of the examinees, 17,00,102 are sitting for the SSC exams under eight general education boards while 3,10,172 for Dakhil exams under the Madrasa Education Board, and 1,25,059 for vocational exams under the Bangladesh Technical Education Board.
A total of 434 students will take the exams from eight overseas centres as well.
Education Minister Dipu Moni will visit an examination centre at Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Government Secondary School in Dhaka's Ashkona area.
At a pre-examination briefing on Thursday, she insisted that there would be no incident of question paper leak during the public exams this time.
She called upon the teachers, students and guardians not to pay heed to any rumour.
No one except centre secretary will be allowed to carry mobile phones in the centres.
The coaching centres across the country have been asked to remain closed from January 27 till February 27 to facilitate proper holding of SSC and equivalent exams.
Meanwhile, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members detained two persons from Gazipur for their alleged involvement in leaking question papers of different public exams.
The detainees are Md Rafiqul Islam, 25, a fourth-year honours student of Bhawal Badre Alam Government College and also director of a coaching centre, and Md Akram Hossain, 21, Rab-1 said in a press release.
According to the release, the duo sold both genuine and fake question papers through Facebook and WhatsApp during the public exams of 2017 and 2018 and amassed money through mobile banking service.
Law enforcers are trying to arrest others who were connected with Rafiqul and Akram.