Have you ever taken an MCQ type competitive exam? No matter how well you are prepared for an exam there will definitely be a few questions to puzzle your mind. In such situations, where you are not aware of the answer, the best option is to make a guess. But randomly ticking an option can put us in trouble if there is negative marking in the exam. So, how should you answer MCQ correctly? Aman Dhattarwal, a successful YouTuber and Educator, has a solution for you. Read this blog and find out how to guess MCQ questions correctly!
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Meet Aman Dhattarwal
Born in a small village of Rajasthan on March 4th 1997, Aman Dhattarwal is a spectacular Indian YouTuber, Career Counselor, Public Speaker and Educator. He holds a BTech Information and Technology degree from the Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology, Delhi. He has expertise in various academic concepts and provides essential tips and tricks to get a perfect score in national level entrance exams. Through his very own YouTube channel ‘Apni Kaksha’ he educates, motivates and guides the aspirants looking forward to cracking competitive exams like JEE Advanced, JEE Mains and many more.
How to Guess MCQ Correctly?
Is it worth it to guess the right answer in a national level examination for just 1 mark? It id definitely a risk but if you do it right, this guess can push you to a better rank. Before we begin with the tricks on how to guess the MCQ correctly, let us just quickly go through formulas that will help you decide whether you should take this risk or not-
Aman begins by stating that, you are free to try this hit-and-trial method if there is no negative marking in the exam but, if your exam includes negative marking then, the below-mentioned formulas will help you-
Number of Questions X Negative Marking ≤ 1
As per the formula, we will only make a guess when there are 4 options in question and per-question negative marking is 1/4. If there are 4 options and per-question negative marking is 1/3 then, we will not make a guess because the product is greater than 1. Same is the case with 5 options and 1/3 marking. But with 5 options and 1/4 marking, if you are sure that 2 options are wrong and hence, we are left with 3 options to choose from, as per the formula 3 x 1/4, the product will be less than one so we can make that guess.
When to Guess the Options?
As Aman proceeds with the video on how to guess the MCQ correctly, he also states when shall one go for making these choices while attempting the exam. He advises doing so once you are done with all the questions, that is, towards the end of the exam. He advises that one shall read the question in detail and not invest more than 1 minute in it. He suggests that by intentionally moving on to the next question, our conscious mind will focus on that particular question, but the subconscious mind will still try to solve the previous one. In this way, you will be able to solve many questions after completing one single cycle.
How to Guess MCQ Correctly: Tricks
Mentioned below are the tips that will help you in resolving all your doubts about how to choose MCQ correctly-
Elimination Method: This one is the most basic trick that one shall use in which you have to eliminate option(s) about which you are sure that they are definitely incorrect.
‘All of the Above’ Ambiguity: A bunch of questions in competitive exams have options like- All of the Above, None of the above, All of the above except this; for such questions, Aman states that there are 52% chances that the correct option is All of the above and likely.
Extreme Numeric Values: You may notice that some of the options may contain a numeric value that is extreme or seems a letter and related than the other mentioned ones. In such cases, you must eliminate the extreme value. For example, here are your options for a particular question-
In such cases, the answer would be between the likely options that are a, b and c instead of d.
Options with Similar Digits: Many questions contain options having similar digits that are intentionally being put to trick the candidates. Often candidates, hurriedly tick the related option in place of the correct one. One shall avoid this mistake and be alert while making them.
Check the Dimensions: A variety of questions on calculating the volume for calculating the work done will require you to mark the answers with a specific dimension. In such a case, there can be a chance that you may find the correct dimension in any of the given questions in your question paper.
Opposite Options: Amongst all the set of options in the paper, the one that tricks us the most is the one containing the opposite options. For example:
- Zero is neither real nor complex
- Zero is both real and complex
In this, it is likely that the correct answer will be either option A or B.
Envisioning the Crucial Part: Many of us will relate to the time when we were about to solve a particular question but couldn’t do so because we were unable to recall a particular formula or set of rules. In this case, Aman says the best way would be to move forward with the question paper and completing the entire cycle to return to that particular question. Then, one shall focus on recalling the medium through which they learnt this concept or topic such as School, Tuition Centre, Online Classes, Help Books or Self Study. This trick on how to choose MCQ correctly is based on Context-Dependent Memory and will definitely help you in recalling the answer.
How to Choose Between A, B, C, D and E: A variety of surveys have been conducted to see favourable results when it comes to choosing between the given options. As per the popular author William Poundstone, one can decide for which option to guess depending upon the number of options that are given.
If you have been given three options in a question, there is no scope of favouritism and any of the three can be the correct one. On the other hand, if there are four options in a question, it is most likely that option B will be correct as per the surveys. In the case where there are five options given, it is most likely that the fifth option i.e. E, can be the correct one.
How to Choose the MCQ Correctly: Things Not to be Done
Along with guiding the students about how they can choose MCQ correctly, Aman Dhattarwal also guides students about certain don’ts. He states that one shall refrain from following the pattern of ticking the options in the order A, B, C and D. Also, it is not the correct way to attempt the paper by selecting only one single option throughout the exam. Playing with probability at a national level exam or any other important competitive exam will bring no good to you. One shall make the right guess by mindfulness.
1. Avoid the highest and lowest outliners
2. If you are able to verify 2 options then check options like ‘all of the above’.
3. Incorrect option might have grammatical mistakes.
4. Sometimes there’s a high chance that the longest answer is the right response.
Read very carefully
Come up with your own answer
Look for common types of wrong answers
Eliminate answers in two rounds
Do not obsess over your choices
Manage your time
Answer every question
Try to make a guess off of the top of your head. Then, read the choices and see if any of them are close to your guess. Eliminate outliers and the highest and lowest numbers.
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