Noted educator Lincoln Pettit gave various practical tricks for dealing with MCQ exams. Here are some:
1) Know exactly how much time you have, and calculate the time you should spend per sets of 5 questions.
2) If the exam allows so, mark the hard ones in the margin.
3) In passages, never try to jump directly to the questions. Read through the passage first. Otherwise you may end up reading the same passage multiple times in looking for individual questions’ answers.
4) Read each option down the line, and mark the ‘wrong’ ones so that the choice is narrowed down to 2 or 3.
5) Always read all the choices- sometimes students get excited on seeing one right answer, and incorrectly mark it, even when the actual answer is ”Two of the above” or “All of the above”.
6) Be slow while doing questions with more than 7-8 items with numbers.
7) Don’t guess, but if you have a strong gut-feel, you can mark the question and come back to it later (if the exam pattern allows.)
8) Do not let yourself run away with compulsive behaviour- the tendency to do something, anything, rather than plod thoughtfully through. There are no prizes for finishing early. Consciously retain calm and rational behaviour than get tipped away by compulsive behaviour due to fatigue, hunger, discomfort etc.
9) Whenever possible, read through the whole exam twice- even though time is a constraint in most of these exams. Especially if the exam is paper-based, it is a good idea to scan through it once, and get a feel of the paper as well as of which section seems easy and which seems the toughest. This helps in retaining concentration and allows for better strategizing.
10) EVERYONE is going to miss questions, and get some wrong. Do not get jittery. Do not start examining ‘all that is lost’ during the exam. The others may be finding the questions just as hard, or even harder, than you are!
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