Monday, 2 February 2015

Cracking “MCQ” Based Competitive Exams

One of the pre-requisites for enrolling into any competitive program is taking
different exams depending on the course and country of application which includes GRE, GMAT, IELTS, SAT, TOEFL. And most of this entrance exam are either completely or partially are objective i.e Multiple Choice Questions also known as “MCQ“ therefore only knowing the subject topic won’t work out in your favor , your base concepts has to be strong and clear because the answer you tick will be either completely right or completely wrong.

Cracking Competitive Entrance Exams (MCQ based)

Multiple-choice questions (MCQ’s) are an efficient and effective way to assess learning. Multiple-choice questions consist of a problem, known as the stem, and a list of suggested solutions, the alternatives. Students are required to figure the correct answer amongst the alternatives, which also include incorrect answers, known as distractors.

Taking a MCQ based exams may seem easy as the student has been given options to choose the correct answer from. Do not be fooled into thinking that this type of an exam should be easier than others. Rather MCQ’s can actually be very difficult as they contain many questions forcing students to study a broader range of the subject. Bluffing on a MCQ based exam is out of the questions and students are required to memorize finer details such as dates and names.

Study guidelines and strategies

Preparing for the exam
  • Start early. Spaced practice is better than massed practice. You cannot retain many details in the short-term memory.
  • Pay attention to finer details. The best approach to preparing for a MCQ based exam is to acquire a complete knowledge of all the facts and an understanding of the concepts and ideas underlying them. Simply memorizing everything will not do the trick, as your examiner will rephrase the material in their own words as they formulate the questions for the exam. You cannot only memorize the definitions but also have to actually know what they mean.
  • Watch your time as you solve sample papers. MCQ based competitive exams are notorious for being long, making it important to work at a fairly quick pace. Make sure you aren’t falling behind.

Tricks for solving MCQ’s

  • Read each questions carefully and thoroughly, Make sure you understand the instruction clearly. Are you required to choose the best answer from the alternatives, or are you supposed to choose the one that is false?
  • Anticipate the correct answer without looking at the available options. In this way you are not distracted by the given alternatives.
  • If you know the answers select it from the list of alternatives. Verify whether of not there is an “all of the above” alternative before making a selection. Now reach each of the alternatives and make sure you have chosen the correct one.
  • If you do not know the answer choose the process of elimination and cross the answers you know will not work for sure.
  • Use “true-false test” to narrow your selection to the best answer. Change the question into a statement with each of the possible choices and select the one that is true.
  • If more than one answer seems to be correct, make sure that the answer you are considering completely addresses the question. It is probably not the answer if it is true only under certain circumstances. Take the question at face value and do not read too much into it, imagining scenarios in which the answer could be true.
  • Answer all questions. Do not leave any answers blank if you know you will not be penalized for guessing. There is always the slight chance of guessing the right answer. If wrong answers count against your test score, do not take wild guesses.
  • Answer questions in accordance with your subject and class readings, not based on educational knowledge that you have. Do not try to apply definition from outside the course syllabus.
  • Time management is of importance. If you cannot answer a question within a minute or less, move on from it and come back to it later.
  • Make sure to transfer all your choices to the answer sheet once you have finished marking all questions on your exam. The probability of making errors increases if you try and do several things at the same time. So you might want to save this easy job of filling in bubbles for the end.
  • Lastly, if time permits, review both the questionand answers. It is possible you might have misread the question the first time. You might even pick up cues from the questions you already know. Do not be afraid to change your first answer when you are sure of the correction

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