April 4, 2021 9:00:46 am
– Written by Mayank Dhawan
CBSE Classes 10, 12 exams 2021: Ever since the CBSE board changed it’s exam pattern in 2020 to include some MCQs and assertion or reason based questions, students have been facing difficulty. The problem arises due to the lack of past year questions and lack of comprehensive material for such questions.
Even if you have study material, attempting these questions can pose a real challenge for some students. So how do you begin with preparing for such questions and how to tackle your board exams.
Preparing for MCQs
MCQs that come in board exam will only be from the curriculum or NCERT textbook. Any line in NCERT can be made to be an MCQ question so it’s very important to read NCERT extensively and mark the points where you think MCQs can be asked from. You can use a pencil to write probable questions on the sides of the paragraph that you think can be asked from a given topic.
By studying the pattern of MCQs, we can classify them on the following basis – formula based, definition based, reasoning based so it’s important that you leave no stone unturned. Multiple choice questions have only one correct option in the board exams while in some entrance exams there are MCQs having multiple correct answers as well. So it’s always better to read the instructions properly before attempting MCQs in any exam.
When there is no negative marking in an exam like in CBSE boards, one should always attempt MCQ even if you don’t have any idea about the question. But you should refrain from such feat in entrance tests because most such exams have 25 per cent negative marking. Suppose you are awarded 4 marks for a correct answer and 1 mark gets deducted for the wrong answer then you need to realise that you’re not losing just 1 mark, you are actually losing 5 marks( 1 for negative marking and 4 for an answer that you got wrong.)
Often, when you see the option that’s in your mind, you tend to be impulsive and mark it without even thinking twice or looking at other options once. This is the most common mistake that I have seen students make over the years. The best way to avoid mistakes is to read whole question and all the options patiently and then eliminate the options that can never be the right answer and eventually come to the final option which could be the right answer. With elimination you slowly increase your probability of being right from 0.25 to 1.
Preparing for assertion/ reason based questions
Assertion reason based questions are the most tricky questions that you will come across in the CBSE board exam. Unlike MCQs, these questions can only be asked from reasoning topics. If you have a good grasp of reasoning topics from NCERT, you can be assured of acing this section with ease.
Tackling assertion/ reason based questions
There are 4 options for Assertion(A)-Reason(R) questions –
1. Only(A) is true
2. Only (R) is true
3. Both are true and (R) is the correct explanation of (A)
4. Both are true but (R) is not the correct explanation of (A)
You must first understand these options are listed in the correct order in which your brain should be thinking. We can only eliminate the first two options if both (A) and (R) is true and then the question becomes whether (R) is the correct explanation to (A) or not. Deciding between the last two options can only be done if you have conceptual knowledge of the topic.
While deciding between option 3 and 4, start with establishing a link of the assertion reason statements with your curriculum topics. Sometimes, these statements are from separate topics and there is no link between them. Hence, option 4 should be selected. When you are sure that both statements are from the same topic, then option 3 can be true.
Again, like to stress that attempting assertion reason questions successfully require a deeper understanding of topics so there is no real substitute for hard work. For more help, NCERT publishes its own NCERT Exemplar Problems which has MCQ and Assertion Reason questions with high difficulty level. It’s recommended that you first complete your NCERT textbook back exercise before starting exemplar problems.
– The author is former assistant professor, Delhi University. Founder, proscience.in
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