– Sangeeta Hajela
A year-and-a-half after online teaching took India by storm, it is time now for some more major changes in the sphere of our school education. It is for the first time that the CBSE is holding two examinations in an academic year, to ensure credible evaluation in case of the unpredictable resurgence of the pandemic.
The MCQs-based, shorter duration examination is yet another first-ever. Many students preparing for competitive examinations already know about the pros and cons of MCQs. While it offers the possibility of scoring 100 per cent; it can be zero in case the answer is wrong as there is no chance of getting half a mark as was the case in subjective papers, Hence, this makes MCQ-based papers scoring but challenging at the same time.
Clarity of concepts
The trick to solving an MCQ is to have a thorough understanding of the concepts. A student must understand that even the minutest concept can be turned into an MCQ. While going through the prescribed books or the reference books, a student should not leave anything unprepared. Mugging up is not the answer to effectively attempting MCQs; until and unless the core of a concept is absorbed, it can be confusing to choose the right option.
Solve the sample papers
Just like preparing for the entrance examinations, students should solve the sample papers to comprehend their strengths and weaknesses. They should also practice marking the answers accurately by highlighting the correct option on the OMR sheet. The OMR sheet has two important aspects – one is to mark the option, and the other, to write the correct option number in the prescribed column. A student has to do both things and ensure that there is no mismatch in the written and the marked option.
Carefully choose the option
When coming to the answer, one must remember there will be four answers given in the sheet. There will only be one right answer, and there are chances that a student might get confused by the other three. In some cases, the difference between the right and the wrong answers will not be much; the clarity of concept and the conviction that you have solved it correctly will matter at that moment. The best way is to keep calm while attempting the answer to ensure accuracy.
Do not waste time
Some questions will require more time to solve or question that a student may find difficult to answer; the best way is to leave them and move to other questions. Students should keep the unsolved questions for the last few minutes of the examination. Attempt the easy questions first, followed by the difficult ones; we would advise the students to divide the questions into difficult, easy, and unsure categories.
To divide the question paper into three parts, a student should have excellent reading comprehension to help go through the questions quickly before solving them. Another way is to keep on doing the questions and leave the difficult ones and unsure ones to be attempted later. The best part is that there is no negative marking, so the students should not leave questions unmarked. Who knows that mere guesswork could give you the correct answer!
The opportunity should be taken as a preparation for various competitive examinations; earlier, preparation for the Board and competitive examination was poles apart. Now, the performance in Boards will give the student an idea of his/her preparation for other examinations. The present format will act as a confidence booster for some and lay bare the need for further hard work for others. It will be a test of concept clarity, time management, and confidence.
(The author is Principal, DPS Indirapuram)
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