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  • Category: Admissions

    Negative marks for wrong answers in entrance exams - is it fair?

    Over the years I have been submitting many articles related to admissions and online entrance exams. I have always wondered as to why marks are deducted for a wrong answer. In most cases it is 0.25, in some, like KMAT, it will be a full one mark. I do not recall having marks deducted for a school test or exam (though I can't remember if in college this was the system).

    Just think about it: an answer can be right or wrong. So if the right answer gets one mark, the wrong answer should simply be given a zero. Why minus? Also, are the deductions always more for professional courses like MBA? Whatever the case may be, is it really fair? Deductions can badly affect the overall score of the student while a zero may not. What's your take on this?
  • #696297
    Some exams are specific ones and that needs to be attended by the qualified persons only. For example the NEET entrance exam has the negative marking and the students are trained and made well versed how to avoid the wrong answer from the beginning of their intense training in the intermediate level. And the when the wholesome training and awareness has been created on the negative marking, still the students get confused over the questions and end up writing wrong answers and they are awarded negative marking and even one mark lost on all India basis several ranks lost and you are pushed behind. I do agree and also personally against the negative marking, probably that has been introduced to distill many candidates who are half informed or having half knowledge of the subjects and avoid them totally.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #696298
    The basic idea behind negative marking is to discourage students to attempt a question they do not know. There is no use of guess work there and one should not guess the answer and take a chance. But if negative mark is not there everyone would start guessing and it would become a play thing rather an exam. Negative marking is a very good disciplinary thing that compels the student for thorough study and no guess work. There is nothing wrong in it. In fact it was after the introduction of the negative marking that students came in a straight grove and started preparing for exam seriously as they knew that guesswork would not fetch them anything but reduce their marks further.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #696300
    As far as my knowledge goes, I have never seen negative makings in regular courses. The valuation is done and marks will be awarded proportionately. But the answer is wrong Zero marks will be awarded.
    But in many admission test and competitive tests only we have seen this negative marking. How many marks they deduct for one wrong answer varies from examinations to examination. But maximum one mark for one wrong answer.
    Many people do guesswork and answer all the questions if there are no negative marks. At least one or two are right also they will get some marks. If there are negative markings people will never go for guesswork and they will answer only if they are confident of the answer. This will help the students who really know the subject only to get maximum marks.

    always confident

  • #696302
    As mentioned in the post by the writer, normally negative or the deductions of marks are always more for professional courses. There may be many reasons behind which the moderator thinks should be considered when they have made it in such format. The negative marking is for keeping the answers precise and crisp than just joining for a luck that many people try. Many of us might have tried the 10,20,30 or akkad, bakkad bombai bo, during our school and college exams when we are stuck in the answers or do not know it but would like to attend it. Many of them attend the question as there is no negative marking and if the question is out of sylubus, they can get the marks, etc.

    For professional courses, they want to emphasis on correctness and keep people guessing or using it as a tool to score marks. When you have negative marking, many refrain from attempting half minded or question that they are not sure or do not know. This saves time and correction time.

    “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." — Morrie Schwartz

  • #696309
    According to me it is a process of elimination. We can see normally, that if a company requires a candidate for one Manager post advertisement will be given in newspapers. Many applications will be on the table HR persons selects the applicants suitable to them.Called for an interview by shortlisting the applicants. During interview if they see two candidates are found okey but post is one. For this they have to do something as both the candidates are equally well in all aspects. So to filter the other they have to find some measure. Like this to filter the passing persons in the competitive examination they deduct marks for wrong answer.

  • #696314
    If the exam is in multiple-choice questions definite yes because the person who attends the exam may take a chance if there are no negative marks and luck factor might put him on the top of the ranks list. To eliminate luck factor negative marks should be there.
    Based on the situation, humans in the society should follow an abelian group (Closure, Associative, Identity, Inverse, and Commutative)-- Bhushan

  • #696317
    The competition in all these entrance examinations is rising day by day. Here the intake capacity of different courses is limited so negative marking may be a procedure to filter out the candidates who attempt questions without knowing the answer. During school/college exams there are no such things as negative marking because there the competition is to score well to get a rank in the class rather than getting a chance to study a course in a professional institute with a limited intake. Here I would like to mention another aspect which I hope many members might have experienced during their school/college days. In many papers, there were MCQs in a particular section. In school/college exams, there are instances that one or two students attempt those MCQs and tell the others the answers. The other students just note down the answers of the question numbers without even going through the questions. In this case, many students not familiar with the subject can score marks if the answers to the MCQs are correct. To stop the unfair practice and also to filter out the students, I think negative marking was introduced for competitive and professional examinations.

    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #696322
    The devise to screen out the aspirants is the main motto behind the competitive examinations and if this mode is not maintained, the system would be mockery in the sense that no question would remain answered. If attempting 50 percent of the questions correctly and then if the remaining 50 percent are correct, there could be benifit of some positive marks added to one's final scoring system.
    In the nut shell, we cannot eliminate the guess work adopted by the aspirants. However, the screening committee should not bother permutation and combination methods being adopted by the aspirants for such examinations. Such risks are not taken by most of the aspirants and hence the very purpose to screen out the eligible candidates remain in tact. Hence going ahead with this system will definitely be helpful in screening out the incompetent candidates.

  • #696325
    Negative marks are not awarded to direct questions with no clue for the answers. Negative marks are only for those questions where the choice answers are given for selection.

    Question: Who is the Prime Minister of India?
    Answer: Sonia Gandhi
    Marks awarded: Zero ( No negative marks)

    Question: Who is the Prime Minister of India?
    a. Narendra Modi.
    b. Amit Shah.
    c. Nirmala Sitaraman.
    d. Rajnath Singh.
    e. None.
    Answer: Amit Shah
    Marks awarded: Zero marks with negative mark 1

  • #696338
    Test are conducted to test the knowledge of the candidate. But many modern day tests are conducted as objective type with just selecting the right answer from the given choice alternatives. Here a candidate can answer wthout any knowledge on the subject matter by simply ticking one from the choices given. That means, if luck or coincidence favours someone that person can score even hundred percent right answer without knowing even one of them.
    It is to prevent such wild guess and 'fluke' answering that negative answers are given. This will discourage candidates to do simple ticking of answers. So the candidate has to have some knowledge. The best of such lot is then selected.

  • #696341
    It is essential to give negative marks. By this method the students will lead to over come mistakes over a period of time.
    Lead the leader

  • #696343
    As explained in my previous response# 696325, it is the exam to test the knowledge of the candidates to answer a question with nothing to think much to answer a question. Despite the choices visible to them, if a candidate is not able to give the right answer, they really deserve negative marking.

  • #696347
    Deduction or negative marking in entrance exams are done in order to maintain the fix number of limited seats. If marks are not deducated for wrong answers, then there will be more students who ranked and less number of seats. Education haa become a business. This is the maine reason why toppers are also struggling to get admission in their dream college. Event after cracking entrance exams, they aren't getting entry in the dream college. Poor scorers are getting easily entry and filling up the seats simply by bribing. These poor scorers generally are the children of rich people who have political power and connections.
    If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

  • #696356
    The concept of negative marks started from the multiple question choice (MCQ) and it was a well thought thing by the educationists or the implementers. Especially when the choices are limited it becomes crucial. Let us see a case where only two choices are there and guesswork becomes easier and more probable to become correct. But in case of 4 or 5 choices it becomes relatively tougher. Let us take a hypothetical case where there are 10 answer options given for each question. In that case negative marking is not required as the guesswork probability will go down drastically and chances of the student becoming correct making that guess would also diminish fast. When choices are limited we have to resort to negative marking.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #696396
    Negative marking has only one purpose and that is to discourage the candidate to apply their guess from the given choices. To that extent in MCQ type exams it has been adopted and now has become a norm.
    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

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