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How to Tackle Negative Marking on the NEET-PG
If you’re like most NEET-PG aspirants, it’s likely you are concerned about the concept of negative marking on the NEET-PG examination. As every single mark is competitively valuable, it’s natural to feel stressed about being unable to decide whether to attempt a doubtful question. The temptation of obtaining 4 marks for a correct guess versus the 1 mark for a wrong answer can torment your mind.
That’s why it’s best to have a strategy at hand before going into the exam hall. Below are some helpful ways to tackle negative marking on the NEET-PG.
Multiple rounds of question analysis - During the first round, answer only the questions you are sure of. During the second round, answer questions where you are able to eliminate 2 options with certainty (where you have a 50% chance of the answer being correct). During the third round, determine how many questions you have attempted and if it’s possible to obtain a decent score.
You have 2 choices in the third round - (1) attempt a few questions where you are able to eliminate 1 option for sure and your confidence in the correct option is over 70%; or (2) do not attempt anything in the third round if you have answered sufficient questions (250 - 260) because blind guesswork at this stage might incur more negative marks and reduce the total.
Number of questions to crack - With good preparation, you can be confident in answering 200+ questions correctly. Now, the next step is to answer about 50 - 60 questions through elimination of options and educated guess-work. If the paper is tough or a large section of the paper is not known to you, you will be able to answer around 150 questions only. In this case, you can guess 50 questions additionally to give yourself the possibility of improving your score. However, blind guesswork or trying to answer all the unknown questions is not advisable. So, be sure to have a strategy for the total number of questions you want to crack, even before you enter the exam hall.
Subject confidence and practice - Practising with the use of mock exams can help you mentally prepare for negative marking. After multiple practice sessions, you will be able to figure out your own strengths and weaknesses in different subject areas. This will guide decision-making in the exam depending on your confidence level in specific subjects. Remember, it’s better to make educated guess work on subjects that you are usually strong in versus your weaker ones.
All competitive exams will carry 10 to 15% of questions that are extremely hard and difficult to crack, even for aspirants who have prepared diligently and practised with multiple simulated mock exams. It may seem tough to leave those questions unanswered, as you might think that answering them could boost your scores. However, bear in mind that answering completely unknown questions carries a greater risk of pulling down your total score. So, the general rule is not to work on questions in which you cannot eliminate at least one option. Click here to access Kaplan’s NEET-PG sample questions and explanations.