How are multiple choice (MCQ) and short answer (SAQ) exams different to essay-based exams?
For MCQ and SAQ exams, you will need to know all of your course material well. Revising for these types of exams will probably involve learning large amounts of facts. Start as early as possible so that you can keep revisiting the information you need to learn.
Negative marking in MCQ exams
It is very important that you know whether or not you will be penalised for getting multiple answers wrong in your multiple choice exam. In some styles of exams, you lose marks for incorrect answers. This is called negative marking and its purpose is to prevent students from being able to pass through lucky guesswork.
If you exam penalises wrong answers, only answer questions if you are reasonably confident that you have figured out the correct answer, If negative marking is not used in your exams, answer all questions, even if you have to guess.
Short answer questions could require responses of up to a page. There is usually a specific number of points to include in order to get full credit. It is important to identify exactly what the question is asking you to do and to be as succinct an precise as possible.
The key to these kinds of exams is preparation. Give yourself plenty of time to learn, revise and practise. Keep calm in the exam, read carefully, and try to do justice to all that preparation.
Make sure you know whether you will be penalised for wrong answers, and remember that individual questions may have their own specific instructions.
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