3 E's for High Score in Solving MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions-Objective Questions) YouTube Lecture Handouts

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3 E’s for Solving MCQsSuccess Secrets

Understanding MCQ


a. Distractor

b. Answer

c. Distractor

d. Distractor

a, c & d are distractors

Alternatives or foils


Objective Question

  • Standard question format with 4 alternative choices

  • Negative Questions (e.g., make sure to read the word “NOT” if mentioned in question)

  • Subjective questions (e.g. Choose the option that BEST describes)

  • Judgment questions (e.g. Choose the MOST CORRECT answer)

  • Multiple answers (e.g. Choose MORE than one)

Benefits of MCQs

Why to get scared?

Answer lies on Question Paper Itself

Preparing for MCQs

  • Anticipate questions and major topics

  • Reproduce concepts on charts, diagrams, lectures and textbooks

  • Integrate information from vivid sources

  • Write learning stuff on posters and see them off and on

Preparing for MCQs

  • Through conceptual study

  • Focus even on minute details and concepts

  • Understand & memorize by lists and tables

  • Highlight major points

  • Brainstorm possible questions

  • Practice sample questions

  • Practice speed & accuracy

Preparing for MCQs

  • Old is gold. Practice previous years papers

  • Develop elimination: helps to differentiate answers

  • Learn by acronyms (VIBGYOR) & mnemonics

  • Know renowned personalities & contributions

  • Practice time management

  • Leave 8-10 minutes for final revision

  • Yogic breathing exercises for positive attitude

Know Yourselves

  • Analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Example,

  • Strength: Ability to answer questions under 30 seconds just after sleep during preparation.

  • Weakness: History of marking wrong choices even after contemplating on questions for 2-3 minutes.

MCQ Exam a Drive Test!!

Table of Drive Test and MCQ Exam
Table of Drive Test And MCQ Exam

Drive Test

MCQ Exam

General understanding of vehicle itself

Exam pattern

Navigation skills

When to speed up & slow down

Know all traffic symbols & rules like high speed lane only to overtake

Hurry up with questions only when essential

Give way to vehicles when needed to be safe

Skip tough questions to save time

Look out on road for obstacles and slow down

Watch out for tricky questions and don’t fall in traps/distracter

Follow drive-test instructions

Follow the question’s instructions as to what is expected from us

Answering MCQs: Forward Method

  • Make SURE to read other choices as well!!

  • Unexpected response: Try some tips & techniques like …

Answering MCQs: Backward Method

  • Find choice that you feel is definitely INCORRECT

  • Be it either yes or no, try some tips & techniques like …

Be the Wheat!!

Image of Be The Wheat

Image of Be the Wheat

Image of Be The Wheat

  • Reading choices first can mislead to incorrect answer

  • Try forward method before backward method!

Must Read!

  • Words like Except, Not, Never, Always

  • Remember two negative phrases form one positive phrases.

  • Formulas, units, value of constants

Twin Choices!

Confusion Predominates!!!

Grammatical Matches

  • If the stem ends with the indefinite article "an, “then ____________.

  • If question is in the singular then ____________.

  • Gender similarities then ______________

Length of Response

Longest response is often the correct one, because the instructor tends to load it with qualifying adjectives or phrases

Confidence Boosters!

Attempt theoretical questions before calculations

Spaced Practice

Image of Spaced Practice For Solving MCQs

Image of Spaced Practice for Solving MCQs

Image of Spaced Practice For Solving MCQs

Skipping: NOT Preferred!

Mark the question number for future reference, don’t waste time searching

Can Change 1st Correct Response?

  • wrong to right 51% of the time

  • right to wrong 25% of the time

  • wrong to different wrong answer 23% of the time


  • Try tests within time limits

  • Scrutinize your weak areas

  • Work on weak areas before next simulation test

  • Try next! Ask yourselves: Did you improve?

Example: Elimination

Which of the following is a support service on university campus?

a) Pantaloons

b) University Learning Centre (Answer)

c) Wal-Mart

d) All of the above.

When to Guess?

Educated Guess!!

  • Absolute word response like "always" or "never" are less likely to be correct than conditional word response like "usually" or "probably."

  • "Funny" responses are usually wrong.

  • "All of the above" is often a correct response.

  • "None of the above" is usually incorrect response, but is less reliable than "all of the above" rule.

  • Look for verbal associations. Correct response repeats key words that are in the stem.

Example: Estimation

Calculate 49/20 + (49x20) - 20/49=?

a) 983.418

b) 984.318

c) 981.841

d) 982.042 (Answer)

Example: Extra Details

Ram won Rs. 50 at a skateboarding competition and spent it all on a new skateboard. His brother, Shyam, gave him an old board for the competition, but Ram broke it hours before getting the new one. This was after Shyam had told Ram he would buy him supper if he won the competition. Ram had ridden his new board for two hours when Shyam told him that the board was only worth half as much as the one he broke. How much did Shyam pay for the board that Ram broke?

a) 75

b) 90

c) 100 (Answer)

d) 120

Image of Rosie And Brooke For Solving MCQs

Image of Rosie and Brooke for Solving MCQs

Image of Rosie And Brooke For Solving MCQs

Common Mistakes

  • Not reading the question carefully.

  • Not answering the question in your head first.

  • Not reading through all the answers

  • Not looking for clues in the text.

  • Taking too much time on one question

  • Changing first answer.

Be Positive!! Don’T……

  • Cram

  • Be Negative

  • Do Night-outs

  • Be Late

  • Expect to Know All

Sail through IAS Mains and Prelims (both English & Hindi): Fully-explained Prelims (Both GS & Aptitude) problems with detailed solutions. Notes & detailed answers for Mains GS, Essay, Complulsory (Hindi and English) papers and optionals.