GAMSAT- How to Cover Options and Guess Well in MCQs

The GAMSAT multiple choice question format consists of a vignette, a question stem and 4 options. The candidate has to infer the correct answer from the information given in the vignette. Usually, two of the distracters- or incorrect options- are pretty close, while one can be ruled out easily.

The biggest issue the test taker faces in an MCQ questionnaire is that of time management. Concepts you can learn and knowledge you can apply in any exam format, but you must do it all within limited time. You get, on an average, around 1.45 minutes per question in the GAMSAT, which makes learning the shortcuts and the tricks imperative for completing the paper.

Let’s take a look at some of those tricks that come in handy.

Approximation

An approximation can be defined as something very close or very similar, but not quite the exact equal to something else. A popular example is that of π: 3.14, the actual value being 3.14158265… and so on. So, if you have to travel a distance of 5.835 miles, you say you will travel approximately 5.9 miles.

Process of Elimination

Eliminate the incorrect choices until you are left with the default correct option. For instance, the question is: “What’s the definition of a tomato, which can be cooked and eaten raw?” The options are: a) spice b) vegetable c) suspension bridge and d) theatrical production. You can begin with eliminating the obviously incorrect, options (c) and (d). Next, you work out whether the tomato is a spice or a vegetable. Of course, it cannot be a spice because the tomato can be eaten raw, so you are left with ‘vegetable’ by default.

The Most Correct Answer

Choose the option which is the most correct among the lot. It might not be the absolutely correct answer, but closer to what the question is asking for than the rest. Again, the most correct answer might also be the one that contains all the required components, as opposed to those which have part of the components. For instance, suppose the question is: “Which component(s) make(s) up water?”, and the options are a) oxygen b) oxygen and hydrogen. Here, technically, both options are correct, but since option B has both the components, it would be the most correct answer.

Intelligent Guessing

This is simply a combination of process of elimination and choosing the most correct answer. Attempt it when you are absolutely clueless about the answer, but narrow down your choices as far as you can. And of course, always guess. Even if you are not correct, there is no negative marking, so hey, why not?

Easy Questions First

Scan the paper during the reading time, and mark the questions that you can most easily solve. Start with those while answering, and move on to the slightly tougher or more complicated ones. Next, go on to the toughest of the lot, and leave the guesswork for last. Don’t spend too much time on a question you find hard to solve; instead, move on to the next question. You can come back to the incomplete ones once you are done with the rest of the paper.

Second Guessing

Go back to a question you are unsure about only when you are done with the rest of the paper. This might or might not be beneficial, so take this chance carefully.

Time Management

This is, of course, of prime importance. Do not spend more than 50 seconds on a question. If you cannot solve one, move on to the next. Taking too much time on a single question will lose you the time you could have been answering the sure-shot questions instead. Come back to the questions you have left out when you are revising. This is important: always revise the paper. If you have enough time, read the questions as well as answers. You might find you misread the question itself at the first go.