Ever been bugged by an MCQ which made you swear there were two correct options (knowing perfectly well it cannot be)? Read our series on MCQs and you will know the nitty-grittys of a GAMSAT MCQ. But how do you deal with answering it?
Here is some essential know-how:
Know what skills they are testing.
A medical college entrance exam like GAMSAT designs MCQs to test your analytical skills rather than mere ‘knowledge chunks’. GAMSAT MCQs rarely seek to know how much you have learnt in class. If you find yourself cursing the examiner for giving two correct options in your question paper, your knowledge is probably not fine-grained enough.
Never omit any chapter or topic.
MCQs can touch upon a plethora of topics. You tend to study mitosis because you find it easy and possibly leave out meiosis because it never comes (and praying that it never does); this attitude can prove to be disastrous. The GAMSAT questions are framed to test how well you know what you know. The operation theatre is no place for little learners.
The cliché: READ CAREFULLY.
People must have told you umpteen times how you must read every single word of the paper well. Well, you will be surprised how examiners use certain words to test your understanding of the question. Be careful to read a question and understand it well enough before you move onto answering the GAMSAT MCQs.
Can I guess?
Well, that is a million dollar question among students. There is no negative marking involved; hence, the ‘lucky monkeys’ would expect to have a field day when they would sit for an exam like GAMSAT. But that is far from true. GAMSAT MCQs test application rather than just empty theories. This leaves very little room for guesswork. But do not leave any blanks. Intelligent guessing is the key here. Eliminate the easy choices and choose from what seem to be right. If it was a close guess…chances are you scored a point!
Watch out for the following.
- Beware of double negatives like ‘not uncommon’ (it simply means ‘often’).
- Look out for the word ‘typical’ (meaning ‘usually’). You may find a choice that is correct but ‘rare’, not ‘typical’. Eliminate it.
- The words ‘infer’ and ‘imply’ are not the same. To ‘imply’ is to suggest, whereas inferring something is to derive or work out a problem.
- An ‘opinion’ is a “view held as probable” (according to OED). Do not mistake it for a fact.
- A most common folly: the words ‘not’ and ‘except’ tell you what you should NOT choose as the answer. You may be asked to mark out the wrong one from a list of right answers.
- In a passage-based MCQ, you may have to answer something related to a writer’s assumption. You may have to read between the lines to understand the ‘assumption’. This ‘assumption’ may not be explicitly proved in the text.
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