Friday 4 January 2013

Negative Marking in CLAT 2013

The CLAT-2013 notification is out and the major change is that they have introduced negative marking this year.  So what is this hullabaloo about negative marking in CLAT? Does it really make a difference? After all it is only a 0.25 marks deduction for a wrong answer. So what if some answers are wrong? These are the thoughts that go on in the minds of a CLAT-taker this year. This step will weed out the non-serious candidates from the serious ones. It is no longer possible for the “lucky” ones without preparation who take a chance and mark the answers to score high marks.

Introduction of negative marking is a significant change in the CLAT exam and not one to be taken lightly. The entire approach to the exam differs based on this simple change. A deduction of 0.25 marks for a wrong answer appears minuscule taken individually, but just imagine you get 140 questions right, 40 questions wrong and leave 20 questions unanswered.  A score of 140 would assure you of a seat in one of the top NLUS (based on last year’s results). However, the 40 wrong answers would make sure that you lose 10 marks. Now your score is 130 and the chances of securing a seat in the top 3 NLUs are bleak. You would probably make it to one of the other NLUs. In a competitive exam where every single mark counts, where dozens of students or maybe hundreds have the same total score, you would not want to lose even the 0.25 marks that would stand in the way between you and the NLUs.

So how does one approach the CLAT exam with negative marking? For once, you need to unlearn a few things. Right from your school days in first standard, you are told – Don’t leave the paper blank. Try and attempt the answer in any possible way. If you don’t know, make a guess. You will atleast get marks for trying. You are so used to answering every single question that you think it is unpardonable to leave even one question unmarked. Now you need to reverse your philosophy. Do not attempt any question unless you are sure of the answer. There are no marks for trying. In fact, there is a penalty for a wrong answer. So it is in fact unpardonable to mark a wrong answer.

Read the question. If you are sure of the answer, mark it, else move on to the next question. You may be able to attempt only 70% of the paper. If you are sure to get 140 answers right, it is better than attempting all 200 and getting 60 questions wrong. So brush up all your concepts and start practising this approach in your mock tests. Take a few mock tests and you will understand what I am saying. 


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