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Tips to Avoid Negative Marking in IIT-JEE & NEET

By Dr. IITian

       The changing pattern and therefore the increasing difficulty level of JEE Main make it one amongst the challenging entrance examinations. Added to that, the system of negative marks, where candidates lose marks on marking incorrect answers increases their worries. Therefore, scoring high in this exam becomes difficult, and this increases the anxiety level of the candidates. We understand this state of the aspirants before answering any question due to the fear of negative marking.

       Thus, Dr. IITian comes up with some tips which can help students to avoid negative marks in JEE Main so that they do not end up wasting their hard-earned score. Before we move on to the methods to avoid negative marking, it is important to know “why is the idea of negative marks being included in the exam?”

       What is the Need to Introduce Negative Marking?

        To make sure that there is honest conduction of the examination where students do not indulge in blind guesswork for increasing their score, most of the competitive exams including JEE Main, have a system of punishing students in the form of negative marks. In JEE Main, one-fourth of the total mark of a question is subtracted as negative marking, if it is attempted incorrectly. Until and unless you are entirely sure, it is suggested that you do not attempt such a question.

        If you mark a question inaccurately, not only it leads to the wastage of time but also you will get a negative score in that question, which will result in lowering your overall score. So, the best method is to avoid guesswork and utilize that time to solve questions that you are sure will bring you marks.

        These are the top reasons which lead to Negative Marking

        1. Overconfidence: It is good to be confident during the examination. But, there is a very slight gap in Confidence and Overconfidence. Students often tick the answer without reading questions thoroughly. This must be avoided during NEET and IIT JEE exams.

        2. Excitement: Many aspirants appear in NEET or IIT-JEE exams for the first time. They do mistakes due to excitement. In NEET and IIT-JEE, you not only need to read questions carefully but you should also read thoroughly the four options as well before selecting the right one. Even if you find the correct answer in the first option, go through the other options carefully as well.

        3. Greed: Most of the candidates make mistakes due to greed. They think that the correct answer will award them 4 marks. Hence, they attempt too many questions without knowing the correct answer.

        4. Luck Testing: Some candidates test their luck during the exam. They blindly tick random options without knowing the right answer or even reading the question paper. These students usually end up getting marks like -10, -26, -35, etc.

        5. Wrong Filling of OMR Sheet: In NEET and IIT-JEE, you need to record your answer in an OMR sheet by circling the right option. Many students make mistakes while filling the OMR sheet.

        Tips to Avoid Negative Marking in IIT-JEE & NEET Exams

        1. Be a Better Judge of the Problems: With adequate practice, just by reading the question once, you will get an idea of whether the question can be attempted or not. You should make three sections where the question can be placed - an easy one, which can be solved within a few minutes, a common one which will take a considerable amount of time and the last category should be allowed to those questions which need to be left. If the question is easy, you can attempt it in one go and move on to the next question.

        If the question is moderate, you can mark it and solve it later, and if the question belongs to the last category, you need to avoid such type of questions. Following these strategies will assure that you do not fall prey to negative marks.

        2. Better Time Management: You can practice mock tests after you have completed your preparation. Appearing in mock tests will help you in making a strategy of attempting the paper in the specified time. With better time management, you will feel organized and the chances of doing silly mistakes will get eliminated.

        3. Avoid Silly Mistakes:  Be it exam fear or just carelessness, students often commit silly mistakes and lose valuable marks. Listed below are some general types of silly mistakes, and we have also provided ways to avoid them:

        • Calculation Errors: This is the most common type of silly error, where students use the correct formula but end up making a calculation error and thus arrive at a wrong statement.
        • Marking the Wrong Option: Often, all the options have related values with only the units being different, or sometimes the options vary only in the number of zeros. You need to practice extreme caution while marking these questions. 
        • Misreading the Question: At times, students mark a wrong question because they fail to read the question properly. Say, a question asks you to mark the incorrect option but you end up marking the correct one. So, you need to read and understand the question carefully and then only mark the answer.

        4. Smart Guesswork: As far as JEE Main exam is concerned, you can’t blindly follow your intuition. However, you can use smart guesswork, where you can guess the correct option by the process of eliminating the wrong options, or by using a technique of substitution, where you can put the values given in the options and mark the right one.

        5. Concentrate and Relax: Appearing for the exam with a confused mindset will make matters more critical, and you will end up doing mistakes. You need to relax so that your brain can perform to its full potential. A high level of concentration is required for improving speed, and you will notice that you can solve questions correctly only when you are cool and relaxed. Learn to overcome stress.

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