This is another important aspect of cracking GATE in best possible way. Negative marking has its own impact on overall GATE performance. A single mark will take you over 1000 students and the same single mark may get you behind 1000. Do refer to GATE 2010 analysis to know more about the magic of one mark difference. A clear strategy to deal with negative marking would help you to take a leap ahead of other students and possibly would help you to see IITs.
If you look at the number of students appeared in GATE 2010 you will understand the competition ahead. Don’t worry about the figure. The best strategy is to think about the maximum marks in GATE. Do refer maximum marks in GATE to get an idea, also refer to how much GATE score is required to get into IITs.
Now let me discuss a simple strategy for negative marking in GATE. There are few factors to consider before making a decision about attempting doubtful questions. The first factor is level of difficulty of GATE question paper. The second factor is your own performance in the exam. And the final factor is about the level of confidence about the answer of a particular question.
My expectation is that the GATE paper for the year 2011 will be difficult. Usually observed that the difficulty level alter every year, if GATE paper is easy this year it is expected to be difficult next year. The GATE paper in 2010 was easy and GATE scores were high. If the GATE paper is difficult never take a chance of attempting doubtful questions, as even less marks may fetch a good All India Rank and there are high chances of getting a question wrong and lose more marks. If the GATE paper is easy to give an attempt to doubtful questions as many students get good marks and your attempt may give you a little extra edge.
The second factor is your own performance in GATE exam. If you are confident of getting a qualifying score in GATE try to be careful before attempting the doubtful questions. If you are not confident then it’s always better to attempt leftover questions before you leave the examination hall.
The last factor to be considered is the confidence about the doubtful question. If you can cut down the answers to two possible correct questions then I will be easy to freeze your choice to a correct answer. Therefore always try to cut the choice to as less options as possible, if the choice is between two answers and your confidence is inclining towards an answer, you can take a risk. Leave the questions where you are not able to squeeze your answer choices to two.
I hope this will help you to frame a strategy to deal with negative marking in GATE. Try to be cool and attempt questions that are easy and you are confident about. Afterwards go the questions where you have confusion about two answer options.
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Wish you all a wonderful luck with GATE exam and M.Tech admissions.