Over the years, there has been speculations on whether or not JAMB UTME uses the negative marking approach while grading. This has been a controversial issue because most candidates, after having written the JAMB UTME examination and checked result, complain bitterly about not getting their expected score. You hear stuffs like, “Hmmm, I crosschecked my question paper with my textbook/teacher/brother/sister…, after my exam and we calculated 280, but because of negative marking, I was given 188”. So it’s either they are deceiving themselves or there really is something called NEGATIVE MARKING. Below are clarifying facts you should know…
1. NEGATIVE MARKING IS REAL
Yes! It is real! You can quote me anywhere. It is one of the strategic tools that is being used as a deterrent to checkmate wild guessers in Multi-Choice Questions (MCQs) or Objective examinations. Say an exam (MCQ) is comprised of 100 questions with 4 options (a – d), for each question. The probability of getting a question correctly is ¼ which means you would most likely get 25 questions correctly out of 100 questions just by guessing. As a matter of fact, if you are very lucky guesser, you could get more questions correctly, say about 45 - 60. This means one could actually almost pass an examination by mere guess work. You should be reminded that the purpose of an examination is to test the depth understanding of a student on a subject. If you were an examiner, won’t you look to curb the wild fluke? Think about this!
2. NEGATIVE MARKING IS NOT RESTRICTED TO JAMB UTME
I know you are smart and could have inferred this from my first point, but nevertheless it’s a fact I have to spell out just so you know for real. JAMB UTME did not bring up this idea just to be wicked. In fact, most medical institutions all over the world employ the negative marking strategy more than any other institute in grading their students. This is just to ensure that the medical students can correctly diagnose and prescribe the appropriate drug for their patients in the real world. In other words, to test how grounded their students are in the medicine field.
3. GUESS WORK WILL AFFECT YOUR SCORE
The more incorrect your guesses are, the more it will affect your result. Therefore, if you cannot make intelligent guesses by eliminating unlikely options, it is better not to guess-pick any answer at all. The fact is, if you have to guess more than 10 - 15 questions in any subject in JAMB UTME this year, then you simply haven’t done your homework. AVAJAMB or YataBox equips you with more than enough questions to ensure you don’t fall victim of the “guessing syndrome”.
4. NEGATIVE MARKING IS NOT “THE ONES YOU GOT MINUS THE ONES YOU MISSED”
This is where most people get this wrong, they think negative marking is the deduction of the number of incorrect answers from the correct answers. It is actually unintelligent to think of it that way. The percentage of the correct and incorrect scores is actually what is employed in calculating the final score. If you really want to have an idea of how it works, you can check it here.
5. QUESTIONS CARRY DIFFERENT NEGATIVE MARKS
This is one of the facts that’s seems so hard to believe but is very much true. All questions do not carry the same mark. Some questions are way too simple while some are difficult and each carries its own allocated mark. And this is why questions differ in their negative marks. So it’s more like, the higher the mark allocated to a question if gotten correctly, the higher the negative mark penalty if gotten wrong. You understand what I’m saying, right?
6. CBT MAKES NEGATIVE MARKING EASIER TO ENFORCE
Measures that have been put in place in CBT examinations makes it very easy to detect and duly penalise candidates who are guilty of guessing hysterically. In every question, there are some obviously-wrong-can-never-be-the-right-answer kind of options included, you know right? So if for about 10 questions, you keep choosing even-a-daft-should-know-this-is-wrong options, although, this might have been difficult to detect in the PPT period, but in this CBT dispensation, trust me, it will detect and expose you which just reveals how unprepared and unserious you are. Wise up and study…!
The purpose of this article is not to scare you my friend, but it’s to apprise you of the danger that lies in guesswork and how this can ultimately affect your JAMB UTME score. Don’t be deceived. Prepare the right way and get your desired result.