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Negative marking in PCS exams: how to make it more reasonable, Changes need to be made in the Uttarakhand PSC exam negative marking system


Read the point number 8 of the instructions given on the very front page of the question papers of the Uttarakhand Public Service Commission (UKPSC) Civil/Upper Subordinate (pre) Exam-2010 held recently on 8th January, 2012.

The instruction goes; “There will be negative marking for the Exams conducted by PSC. In case a candidate give more than one answer or option for any given question (even if one of the answer is correct among them) then negative mark (1/4th) will be given for that question and it will be deducted from the total marks.”

So encircling more than one answer to a particular question will be penalized in form of negative marking even if you have done it by chance or deliberately (which may be rare)

Note- perhaps it is to deter over smart candidates marking all options.
But suppose one has marked a wrong option and later on during revision or so candidate realize the committed mistake and is sure that some other option would be the correct answer. Now as it is difficult or say impossible to rub it properly without taking the risk of damaging the answer sheet.
Moreover, if it is left as such or the candidate marks the correct answer along with the wrong answer, in both case negative marking will be done according to this rule.

This seems bit harsh on the genuine candidates.

Our contention is; Rather than giving negative marks for such questions (marked with two or more options as their answers), why not count such questions as “not attempted” and don’t allot any marks for such questions.

It will help the candidate by giving him/her a fair chance to at least avoid the negative marking by “knowingly marking or encircling another option”.

We have also made a written request to the UKPSC regarding this proposal. But they also said that it will materialize if many will suggest the same.

What you would like to say? Tell us through your comments.

Would you like to propose other changes?

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