By Tobi Amoo.
The Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) exams is part of the final bar examinations. It contributes 20% to your overall grading in each course. Basically, you will be required to answer multiple choice questions by selecting and shading the most appropriate answer.
You must however be careful to avoid some common mistakes that have been seen to re occur over the years. Here are some:
- No practice.
The student who excels in the MCQ is one who can achieve speed without sacrificing accuracy. The accuracy is a big one, however the speed can be practised and mastered.
You’ll be required to answer 100 multiple choice questions in 5 courses within an allotted time (60minutes; but prepare for 50). There will be scenarios to comprehend in order to answer the questions. There may also be registers which will involve selecting correct options to fit into an incomplete passage. Within the same period, you have to shade properly on the answer sheet. As you can see, the MCQ can be nicknamed ‘Need For Speed’.
The best way to overcome the challenge is to simulate the MCQ and practise for speed. Note that I did not say you should study the questions. No, please don’t gather past questions so as to predict likely questions. It won’t work!
Pick past MCQ papers; select a year; move to a place without distraction; put off (or put away) your phone; set an alarm (or countdown timer) for 60minutes (although 50 is better); note the time you start; START; if you finish before your alarm buzzes, that’s awesome, note the minutes you used; if the alarm buzzes while you’re still answering, stop yourself, note how many questions you still have to cover, practice again using other years till the alarm buzz no longer stops you; either you stop before the alarm buzzes or the alarm stops you, practise over and over till the exam day.
Please do not assume that you’re fast and you have speed in writing exams. It’s better to practise. And even if you are fast, you lose nothing in practice. Truth is you may be fast and all, but once in the exams hall, everything changes, time stops running and starts to fly. I had practised the MCQ so well that I was using about 35minutes to answer the 100 questions (oh yeah! 35), but in the hall I used the exact 60minutes we were given. As a matter of fact, as soon as I shaded the last box, the invigilators announced ‘Time Up’. So I wonder what would have happened if I had not practiced.
You still have to read your books though. Don’t use all the day practising only. Balance is key.
- Going late.
As clearly shown in no. 1, the time is not enough as it were, so you can’t afford to cut it short the more. I know you may be wondering how someone can go late for such important exams. But it does happen. Not because students sleep off or are nonchalant (although that can’t be ruled out) but because they want to read up some more or as they say “Make I just check one or two things. I dey come” and they end up going late.
A person who goes late has lesser time (i’m sure you know there’s no extra time) and is already unsettled from the start. So, ensure you’re punctual.
Also, make sure you know your exam hall before the exams day as it is another cause of lateness. A student who assumes he’s in Hall A only to arrive and discover he’s in Hall B which is on the other side of the campus, will end up arriving late. Don’t assume.
Then, in the event that you want to take a nap on the exams day, after your brain has been saturated from reading (which is not bad), please make sure you are not alone in the room and let your roommate(s) know so they can wake you up in case the nap becomes a celestial adventure.
- Using the wrong answer sheet.
Each candidate has an answer sheet with his/her exam no. printed on it. Normally, your answer sheet would have been placed on your desk before you enter the hall. However, you should ensure to cross-check and confirm that the number on the answer sheet on your desk is correctly yours before you start to shade.
You should also be careful not to soil or damage your answer sheet in anyway, as you can only have one and it is irreplaceable.
- Shading in the wrong order.
Be very careful and observant when you start shading. The order in which the courses are arranged in the question paper isn’t usually the same with the answer sheet. For instance, the Question paper may start with Criminal Law while the answer sheet may start with Property Law.
Confirm that you’re answering a course in the corresponding shading box on the answer sheet.
- Taking your answer sheet out of the hall.
At the end of the paper, you’ll be required to place your answer sheet on the desk, and leave the hall with your Question paper and exam no. printout slip. However, the sheet is very light, thin and may be a little sticky. So take extra caution to ensure that you do not mistakenly take the answer sheet out.
The implication of taking the answer sheet out and returning it for submission, is that it may have been ‘tampered’ with and therefore becomes ‘inadmissible’ in the court of the invigilators.
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