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Negative marking in entrance exams – good or bad


With many important entrance exams, including IIT Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) and Common Admission Test (CAT) following the scheme of negative marking, the age old questions involving positive and negative aspects of subtracting marks for negative answers has been raging on as ever.


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Admittedly, it’s a tough question to answer. In fact, not just education experts, but students themselves are divided on the issue.

Some believe that the negative marking system is a necessary evil when it comes to filtering out undeserving students. Justifiably so, after all, it ensures that only those students who have prepared well for the exam, can score higher rather than those who answer questions randomly (on guess). SImply put, negative marking plays a pivotal role in asserting the importance of a thorough preparation rather than just good fortune.

However, there is a flip side too. Sometimes when the question paper is genuinely tough for most students, negative marking makes it even worse for them. For example, the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced 2013 held last year in June was as tough as a JEE Advanced paper can get – at least to an overwhelming proportion of candidates was of that view. Not only the questions were not easy (which is pretty obvious in case of JEE Advanced), but the total marks in both papers stood at 360 compared to the previous year’s 400. That left many off guard. Add to that the negative marks for each wrong answer, and a lot of students eventually came under unusual stress.

But having looked at both these aspects, it has become obvious that by implementing the negative marking scheme, the controllers of most major entrance exams in the country has ensured that only the deserving candidates sneak through the selection process. On a closer look, it pretty much resembles how Nature enforces its Survival of the Fittest paradigm to ensure that the weak is wiped out from the race.


What do you feel about it … Please share your views on this below
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4 Responses to “Negative marking in entrance exams – good or bad”

  1. RJ RAJNISH JHA says:

    negative marks are good …

  2. RAJESH KUMAR says:

    The system of negative marking is not justified as the wrong answer given by the candidate is not adding him/her any no but sustracting from the already earned no. This is not for wiping out weak and selecting strong for the study.

    The system should be abolished to avoid double penalties for one mistake.

  3. mohd saleem dar says:

    i think it is better to have a negative marking system as without any doubt it gives an edge to the candidates who have good hold in the subject. while it is vice versa in reverse case.

  4. Dr s k pandit says:

    negative marks prosses should be obliterated to select candidate as it weaken confidence and create confusion under hours of stress when already student are very much tense about there future. so it could be abolished from slection process.

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