What is negative marking?

On Paper 1 there are 40 multiple choice questions each with 5 possible responses. One, two, three, four or five responses will be correct dependent on the question asked. For all questions at least one of the 5 responses will be correct. Therefore there are 200 possible responses you could select.

The paper is balanced to ensure there are more incorrect selections available than correct selections. For example 108 selections may be incorrect and 92 correct. It is expected that each candidate will select mostly correct answers with only a few incorrect answers. The candidate’s correct and incorrect selections are totalled independently and the percentage of incorrect answers removed from the percentage of correct answers. The table below gives some worked examples:

As you can see although candidates 1 and 2 selected the same number of correct responses, candidate 1 got only 3 answers incorrect. Candidate 2, however, selected a large number of incorrect responses (indicating poor knowledge or guessing) and therefore this affected their final score significantly.

Candidate 3 selected less correct answers than candidate 2 but passed the paper as they only selected 3 incorrect answers overall. This indicates they were more careful in their answer selection process and did not ‘guess’ many answers. Candidate 4 is a very poor fail as they failed to select many correct responses in addition to selecting a high number of incorrect responses.

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