CONTINUED FROM PART 6
DO EXAMINERS LEAVE HINTS DELIBERATELY IN QUESTION PAPERS?
1.This write-up came straight out of the notes on the OGBUNIGWE method.It has been separated to improve your ability at choosing the most likely best answer from a group of options based on hints to be found within the questions provided.They are a bit more technical than most of the notes given so far but they are like leaving the best for the last!
2.Since we don’t expect too many questions to be covered by OGBUNIGWE it might be asked why go into the section at all.But experience has also revealed that students’ successes or failure can depend on 2 or 4 extra marks which can be provided by the OGBUNIGWE method.So perhaps the effort is worth it after all.
3.So do examiners provide hints deliberately?We can look at the issue from two main different levels:
(a) JAMB examiners and the system of finalizing their question papers hardly provide deliberate hints.So some of the hints provided below are contrived by close and deliberate observation of past JAMB questions based on the assumption that no human system is totally fail-proof.
(b) But it has also been observed that some tutors setting internal school exams get to be a bit less careful than JAMB examiners.Therefore many of the hints below are likely to be more observable in school exams than national ones like JAMB,WAEC and NECO.In some schools examiners can mistakenly or deliberately have such hints for smart students to use.
4.Now applying the issue of hints in question papers to the Ogbunigwe method what to do is to look for what are called PROMPTERS,that is, if you have the time.AND PLEASE NOTE THAT IT SHOULD COME FROM PRACTICE DURING PRIVATE STUDIES LONG BEFORE THE EXAM. It is like playing a Hercules Poirot (detective) cool and calm logical game but the exam atmosphere will hardly allow you such luxury if not well-practiced in advance.
5. Though examples of such prompters are many don’t get distracted by them because examiners themselves are trained to avoid leaving hints to students all over question papers.But you will notice from these examples that some of the prompters do not arise from mistakes by examiners:
(a) Grammatical inconsistencies:
By matching the question with the answer that most connects e.g. the correct answer to a question which ends in “an”, would obviously be an option starting with a vowel. Watch out also for agreement of subjects and verbs. However only very few examiners especially in schools internal exam make mistakes like this.
(b) Vague terminology:
If you run into a terminology that you do not understand in the stem you should simplify the question further by rewording it. E.g. where there are double negatives as in “milk is not a non-alcoholic beverage”, it can be turned to “milk is an alcoholic beverage”. If there are no double negatives, just attempt to simplify the sentence into a simpler form by defining them in your own words (in your head of course) that you can answer yes or no to. By reducing the question to a yes or no question, you will be in a better position to reduce the available options. Once you have eliminated one or two options under this method, you should draw a line over the eliminated options on your question paper so that when you are back to it, you don’t let it waste your time rereading those that you have decided are clearly wrong.
(c) Key words in the stem:
In rephrasing questions for simplification, always note that the keywords and phrases hold the aces for appropriate elimination of options.
(d) Equal answers (or over-lapping answers):
If the examiner includes two equally reasonable and seemingly correct answers (if two alternatives say exactly the same thing when interpreted or simplified, both of them are wrong), don’t be misled that two answers which are the same can be correct e.g. if 6 and ½ dozen are among the options, they are obvious signs that they are not the answers. Of course, distractions also appear in other ways, please note that the elimination method options that are not viable are such as these are called FILLERS (for filling the space for options).
(e) Silly or suspicious words among the options suggesting illogicality:
These are to be eliminated outright without wasting time
(f) Opposite answers (partner choices):
If two answers are exactly opposite, one of them is likely to be the answer.
(g) Longest and most complicated answer:
This is likely to be the answer because it usually reveals the effort by an examiner to make the answer complete or precise. However please note that some extra long or jargon options can however be used as decoys for obvious and best answers. You must check all the options before making a choice.
(h) Similar answers (similar pairs):
If there are two similar answers, the correct one would be between the two e.g. if the options are 4, 52, 65 and 506. The answer is likely to be either 52 or 65 (see further notes below)
(i) Qualifying words (qualifiers):
Where the options contain words such as “some”, “few”, ‘more”, “seldom”, ‘often”, “least likely”, “most likely”, “sometimes”, “usually”, “perhaps”, “may”, “generally”, such answers are likely to be correct.
(j) Superlative words:
Where the options contain words such as “always”, “never”, “all”, “every”, “in no case”, “in every case”, “completely”, “totally”, “only”, “none”, which are usually restrictive, they are usually difficult to defend and are rarely correct.
(k) “All of the above” option:
If this is one of the options and two other alternatives are correct it is likely that “all the above” will be the correct option even if the remaining option is not clear to you. If only one other alternative is correct it is not likely to be a good choice.
(l) “None of the above” option:
If two alternatives are incorrect it is likely that the correct answer will be “none of the above” even if the remaining option is not so clear to you.
Time wasters:Always remember that “all the above” or “none of the above” questions can turn out to be time wasters. Keep this in mind for your time management to decide whether you want to answer them under elimination technique or just under the guessing game technique
(m) Similar sounding options (similar parts):
If two alternatives contain similar sounding words such as “subordination” or “subjugation” either of these like 52 or 65 under (h) above will be correct. It does not matter whether they are both A and D or A and B or B and D or C and D. the answer should be picked from one of the two.
(n) Prefixes/ suffixes/ root words:
Use your knowledge of common prefixes and suffixes and word roots to make intelligent guesses about terminology that you don’t know e.g. knowledge of the prefix “hyper” for instance would show that hypertension refers to high and not low blood pressure in the options.
(o) Network hints:
Answers to one question may sometimes be given in another question (common in internal school exams). JAMB exam may contain some of such hints once in a while.
(p) Except/ Not/Least:
As a follow up to what was written on vague terminology, watch out for the use of words like except, not and least in the stem. You will also need to simplify the statement before you answer. These words are seen as negative words and are usually PRINTED in capital letters,italics or underlined in the stem.
REMINDER:For some students most questions in JAMB can be solved using the first two techniques (operation sweep and bafana bafana)
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