Listening Test – Multiple Choice Questions – Round your choice of answer, do not strike it.

The students were doing the Listening Test and I went around the class, standing by each student to see how they are answering the questions. Vijaya was answering the multiple choice questions in section two of the Listening Test. There were six multiple choice questions with three choices of answers for each question.

As I watched her, she found an answer to the question and she drew a strike mark on the list A to C. The mark fell somewhere in between B and C. as in the following image.

When I later checked her answer sheet she had chosen C for the answer. I made her do the test once again and asked her for the answer to just that one question. This time her answer was B, which was the correct answer.

“Do you know last time you had chosen C for the answer?” I asked her.

“That is not possible. The answer is very clearly B” she answered emphatically.

“Would you like to see your first attempt?” I asked her.

“Definitely. I could not have made that mistake” she answered.

I pulled up her earlier paper and showed her the answer. She went back to her question paper and the bulb dawned on her.

“Actually I knew the answer to be B, I have marked it also as B on the question paper but while transferring it to the answer sheet, I have mistaken it for C” she defended herself.

“Why do you think that happened?” I questioned her.

“My answer line which I use for striking the choice of answer fell between B and C. That’s why I got confused” she answered.

“Exactly,” I said, “Is striking the choice the correct way to answer? Is there a better way of marking the answer on the question paper?”

She pondered but looked helpless.

“How can you mark the answer so that such mistakes don’t happen. How can you mark it so that there is no scope for ambiguity?” I asked her.

“Circle the answer?” she asked tentatively.

“Absolutely” I smiled at her, “you cannot make a mistake when you circle a choice in the list. Your answer will be clear and no confusion will arise when you are transferring the answer to the answer sheet”

“Yes,” she replied, “I will do that. No more striking of answers, only circling of an answer in a Multiple choice question. I will follow the same method in the Reading Test too”

She had learned an invaluable lesson for the day. Silly mistakes like this cost students a couple of marks in every test. Our job as trainers is to spot the errors that they make and help them to eliminate it.

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