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How to Solve MCQs?

Updated: Sep 3, 2019

With the help of elimination—you can attempt majority of the questions, even if you have never heard of the question.

The entire trick depends on the context, perspective, familiarity and options.

The multiple options decide the difficulty level of the question—not the vice-versa.

On the contrary, the difficulty level of an essay type question is determined by the question and the word limit.

Elimination Method

The process of elimination is a method to identify an option of interest amongst multiple choices by excluding the unfavorable options based on your available knowledge.

The entire method hangs on how many options can you eliminate and on basis of that, concluding whether you should attempt the question or not.

If you have eliminated 0 options, you have 0% probability to get it correct—then you should clearly not attempt the question.

If you have eliminated 1 option, you have 33% probability to get it correct—then you should not attempt the question unless you are borderline.

If you have eliminated 2 option, you have 50% probability to get it correct—then you should not attempt the question unless you are borderline.

If you have eliminated 3 option, you have 100% probability to get it correct—then you should not attempt the question unless you are borderline.

Example; The banks are required to maintain a certain ratio between their cash in hand and total assets. This is called: 

a) SBR (Statutory Bank Ratio)

b) SLR (Statutory Liquid Ratio)

c) CBR (Central Bank Reserve)

d) CLR (Central Liquid Reserve)

Explanation: In the above question, options a, c and d can easily be eliminated as there are no such terms in used in banking and finance. Hence option b can be easily obtained by elimination method.

Example; Which one of the following Bills must be passed by each House of the Indian Parliamentary separately by the special majority?

a) Ordinary Bill

b) Money Bill

c) Finance Bill

d) Constitution Amendment Bill

Answer: d

Explanation: In the above question option ‘a’ can be eliminated, as the ordinary bill does not require a special majority, this can also be inferred from the word ‘ordinary’.

Also, option ‘b’ can be eliminated as Money bill requires an approval from Lok Sabha.

If you have eliminated 3 options, you have 100% probability to get it correct—then obviously, you should attempt the question.

Flashback Method: Self Examination and recall

It is a scientifically proven method, one can relive the moment just by closing their eyes and going back to the time when your teacher, friend or anyone for that matter taught you that particular information. Try to grasp the mental image of classes, books or notes, and then attempt to eliminate at least one option from the information you have just recollected. Follow it by the elimination method.

Finding Answer in the Question Paper itself

There had been a lot of cases in which certain questions can give you the hint for solving other questions. There are 100 questions which in itself provide one with a lot of facts and information. One should also take great precautions to not attempt the questions on the very first go if they aren’t sure of the answer. This might lead to a wrong answer which you could have cracked after reading the entire paper. One should make use of that and try to eliminate at least one option——followed by the elimination method.

Extra Detailing

Shift your focus on the Language of the options and questions.  After analysing thousands of MCQs, one can figure out a pattern of the language used in the correct answers.

If any authoritative terms like ‘100%’, ‘0%’, ‘Always’, ’Absolute’, ‘Never’—appears in the option, it’s more likely to be incorrect.

Following the similar approach, if the options or questions have terms like; ‘Rarely’, ‘Can be’, ‘Maybe’,’ May not be’, ‘Shall be’, ‘More often than not’, ‘Most of the time’—it’s more likely to be true.

Above method is particularly true for Humanity subjects: Geography, Economics, Polity, History etc.

Read questions and options carefully to find the above-suggested terms—accompanied by eliminating at least one option on the basis of above method. After expulsing one option, one can proceed with the help of elimination method.


Consider the following statements:

Every state has at least one tiger reserve.

Tiger is protected under wildlife protection act.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: b

Explanation: Here, the extra information given by two keywords ‘every’ and ‘at least’ helps you in identifying the option as for right or wrong.



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