What is the significance of the “negative marking” in the Preliminary Examination?

Negative marking in the UPSC Preliminary Examination is a critical aspect designed to discourage random guessing. For each incorrect answer, candidates lose a fraction of the marks assigned to that question. This mechanism promotes careful consideration of options and penalizes hasty responses. It serves multiple purposes:

  • Accuracy Emphasis: Negative marking incentivizes candidates to answer only when they are reasonably certain, prioritizing accuracy over blind guessing.
  • Fairness: It ensures that candidates are not benefited by sheer luck, maintaining a level playing field.
  • Strategic Approach: Candidates need to manage their attempts wisely to maximize scores, strategically choosing which questions to answer.
  • Quality Selection: Encourages candidates to choose questions they are confident about, reflecting their depth of knowledge.

Overall, understanding negative markings is crucial for UPSC aspirants to approach the Preliminary Examination strategically and effectively.

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