Elimination Technique for Competitive exams : An Approach for Objective paper

Elimination Technique for Competitive exams : An Approach for Objective paper
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The article is written to help students smartly attempt their Objective (multiple choices) question paper. Nearly every entrance exam and competitive exam uses multiple choice question papers to test the students. Today we will try to see what helps maximizing our scores and how to approach an objective paper. This article most definitely focuses on Elimination technique for competitive exams or any other objective exam.


It also tries to suggest methods or ways to study for an objective examination. Because the nature of objective examination is very different from subjective (written) examination. 


Subjective (written) Vs Objective (Multiple choices) exam

It’s important for you to understand that style of preparation changes when you are preparing for a competitive exam as compared to achievement/subjective examination. In an objective exam you have to focus more on getting the concepts and facts correct and precise. In a subjective exam your understanding over the concepts requires considerable depth and a lot depends on how you present your answer. Though both require hard work but they differ in :


Objective style of preparation Subjective style of preparation
  • Mugging up to remember dates and facts precisely because options can come close.
  • In a multiple choice question paper no such requirement. In fact you don’t need to solve the questions fully. Use can use tricks and shortcuts to solve questions. 
  • You have to keep re- reading the books and work on your recall capability. However, in some cases faint recalling works or recognizing helps. 
  • You have to study in a way which covers more areas that come in exam/more topics.  So it’s more about covering many topics vs understanding of some topics or selected topics. Horizontal coverage helps. The more you cover horizontally the better.
  • It’s little bit of relaxed on facts like if you don’t remember when cold war started or its date, then in your answer you can write “during mid 20th century or after second world war cold war started”


  • Writing skills are evaluated. Your writing ability also incorporates how neatly you write and the way you present your answers.
  • Here you have to keep in mind that recalling is the best strategy. As easily you are able to recall the less time you waste thinking and write your answers in a given time. More effort.
  • Focus more on understanding concepts and depth of understanding. More effort is needed to understand and so it will take time to prepare. Here vertical/depth certainly helps and if you have time you should cover many topics with good clarity. 



Objective paper structure :


  • It can be for any subject like math, general knowledge, science, etc. 
  • The papers usually contain four options and some contain five options. There is one right option and that you have to figure out. 
  • There is usually less time awarded to objective style papers. Because writing is time consuming. 
  • In objective papers you can mark the paper and fill the OMR sheet given to you. 
  • In objective papers you are usually given less space to work out the problems. But this is fine since you are not required to solve the question step wise.


Approach to attempting a objective paper :


Obviously it depends on your preparation and your paper attempting style. Broadly I see there two ways of attempting a paper. For sake of understanding let’s name the two styles as A and B


Style A of attempting Style B of attempting
  • This type of person attempts an adequate number of questions and guesses less. So  the accuracy is good.
  • Attempt a mock test to find if you are from this category or not.
  • Usually bad at guessing will rely on academic strength. In many cases understanding is better regarding some topics even better than style B.
  • Less of risk taker
  • Chances of clearing the exam is higher if a patterned and predictable exam comes. 
  • This type of person will attempt more questions. Yes there are going to be some wrong questions attempted. Even gets a profit from guessing. 
  • Attempt a mock test to find if you are from this category or not.
  • He/she is a risk taker, goes with logic, reasoning and sometimes hunch also to make a guesses.
  • More of a risk taker.
  • Chances of succeeding are higher if the paper comes unpredictable. 


Some pointers before we start :


  • In math objective paper, shortcuts and tricks work. You can learn them from coaching class or books. (Quantum math – Sarvesh Verma is a good book).
  • Elimination technique can be applied in type of paper. But not in every question. If you start applying everywhere you’re bound to fail in getting a good score. Hence figure out first in which category you belong and then work your approach from there progressively.


Elimination technique :


Remember : Such a technique will only work if you have studied extensively or worked hard. Also let me tell you this, there is no short cut replacement for hard work. You will have to study hard. Then if you ask what’s the point of learning this technique if I have to work hard. My reply will be that these days even those who are working hard are struggling to get a job. This means even if you study very hard it’s not a sure shot bet that you will clear it. 


I shall explain the technique using some examples and let you know how my mind approaches and hacks in the question :


Example 1

To attempt this question first you should know something about black soil. Always remember statement questions can fetch more accuracy. Read statement 1 and 3 carefully. If the soil is clayey it means it retains water longer. Also notice the word impermeable. A soil which will be impermeable and deep would hold the water longer. So Statement 1 and 3 are consistent statements. Mark D as the right option (since no other option has 1 and 3 together)


Example 2 

In above question I recommend not attempting if you don’t know what or who of the question. Why ? Because options are tough and if you don’t know who is bharavi or kumaradasa then it is a problem. However, notice kalidasa is written. If you have some idea, kalidasa is not related to buddhism. So you are left with 3 options. Some of those options seem tough to eliminate. So you can mark it and then leave, move ahead to other questions. If you have studied hard then you would know asvaghosa is known for his texts in sanskrit. (but nevermind)


Example 3

This is a perfect question where you can apply elimination. Notice the options carefully. Prem chaand is poet/writer so eliminate option A. Thyagarajar is carnatic singer/composer, or someone from south. Kathak is dance in northern India. So eliminate option C. Now you are left with 2 options: Sambhu maharaj and fate singh. Go for the most probable since kathak was performed in Rajasthan/UP Gharana. Options B seems where I would want to place my bet.


Example 4

This question is one of the easiest. You don’t need to study this scheme to solve this question. Just understanding of language can help. Gram means village and Sadak means road. Only option C seems to talk about roads and rural areas.


Example 5

Another easy question. Notice in the question it mentions ISRO and Gaganyaan. Gagan means sky and Yaan would be something that surfs the sky. Only one option talks about sky/space surfing ie option A. 


Example 6

Bit tricky but here also you can apply Elimination technique. If you have read history then you would know about Sabarmati ashram and Gandhian movement. A faint idea would indicate that sabarmati could be in Gujarat. So you are left with two options. It’s in option A many will get confused as all three are adjacent states and mark it. If you think more then you will know that there are not many rivers which can cross 3-4 states except rivers like Ganga, Godavari etc. Hence B option is a better bet. 


Example 7

Another question where you can use elimination technique. Supposedly you don’t know very well about our constitution. However, You should know what articles are fundamental rights and what articles are DPSPs. Notice in options there is only one fundamental right given. Option B seems to be from DPSP. And other two are anything but not fundamental rights. The FRs are given to an individual to protect from encroachment by the state.  Some FRs our individual and other’s community based rights. So, Only one FR option is given and it definitely would be about community right or cultural right. Solved. (Also DPSP is not justiciable, unless it is Article 39 b or c but they talk about concentration of wealth etc)


Example 8

This is the type of question you should be most careful about. Infact in this case Elimination technique doesn’t fetch much. Either you know this question’s answer or you don’t. We cannot use elimination because the nature of the question is very factual and specific. Hence less scope for it. I used this example to make you understand what questions can be dangerous if attempted when you apply elimination and why you should avoid them.


Example 9

Another good question where elimination will work. If you have studied then you would be knowing that we adopted economic planning which was 5 year planning. And you would know that it took us some years after independence to write our constitution and then we had elections for 1st government. So assume somewhere in around 1950/51 we would have started economic planning. You should know that it was the second plan which was also called Nehru Mahalanobis plan which talked about industrialisation. So from 1950 + 5 years will be 1955 that means after it, there was a second economic plan of India. Only one option I see ie Option B that is best bet here. Hence mark B confidently.


So, these are some of the ways you can approach a General Knowledge paper and score to get good marks or best marks you can achieve. You have to be smart while attempting exams. The questions were taken from the TNPSC 2019 exam to help them devise the approach. 


To Conclude,

For Elimination technique to work. A certain level of hard work with mock practice is required. By practicing mocks you can build on this technique gradually and progressively. 

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