The Best FMGE MCQ solving tricks for the FMGE?
- More than 85% of the FMGE aspirants are in dilemma about how to attempt MCQs in the FMGE? or how to approach MCQs in FMGE? effectively within the time frame given.
- Before going into the FMGE MCQ solving techniques/tricks/hacks we would like to give you an insight into the structure of FMGE MCQ & the expected distribution of the MCQs in the FMGE 2022.
- Watch the complete webinar on The best MCQ solving tricks for FMGE? by Dr. P. Harinath MD, Director, DMA, Chennai.
- Specific test-taking techniques discussed here will enhance your accuracy and efficiency in decision-making so that you will feel confident as you select the best answer in FMGE.
5 Skills that determine the successful approach to the FMGE MCQ:
- Comprehension of the question
- Analysis of the question
- Recalling the necessary information
- Reasoning while choosing the answer
- Time management
This section will be dealing with the first 4 factors that determine the successful approach to the FMGE MCQ.
Structure of FMGE MCQ (single best choice):
1. Stem/Body of the FMGE MCQ: contains statements & directions +/- images or data or qualifying words.
- Direction: the part of the stem which identifies the question or problem to be answered.
- Qualifying words: that helps to narrow down the choices (Except, most common, etc)
|Types of the stem|
|Positive Stem MCQ||Negative Stem MCQ|
|The stem consists of either a partial statement, a direct question, or a single word.||The stem consists of either a partial statement, a direct question with qualifying negative words, such as “except,” “least likely,” and “will not exhibit.”|
2. Alternatives or Options or responses the FMGE MCQ: 4 choices arranged in the alphabetical order.
- 1 appropriate/best choice: a key that is the appropriate/best option pertinent to the question
- 3 of distracters: plausible keys but inappropriate/less appropriate options pertinent to the question.
- Test writers like to put their best distracters in the first or second position, to catch the unsuspecting, hasty examinee (Judging types take the heed)
- Fancy-sounding false answers are inserted into examinations to test your ability to resist seductively complex distractions.
Analysis of the stem of the FMGE MCQ:
- Read every aspect of the question thoroughly and carefully.
- Take care to read the directions (Intuitives have a tendency to overlook directions).
- Pay attention to qualifying/keywords that will narrow your answer choice possibilities (except’, ‘but’ or ‘not’).
- When the stem includes several complicated statements, isolate each of them. Make sure you understand each individual.
Tricks to approach various FMGE MCQs:
1. Positive vs Negative stems:
- Positive Stem MCQ:
- Several of the answer choices may appear correct.
- Only one is the most appropriate choice
- Eliminate those alternatives that may be plausible but are less appropriate.
- Negative Stem MCQ:
- You are asked to switch from positive to negative thinking → causes confusion ( When you are asked not to think of ghosts, where does your mind take you?)
- First, you will need to change a negative answer stem to a positive one then search for the 3 appropriate choices.
- Then add negative answer stem → exclude those 3 → find your best answer selection
2. The pattern of MCQs:
- Simple Recall/fact-based MCQs:
- You must choose the answer based on the recall of the facts.
- Foster your recalling techniques while preparing + practicing such as Mnemonics & others.
- Problem Solving/conceptual MCQs:
- Analyze each part of the stem (case or statement or compare & contract type of MCQs)
- First, define the problem.
- Second, establish and set limits on the intermediate goals.
- Third, establish the long-range goals or outcome objectives of the solution.
- IBQ: Analyze the question stem before approaching the image (data mastery).
- Gross photos: Observe → recall the structures needed to be analyzed → compare & contrast the details depending on the directions.
- Photomicrograph: Observe through the rule of 5 points (simple) or 9 points or Rule of Z → recall the structures needed to be analyzed → Special attention should be given to the stain/type of microscopy/magnification → compare & contrast the details depending on the directions.
- Graphs &processes: Observe → Sense (Sensing function) the details → Intuiting (Intuition function) the cause/effect outcomes by analyzing the dynamics.
Art of choosing the most appropriate choice/option in the FMGE / FMGE MCQ practice:
- Read the question first, not the options (Answers contain distracters).
- Understand the emphasis of the question stem: read the entire question stem → visualize the answer in your mind → then look for this answer among the choices offered (Perceiving types who tend to talk themselves into wrong answers, and Judgers who answer too quickly)
- Take a deep breath and allow yourself a fraction of a second to relax and think as you exhale before reading the alternatives/choices (read all of the choices, even if you think the first or second choice is correct one → Avoid jumping to conclusions)
- Optimal answer selection requires skill in blocking out distractions from among the variety of choices.
- Assure that your answer of choice emphasizes the same principles as the question stem.
- Approaching “all of the above” or “none of the above” option: tackle with extra caution & figure out whether two or more options are correct or incorrect to choose this answer of choice.
Tackle the difficulty levels of the FMGE MCQ:
- Challenging part of the exam is the pacing through the questions with variable levels of difficulty: Take only 45 seconds on average (40-50s) to answer each question.
- Difficult questions:
- Leave the difficult questions unanswered.
- Don’t linger too long over a tough question → otherwise, you will have to rush through answers of the upcoming easier questions & lower your confidence (researches tell us that students tend to spend the most time on questions they get wrong).
- Allot time to go back to rethink difficult questions at the end while setting your pace (stop looking at the clock while you are reading a difficult question which will slow you down and rattle your confidence like a racer who looks at the runners behind).
- Each question/FMGE MCQ is a separate entity:
- Do not allow a tough question to contaminate your skill/positive attitude as you move through to answering the next more manageable ones.
- Adjust/adapt rapidly as you move from item to item.
Technicalities of the Mark option & the Review option in the FMGE (NBE exam):
1. How to use the Mark option (FMGE / NBE exam)?
|Type of FMGE MCQ||Answer||Attempt||Mark|
2. How to use the Review option (FMGE / NBE exam)?
- Click on ‘Review’ & you shall advance back to the ‘unattempted MCQs’ or Click on ‘Review’ & and move to the ‘Marked and Attempted MCQs’
|Attempt||Mark||Type of FMGE MCQ||What to do?|
|Unattempted||Unmarked||Completely unknown||Educated guess|
|Attempted||Marked||Confusing||Reconsider & change the answer if necessary|
Educated guess/Intelligent Guesswork vs Blind Guess during the FMGE / FMGE MCQ practice:
- There is no substitute for knowing your material.
- Trust your educated guess: there are ways to use the information presented in the stem to make an educated guess when you can’t remember your material.
- Although guessing can make you uncomfortable but do not leave any answer blank
- The first-guess answer comes from somewhere in the deep recesses of your unconscious memory bank (high likelihood of being correct according to educational researches).
- Eliminate completely irrelevant alternatives → Analyze the remaining options → Choose the most appropriate one which satisfies the question.
- Every question counts: Although guessing can make you uncomfortable but do not leave any answer blank or do not skip any MCQs & mark all because there is no negative marking.
- Magic of (b) or (c): Most of the students & toppers share that (b) or (c) tend to be correct statistically when the question is absolutely unknown (According to psychology it’s believed that b/c are masked by the distracters in a & d, therefore, examiners tend to make b/c as a correct choice).
- Important note on All or None of the Above option: Choose this option when you feel more than one option/choice is probably correct/incorrect.
Changing the answer choices in the FMGE / FMGE MCQ practice:
- Changing once: the scores improved when students changed their answers once(57.8%: Wrong to right & 20.2%: Right to wrong) but further changes of answers did not improve the scores.
- Beware of the Von Restorff effect: our brains try to retain the events that are unusual/unfavorable therefore based on such events we tend to be apprehended about changing the options that might be wrong!
- Change the hunch-based, first-guess answer: only if you have overlooked a significant qualifying word or you can think of an obvious (You are sure about the mistake made).
- Pitfalls: When you are anxious, feeling emotionally vulnerable, or overtired, you will have a tendency to second-guess yourself into wrong answers.
Why practicing test should be an essential component of FMGE preparation for FMGE?
- Practice tests (FMGE MCQ practice) regularly aids in the following:
- Diagnose your competence (strengths and weaknesses): after an initial reading of a subject, take practice exams to cope up with the Illusion of Competence (you will not be able to know how much you have learned during the FMGE preparation without practicing).
- To maximize your efficiency of FMGE preparation (70/20/10 Model of Lombardo and Eichinger).
- To practice time management (speed) in FMGE.
- To improve accuracy & increase the confidence level in FMGE.
- To desensitize the exam anxiety (increase the familiarity with the online platform) in FMGE.
- Tests to be practiced (FMGE MCQ practice) :
- Chapter-wise/subject/module wise practice tests
- Previous years (FMGE MCQs + NBE MCQs) Question Papers: must practice on a regular basis (Read more about the Reasons to practice past papers).
- Attempt FMGE mock tests regularly to boost your confidence level, sharpen accuracy & aid in time management.
- The optimal number of mocks/week: 2 full-length FMGE mocks/week will be Optimal however a minimum of 1 full-length FMGE mocks/week will be required.
- When to start practicing the mocks? Start practicing mock exams as early as possible otherwise at least 6-8 weeks before your exam.
FMGE Toppers’ Dos & Dont’s while approaching the FMGE / FMGE MCQ practice: