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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 2020.
  • 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:

  1. Comprehension of the question
  2. Analysis of the question
  3. Recalling the necessary information
  4. Reasoning while choosing the answer
  5. Time management

This section will be dealing with the first 4 factors that determine the successful approach to the FMGE MCQ.

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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 MCQNegative 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.

Pattern of MCQS The best MCQ solving Techniques/tricks for FMGE FMGE

Read more about Pattern & distribution the FMGE MCQs↓


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.

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Tricks to approach various FMGE MCQs:

1. Positive vs Negative stems:

  • Positive Stem MCQ:
    1. Several of the answer choices may appear correct.
    2. Only one is the most appropriate choice
    3. Eliminate those alternatives that may be plausible but are less appropriate.
  • Negative Stem MCQ:
    1. 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?)
    2. First, you will need to change a negative answer stem to a positive one then search for the 3 appropriate choices.
    3. Then add negative answer stem → exclude those 3 → find your  best answer selection

2. The pattern of MCQs:

  • Simple Recall/fact-based MCQs:
    1. You must choose the answer based on the recall of the facts.
    2. Foster your recalling techniques while preparing + practicing such as Mnemonics & others.
  • Problem Solving/conceptual MCQs:
    1. Analyze each part of the stem (case or statement or compare & contract type of MCQs)
    2. First, define the problem.
    3. Second, establish and set limits on the intermediate goals.
    4. Third, establish the long-range goals or outcome objectives of the solution.
  • IBQ: Analyze the question stem before approaching the image (data mastery).
    1.  Gross photos: Observe → recall the structures needed to be analyzed → compare & contrast the details depending on the directions.
    2. 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.
    3. Graphs &processes: Observe → Sense (Sensing function) the details →  Intuiting (Intuition function) the cause/effect outcomes by analyzing the dynamics.

Grab the best app for the FMGE Question Bank ↓


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.

Grab the best app for the FMGE Questionnaire  ↓


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.

Read more about how to manage the time at FMGE ↓


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 MCQAnswerAttemptMark
Easy/simple ConfidentYesNo
Confusing DoubtfulYesYes
Completely unknownUnknownNoNo

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’
AttemptMark Type of FMGE MCQWhat to do?
UnattemptedUnmarkedCompletely unknownEducated guess
AttemptedMarkedConfusingReconsider & change the answer if necessary

Read more about how to manage the time at FMGE ↓


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 countsAlthough 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.

Read more about how to manage the time at FMGE ↓


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.

Read more about how to manage the time at FMGE ↓


Why practicing test should be an essential component of FMGE preparation for FMGE?

  • Practice tests (FMGE MCQ practice) regularly aids in the following:
    1. 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).
    2. To maximize your efficiency of FMGE preparation (70/20/10 Model of Lombardo and Eichinger).
    3. To practice time management (speed) in FMGE.
    4. To improve accuracy & increase the confidence level in FMGE.
    5. To desensitize the exam anxiety (increase the familiarity with the online platform) in FMGE.
  • Tests to be practiced (FMGE MCQ practice) :
    1. Chapter-wise/subject/module wise practice tests
    2. Previous years (FMGE MCQs + NBE MCQs) Question Papers: must practice on a regular basis (Read more about the Reasons to practice past papers).
    3. 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.
        • What to start practicing the mocks? Start practicing mock exams as early as possible otherwise at least 6-8 weeks before your exam.

Grab the best app for the FMGE preparation ↓


FMGE Toppers’ Dos & Dont’s while approaching the FMGE / FMGE MCQ practice:

DosDon’t
  • Maintain a uniform pace of 45 s per FMGE MCQ throughout the exam.
  • Allot time to go back to rethink difficult questions at the end while setting your pace.
  • Read every aspect of the question thoroughly and carefully.
  • Pay attention to qualifying/keywords.
  • Read all of the choices, even if you think the first or second choice is correct.
  • Review the unanswered/marked MCQs & answered MCQs with the Options you chose only after you have completed the timed group of questions.
  • Change your answers only if you are sure about the mistake made.
  • Never try to solve all questions in one go.
  • Do not linger too long over a tough question.
  • Avoid Jumping to Conclusions.
  • Refrain from Blind Guesswork & use educated/Intelligent Guesswork only.
  • Do not skip any FMGE MCQs & mark all because there is no negative marking.

Grab the best app for the FMGE Preparation ↓


Also Read:

  1. The Best Time Management Tips for FMGE MCQs
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