How to avoid the trap of Negative Marking

How to avoid the trap of Negative Marking

Negative marking is one of the greatest troubles students face while attempting competitive exams like JEE and NEET. Here, we discuss the aspects of negative marking which will help you to overcome it.


Though most students fear negative marking, there are a few students who love negative marking. This is because they think that they get an advantage over their under-prepared counterparts in this examination. This is a topper’s mindset.

So, the first thing that you need to do is stop looking at negative marking negatively. Instead, you should look at negative marking as an opportunity to score higher over the rest.


Anticipation is the act of guessing how things will work out next. In an exam with negative markings you need to anticipate properly and plan accordingly. You need to look at the question and be able to decide whether to go with it or to leave it or to return back if time permits. This has to be the first decision you take after reading a question.

Read: How to solve difficult Problems

Division of Time

It is advisable to solve the questions that you are sure about first (and in least time). Solving the questions that you are sure about in the least time will enable you to solve other difficult questions in more time.

This division of time allows you to minimize negative marking.

Read: How to manage time in NEET | How to manage time in JEE Main

Leave unsure Questions in the beginning

Solve the questions you are very sure about first and then go ahead to solve the ones you are unsure. This is just another way of dividing your time as mentioned above. However, beware of leaving aside too many questions unanswered. All you need at this stage is practice !


This is the most essential way of minimizing your negative marking. Practice will help you with all of the above points. It will help you to change your perception and make you confident. It will help you to anticipate the question correctly and solving mock papers will help you to manage  your time well.

Students, you still have time in hand, utilize it for practicing MCQs. This will help you to expand your spectrum of positive marking (The questions you are sure about). Today, you may be at 5 questions out of 90, but with practice the number will just go on increasing (and that is what counts). You need to practice enough so that you are able to be sure about more questions than before.

Get a motivational push > Read: The Power of Practice

Do Proper Guesswork

Never do guesswork with 4 options alive. Always eliminate atleast 1 or 2 options before guessing. This elimination reduces the probability of negative marking.

Do Reverse Engineering

Another good way of solving a sum is to begin from options. You may have a look at the options and decide which one fits in the question.

Read More: Learn Alternative Methods for Solving MCQs

Avoid Silly Mistakes

So far we discussed how to avoid negative marking for unsure questions. However, even if you know a sum, you could get negative marks due to silly mistakes. You have already worked hard for everything you know so far ! You just cannot afford to lose marks in this way even after knowing the answer.

Here’s a list of silly mistakes :

  1. Wrong answer marked
  2. Option with the wrong units marked
  3. Calculation mistake
  4. Wrong formula used
  5. misinterpretation of question.

Read More: How to avoid Silly mistakes

To sum up, every negative mark avoided is a mark gained. You need to follow the above guidelines and practice a lot in order to save yourself from the trap of negative marking.

1 Comment

  • infomatica001 Posted July 29, 2019 12:11 pm

    Thank you for this amazing post. It was really helpful and informative. It also covered all the aspects of the subject and was really easy and simple to understand.

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