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# Help needed: Are these exam rules fair? Watch

1. Hi everyone!

I just got back from an exam and I need your help here!

The exam was a multiple choice exam consisting of 40 questions. Each question had 4 possible answers. You could pick one of the four, not more.

On one of the exam page, it was stated that the following rule will apply: "Because merely guessing the answer will provide you on average with one correct answer in three questions, the following formula will be taken into account: Corrected score = (initial score - 15) * 3/2"

Is it fair?
2. (Original post by Duncan8)
Hi everyone!

I just got back from an exam and I need your help here!

The exam was a multiple choice exam consisting of 40 questions. Each question had 4 possible answers. You could pick one of the four, not more.

On one of the exam page, it was stated that the following rule will apply: "Because merely guessing the answer will provide you on average with one correct answer in three questions, the following formula will be taken into account: Corrected score = (initial score - 15) * 3/2"

Is it fair?
Whether it is fair or not - everyone is following the same rules.
3. (Original post by squeakysquirrel)
Whether it is fair or not - everyone is following the same rules.
This is not what I am asking! I am asking whether the rule is mathematically correct :-)
4. (Original post by Duncan8)
This is not what I am asking! I am asking whether the rule is mathematically correct :-)
As the previous poster said, if everyone is following the same rules it shouldn't matter.

In this case, I'm surprised that they subtracted 15, not 10. But the main thing is that they subtracted before they scaled it (multiplied), so no, it shouldn't matter.
5. (Original post by Duncan8)
This is not what I am asking! I am asking whether the rule is mathematically correct :-)

No what you were asking is "are these exam rules fair" - that was the title of your post!
6. Anybody good at maths?
7. It seems pretty pointless to me. I don't see what that formula's trying to do?
8. It's fair in terms of one persons achievement against anothers, but it is unfair in terms of you are penalised on your score based on the assumption that you have guessed the answers, even if you have not.

Besides, the formula doesn't do anything to prevent correct answers by guessing as it eliminates just as much percentage marks from known answers as it does from guessed answers, so it's pointless.

If i have done this correctly, achieving 30/40 marks would give you a corrected score of 22.5...

And a score of 20/40 would only give you 7.5 marks. That's rediculous.
9. The main flaw with multiple choice is that a well capable student gets the answer right, but by chance, or word recognition another student gets it right in a guess
10. (Original post by Robbie242)
The main flaw with multiple choice is that a well capable student gets the answer right, but by chance, or word recognition another student gets it right in a guess
But usually this is addressed by negative marking - ie. taking marks away for each wrong answer so the risk of guessing outweighs the benefit of getting it right, rather than just arbitrarily lowering all of the marks.
11. So what's the correct formula?
12. (Original post by Potally_Tissed)
But usually this is addressed by negative marking - ie. taking marks away for each wrong answer so the risk of guessing outweighs the benefit of getting it right, rather than just arbitrarily lowering all of the marks.
I see, there are benefits to multiple choice for people who are good with knowledge/memory but I feel explanations/essay's and other ways are more efficient, though there are flaws with essay marking as well
13. (Original post by Duncan8)
So what's the correct formula?
If you assume that 1 in 4 correct answers were achieved through lucky guesses, multiply all scores by 0.75. But that's probably not going to be true.

The most fair way I reckon would be 3 marks for a right answers and -1 for a wrong answer.
14. (Original post by Potally_Tissed)
If you assume that 1 in 4 correct answers were achieved through lucky guesses, multiply all scores by 0.75. But that's probably not going to be true.

The most fair way I reckon would be 3 marks for a right answers and -1 for a wrong answer.
Hmmm yep. I need explanations Is it the correct formula?
15. (Original post by Duncan8)
Hmmm yep. I need explanations Is it the correct formula?
There is no "correct" formula, because you can't tell when someone has guessed. Even if you discourage guessing by penalising wrong answers, you'll also be penalising people who didn't guess but still got the answer wrong. It's more a case of coming up with something that's as good as possible, rather than perfect.

The problem with adjusting the final score is that it doesn't do anything to discourage guessing. Even if you have no idea, you may as well guess at the answer anyway, the worst case scenario is that you do just as well as if you'd skipped the question. If you've got four options though and a right answer scores +3 but a wrong answer scores -1, you have a reason not to guess, and the average person who guesses every single answer will score exactly 0 overall.
16. Seems pretty stupid to me. If they care that much about people guessing the answers it shouldnt be a multiple choice test
17. If everyone gets all the answers they know right and then guesses the rest, getting 1/4 right, then the formula should be: new score= 40-[(40-old score)*4/3]

In this situation if someone knows 32 of the answers and then guesses the remaining 8 they score an extra 2 marks bringing themselves to 34. 40-[(40-34)*4/3]=32.

That would be a formula for working out roughly what people got, but that assumes that everyone got exactly an average number of their guesses right, which just isn't practical and doesn't add anything as far as I can tell?
18. I am writing a complain to the tutor. I need to know why the formula is wrong...
19. I'll pay 10€ via PayPal to the guy who can tell me why the formula is wrong.
20. Anybody can help?

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