The MCQ, or the multiple-choice question, is a modern testing format that is used in education over the previously more commonly used subjective format. It can be quickly used to assess a student’s knowledge and understanding of the given subject. This format, combined with digital technology, makes students choose a correct answer from a set of options to a question. Today, students from around the world are familiar with this format and, in fact, spend hours practicing these questions to get the upper hand in competitive exams. Let’s find out a little about the CUET exam.
What is the CUET?
The common University entrance exam is an all-India-based computer-based test which is organized by the national testing agency. This is to procure admission to various undergraduate, integrated, postgraduate, diploma, and certification courses in 45 central universities in India. It is also accepted by a number of state universities and deemed universities.
It was first conducted in 2021 after the national testing agency assumed control over the conduct of the exams from the University of Rajasthan, which conducted the previous CUCET from 2010 to 2020.
The adoption of computer-based tests by CUET has brought significant benefits to the exam process. The popularity of the MCQ format in recent days in the education sector is due to its flexibility, standardized format, and efficiency. This format does save time for both students and faculty during both preparation and grading. This structure will eliminate any bias and subjective grading. This format provides accessibility for differently-abled students. Also, it provides options to review and change answers and overall provides a comfortable testing environment.
Benefits of the MCQ-based CBT format
The MCQ-based CBT test is a modern format on an online test platform that is used in education to assess the student’s knowledge and understanding of the subject. This format combines multiple choice questions with computer technology and has become very popular in the education sector due to its many benefits, listed below:
The adoption of the computer-based test led to a large reduction in exam preparation time for both students and faculty. The format allows for the creation of a large number of questions in a short amount of time. This can also be randomized to ensure that different students receive different question sets. This is especially important given the large nature of the CUET. The CUET has Section IA and Section IB, which are language tests and test proficiency in 13 and 19 languages. Section II consists of 27 domain-specific subjects, while Section III is a general test. The general test includes reading comprehension, literary aptitude, grammar, verbal ability, vocabulary, writing, general knowledge, and current affairs, general mental ability, numerical ability, aptitude, quantitative reasoning, and logical and analytical reasoning. This efficiency and flexibility of the CBT test have been essential in helping conduct the CUET.
With 1.9 million applicants writing the exam every year, it is imperative that the results be released quickly so that students can move ahead with their future. The computer-based test nature of the test combined with the MCQ format automates the entire evaluation process. Completing the grading process instantly. This saves a lot of time and resources. This immediate result allows students to receive feedback quickly both in mock and actual tests, allowing them to identify weaknesses and improve them.
Streamlining of data:
An online test platform also provides a streamlined and organized data management system. This format allows for the student and exam data to be collected and analyzed very quickly and efficiently. This further reduces the time and effort required to process exam results. The digital format of the exam will also ensure the accuracy and consistency of the data collected.
The computer-based test format has led to the complete elimination of all human bias and also a subjective evaluation. Since MCQs have only one correct answer, there is no subjective grading of paragraphs of written text like before, it is more conceptual as opposed to testing just memory. This kind of format also makes sure that all students receive the same question set, although randomized has the same level of difficulty making this a fair evaluation.
- The adoption of the MCQ has made it easier for differently-abled students to access the exams. The format allows for the use of enlarged fonts, text-to-speech conversion, and extended time for students with disabilities. This ensures that they have equal opportunity to show their knowledge and understanding of the subject.
- The online test platform also provides the option to review and change the marked answers during the exam. This allows the students to go back and, if they have a doubt, to work it out or change to something else, this reduces the possibility of making mistakes due to time pressure.
The format also completely reduces the need for a pen-and-paper exam which has its own host of challenges. Like printing out the sheets, making sure the print is legible, distributing and recalling the answer sheet, manually grading, the possibility of loss or damage to the answer sheet potentially affecting the student, and so on. The safety of the data is ensured to the highest degree in a computer-based test.
The MCQ format, when combined with CBT, is an effective tool to prevent cheating during the exam. The MCQs are designed to test the understanding of the concept rather than just memorization. This makes it very difficult to just guess the answer or copy from others. They have to demonstrate a working knowledge of the concept to do this. Also, since the question order is randomized to each student, it is harder for students to copy from each other.
A CBT test also prevents students from accessing the internet or external resources. They can prevent copy-pasting as well as opening other applications. Proctors can also monitor the students showing suspicious behaviour, either alerted by the software itself or by manual vigilance.
In conclusion, the MCQ-based CBT test has completely revolutionized the way exams are conducted and how fast they are evaluated. This format has brought a whole host of benefits, which include increased efficiency in exam preparation and grading, the elimination of bias and subjectivity, and also increased accessibility and convenience for students. The CUET (Common University Entrance test) is an example of how this format has modernized and improved the exam system. We see more and more educational institutes, as well as the national testing agency, adopt this computer-based test as the way exams are conducted. We can see greater advancement in the way students are evaluated and assessed.