Tips for the students attending SLC examinations



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Students are required to write correct answers with appropriate layout and format to secure good marks. Answers with attractive handwriting, design and layout will be extra advantage for the candidates. It has been found out that the students, despite writing the correct answers, have not got marks as much as they deserve. There are various factors affecting the marking like: layout design, organization of the answers, handwriting etc. This section simply give some tips for the students so that they will get better marks in the SLC examination. These tips are equally important to the teachers as well. The teachers need to instruct their students accordingly.

Some of the mistakes that the students make regarding layout and design of the answers in the SLC examination, found during re-totaling procedure and other research activities, are listed below:


  1. Writing answers inside the cover page. The cover page is torn during coding and thus the answers on that page are left unmarked.

  2. Misinterpreting the ‘Rewrite’ instruction. Some candidates write the questions first as they are in the test paper and then they repeat the same sentence while answering.

e.g. I saw ……….. ewe yesterday. (a/an/the)

Ans: I saw a ewe yesterday.

Answers written in such way could be overlooked; consequently the candidates may lose the marks.

  1. Writing the answers of different questions with not enough space in between them.

  2. Writing news stories, stories and essays without heading/ title.

  3. Writing/copying unnecessary lines particularly in short answer questions of reading comprehension questions.

  4. Rewriting the text of question number nine i.e. grammar type 2 with the correct alternative but left not underlined. Answers to this type should be distinctly seen.

  5. Some students are found to have done the matching exercise by drawing lines and not writing the words with their meanings in the same line.

Better ways to write the answers accurately and with good layout according to the types of questions are exemplified below. Students will benefit if they follow these and teachers are required to deliver these to their students:

1. Writing similar words/opposite words from the text: For these types of questions students are required to write the words from the test paper as they are given and writing the correct words from the text next to them with a hyphen in the front. Each answer is to be written in separate lines to maintain neatness and clarity.

e. g. a. sharp - blunt

b. empty - full etc.

2. Writing answers to short-answer questions: While writing short-answers to the comprehension questions, students are not required to write the questions however it is mandatory to write the question number clearly. The important thing to be kept in mind in this type of question is writing ‘just the answer’ with the correct structure i.e. avoiding unnecessary details or copying the whole sentence from the text as shown in the example. Part of the answer i.e. the structure is there in the question.

e. g. (c) What is the deadline for application submission?

The deadline for application submission is 25th April, 2011.

(Instead of writing this, majority of the students are found to copy the unnecessary lines from the vacancy as: ‘Interested candidates are requested to send their application along with CV and photo to the following address by 25th April 2011’ which can’t be the correct answer.)

3. Attempting True/False questions: In reading comprehension tests, one of the most common types of question is ‘True/False’. Although there is no uniformity in the instruction of this type of test item, students are expected to copy the statements and write ‘True’ of ‘False’ next to them. e. g.

(a) Prodip Pal obtained a loan by mortgaging his family field. ‘True’

4. Attempting matching questions: In matching item, words in column ‘A’ are to be matched with those words/meanings in column ‘B’. In this item, students are expected to write the words in column ‘A’ with their meanings or words in column ‘B’ by writing them in the same line, not drawing the lines. e.g.

(a) formed - developed.

(b) protest - disagreement/opposition.

(c) flared - made wider towards the bottom.

(d) barefoot - without having any footwear.

5. Fill in the gaps items: This type of item is common in reading comprehension passage. Although it’s not clearly stated in the instruction of SLC test papers whether the sentences are to be rewritten or not, it’s better to rewrite the statements underlining the words chosen. The same is applied in case of cloze test item.

e.g. The candidate should have three years of experience to apply for the advertised post.

6. Completing the broken dialogue: Completing broken dialogue is a common question asked in the SLC examination. Students need to rewrite the dialogue with the chosen sentences underlined.

7. Story/news story/paragraph writing: This is a guided writing test. In story/news story writing the clues are given and the students are expected to develop stories/news stories in the appropriate tense. Most of the students miss writing the title and moral in story writing and title in paragraph writing. If it’s a moral story, title and moral are mandatory. In case of news story, dateline and in case of paragraph, title is a must.

8. Grammar Test: Two types of questions are asked in grammar test. The first type is the individual sentences with the alternatives in the brackets where the students are required to choose the best among them. From the year 2067, the instruction has been changed to ‘Choose and copy the best answer’ so that the students are not required to rewrite the sentences. They can just write the answers with the number of questions written clearly. The second type is the contextual passage where the instruction reads ‘complete the following text choosing the best alternative from the brackets’ means, strictly following the instruction, it is mandatory to rewrite the text but the answers should be underlined. For practical reason, the OCE has given the instruction to the examiners and head examiners that the students are to be awarded full marks to the correct answers even if the students have not rewritten the sentences/text. However, students are encouraged to rewrite the sentences and the texts but the answers chosen should be underlined.

The aforementioned tips help the students make their answers more organized and look good. Besides these, students should leave one inch margin on each sides of the answer books with the boarders drawn in pencil. Similarly, they should leave one or two lines blank between two answers so that it will be clearly legible for the examiners and head examiners.

With Best of Luck!

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