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Important tips to decipher the language of exam questions

Author: RxPG Team, Posted on Thursday, June 24 @ 00:00:00 IST by RxPG  

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RxPG

The following is the usual code that is used by the paper setters to constryct the mcqs. Read and learn this to minimise any chances of freak wrong answers in the actual exam.

  • Always
    -
    implies 100% of the time (Answer is usually FALSE)
  • Invariably
    -
    means 98-99% of the time
  • Pathognomonic, Diagnostic, Characteristic, A specific feature or In the vast majority
    -
    imply that a feature would occur in at least 90% of cases, ie occurs in this disease and no other! It is a feature of diagnostic significance. Its absence might make one doubt the diagnosis.
  • Typically, Frequently, Significantly, Commonly and In a substantial majority
    -
    imply that a feature would occur in at least 60% of cases ie one that you would expect to be present. It is similar to a characteristic feature, but of slightly less authority.
  • In the majority
    -
    means more than 50%


  • Is common in
    -
    means more than 50% (a poor stem question!)
  • In the minority
    -
    means less than 50%
  • Low chance or In a substantial minority
    -
    implies that a feature may occur in up to 30% of cases.
  • Is associated with
    -
    means more commonly than a chance association
  • May or Has Been Shown
    -
    these are often true. One useful way of making the question easier to answer is by reversing it eg "A may not occur in B" or "A has not been shown in B" (Answer is often TRUE)
  • Recognised or Reported
    -
    all refer to evidence which can be found in an authoritative medical text . Again, reversing the question might help clarify your thinking. (Answer is often TRUE)
  • Rarely, Unusual, Uncommon, Infrequently or Occasionally
    -
    mean less than 5% of the time
  • Never
    -
    implies 0% of the time (Answer is usually FALSE)
  • Frequently and Often
    -are bad word discriminators and are not often used, but if they are, it means something occurs regularly.
  • Beware of double negatives
    -
    read the question carefully


Note: 1999 - 2004 by RxPG Medical Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (India)



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