Ghent University bans "correction for guessing" system

The Ghent university UGent has decided not to apply the so-called "correction for guessing" system any longer for the correction of multiple-choice exams. It should be banned from the next academic year. Instead, the "standard setting" method will be used, which is said to have more advantages.

The Ghent uni follows an earlier advice issued by the Education Council. Research had shown that someone's personality may affect the final result in the case of the "correction for guessing" system. This system implies that students can earn points by giving the right answer, but also that points are being deducted for each wrong answer, depending on the number of possibilities. No points are given or deducted when no choice is being made.

"Students with a tendency to make a guess, have a better chance of passing the multiple-choice exams than students who are not so eager to take risks", the Ghent Student Council explains. Another disadvantage was that it was not clear which method students could apply best to obtain the best final result. Some students were busier calculating their chances in the various options, than they were actually looking for the right answer.

As from the next academic year, the "correction for guessing" will be replaced by the "standard setting" method. It is believed that the latter system bans the disadvantages of the former, while keeping the benefits. Under the "standard setting", students have to obtain a score of at least 50 percent, which makes it more hazardous to make a guess.