How can an answer key be defined?
Answer Key is a set of answers corresponding to a question paper which is the set of questions. It shows the correct answer for the questions provided by the question paper. Answer key gives a fair idea to students about their scores in the examination.
Sometimes, the exam conducting body makes different sets of question papers by rearranging the questions in a different order. In this case, there will be a distinct answer key for each question paper. However, the Answer for a particular question will not be different, but since their order is different, each answer key will show variation from others. This does not cause any problem unless a student is using the right answer key for the question paper. For this, students should ensure that both question paper and answer have the same code mentioned on the first page.
How can an answer key be profitable?
For Students - Answer key plays a positive role by helping students in identifying the questions where they made mistakes and need improvement. It also tells the student's stronger section. So overall, it gives insight to students to plan their study accordingly to achieve their goals. Students can also figure out minor mistakes done by them and can work on the same. It gives a better understanding to the students about the topic they have to make more efforts and which topic or chapters can be taken slightly.
Answer key is valuable to the candidates who appeared in the exam as well as for those students who are trying to prepare for that particular exam because in the current scenario many students are likely to prepare for exams with the help of the previous year's question papers which can be said to be important study material. Previous year question papers and answer keys give a basic knowledge of the exam. Which type of questions can be seen in the exam? What will be the exam pattern? Which type of questions can help in better scoring?
For Examiner - Answer keys are helpful for examiners as well. Examiners are the persons who are selected for giving marks or to check the response sheet given by a candidate. Answer Key provides the correct answers to questions to the examiner for evaluation purposes. Every person has their perspective for the same question, so it may be possible that if there are no specific answers key defined answers can be different. So, Answer Key acts as a mutually accepted set of answers for both students and examiners.
Issues related to an Answer key
Answer key releases some time after the exam date. The main aim of releasing the answer key is to satisfy students with the correct answers. Answer key also gives a rough idea to students related to their selection. However, most of the time, the Answer key released by the organization is correct but sometimes due to some reasons like Wrong answers or multiple possible answers to the same question, Students may not get satisfied with the given answer key. If a student is not convinced with the answer key, he can challenge it in the given time with the help of provided links. There is a different procedure in every organization to challenge an answer. If there is an issue of delay in the release of the answer key, it will lead to a delay in the announcement of the result, which further impacts the selection procedure. The delay in the answer key also has a significant impact on students, and can also affect a student’s future. Delay in the answer key demotivates or desperate a student who is preparing for that exam. Delaying also promotes the unemployment in a country.
Case Study In this case, A wrong answer key was sent to schools from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) of Term - I Hindi test of class X. As the teachers found answers to the particular question paper set unusual, they complained to the board. After that, the board sent a revised set of answer keys. As a principal stated that such things have never happened. The keys are sent when the evaluation starts. Teachers had to re-evaluate the response sheet and upload the papers, so it was an extra work.
In conclusion, we can say that the Answer key is a set of the correct answers given by the examination conducting body. It is an essential document for students for self-evaluation. Examiners also benefit from it as it makes things easier for them. The discrepancy in the Answer key wastes the time and effort of both student and organization. For avoiding discrepancies in the answer key, the Responsible body should be more careful and crosscheck it multiple times to remove any undesirable error. Delay in releasing the answer key should be taken seriously and adequate action should be made to get out from these issues.
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