# Should total percentage be shown as negative or 0 in case total marks are negative?

• I have an application which shows total marks and percentage scored by the student in a paper. All questions are multiple choice questions, so to avoid guessing by students negative marks for wrong answer are put in place

Also there are graphs that show in each section of the paper, the marks and percentage scored by the student.

So my doubt is in case the student scores negative marks (overall score is negative or negative marks in a particualr section), should I show the percentage as negative or show it as 0.

Ex: Candidate score and percentages ->

Section 1 -> 4/10, 40%

Section 2 -> -5/10,

Total -> -1/20,

• your question reminded me of my college studies many years back our lecturer do have negative marking system, it was +2 for correct answers and -1 for wrong answers. There was no negative percentage the lowest was just zero and I thought zero percentage made sense rather than having a negative percentage on the score.

While we did not have different sections but I noticed you have an example with different sections. Assuming that the questions are grouped into sections because they cover different topics, it would be unfair to penalise the candidate on the section that they have scored well with negative scores from another section. Thus, if I were you I would present the scores as follows:

Section 1: 4/10 (40%) Section 2: -5/10 (0%) Total: 4/20 (20%)

Just sharing my thoughts.

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