Multiple-Choice Test Tips

Winter Break is fast approaching and with it, the sense of excitement and restlessness we get in much abundance each year. Rules loosen up and tests suddenly don’t seem as important. But even though we all need a break, it’s important to keep up with school. Here are some of my tips for managing multiple-choice tests as 2020 draws to a close.

  • Watch out for key words like “never” and “always.” Odds are, if a question contains absolutes, you’ll have to be more careful. The exception is for all of the above or none of the above questions. Studies show that such an option is correct 52% of the time.
  • Practice the process of elimination. Try to physically rule out options that you know aren’t true with a pencil (assuming you are taking the test on paper).
  • Guess the answer before you take a look at the options. Maybe the question is asking you what the definition of victorious is. Well, try coming up with your own answer before you even look at the choices you’re given. That will often help you make the right decisions.
  • Look through the test for clues. This works especially well for a question with a Part A and a Part B. If Part B only works with a specific answer from Part A, then you already know the answer to half of the question.
  • Break your time into chunks and skip accordingly. If you only have fifty minutes to take a thirty-question test, break your time into chunks. That way, if you know you’re taking too long, you can skip the question and come back to it. 
  • If applicable, look for the question before you read the text. If you’re answering questions about a short story, essay, or poem––prose in general, in other words––read what you’re expected to answer before you dive in. That way, your brain will be on the lookout for the correct answer as you study the text.
  • Double-check your answers. This one may seem like a no-brainer, but trust me, it helps a lot! Maybe you misread a question or an answer. Double-checking can save you all those points you might otherwise end up losing. Just make sure to practice this trick in moderation––don’t take too long, or you’ll confuse yourself and waste time being indecisive.
  • Having trouble remembering the material you studied? Try recalling similar info. If you remember what else you were studying, it’s easier to remember that one fact you’re having a hard time remembering.

I hope this will help––good luck test-taking! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time.

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