Cracking Multiple Choice Exam Questions

Multiple choice exam questions will be a breeze if you follow the below advice.

1.Remember to carefully read the directions for the exam before you begin.

2. Attempt to answer the question without looking at the options. If necessary, cover the answers with your hand.

3. Eliminate the distractions. Analyze the options as true/false questions. In a negatively worded question (as in “which of the following are NOT . . .”), put a T or F beside each option, then simply select the false statement.

4. Never be afraid to use common sense in determining your answer. It is sometimes easy to confuse yourself by attempting to recall the “right” answer rather than simply reasoning through the question. Make sure your answer makes sense.

5. Answer the questions you know first. Often answers to questions you don’t know are supplied in other questions. Go back to answer the difficult questions later.

6. When guessing, do not change answers. Research indicates your first answer is usually best. However, don’t be afraid to change answers when you have a good reason for doing so.

7. When guessing, choose answers that are not the first or last option. Research indicates that the option in the middle with the most words is usually the correct response.

8. Answer all questions. Unless points are deducted for incorrect responses, leave enough time to answer all questions.

9. If the first option is a correct one, look at the last option to make sure it is not an “all of the above” option. The same is true for the “none of the above” question.

10. If options appear similar, chances are one of them is the correct response.The same is true for quantities that are almost the same.

11. Allow time at the end to check for carelessness.

Copyrights by The Curators of the University of Missouri, 2006

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons

Author: DePaul SI

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a program operating out of the Office for Teaching, Learning and Assessment. Supplemental Instruction aims to help students successfully complete historically difficult classes through peer-assisted study sessions.

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