Short-Answer and Fill-in-the-Blank Exam Question Tips

Short-answer and fill-in-the-blank exam questions are  straightforward but can be tricky if you do not study correctly. Check out the following tips for success.

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

There are few if any “tricks” for this type of exam question. Only one of a dozen publications on “test taking skills” surveyed for this topic had a category for short answer/fill in the blank questions (this entry contained only two paragraphs that were each only two lines long)!

It is best to “over-study.” You need to know your subject backwards and forwards; the chances are that you will either know it or you won’t. Unlike an essay test you will not have the opportunity to reveal what you do know in place of what you don’t.

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.

When you prepare for the exam, focus on facts and key words. Look over the materials as though you were going to write the exam. Try to predict questions appropriate for this type of exam.

Copyrights by The Curators of the University of Missouri, 2006

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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.