Some students love multiple choice questions, others hate them. Whether you like multiple choice or not, it tends to be commonly used on high school and university test and exams. Keep on reading for 6 strategies to help you master your next multiple choice exam…
Read the question carefully
Always pay close attention when you’re reading the question and answer choices. Actively read the question by underlining or highlighting key words or ideas. This will allow you to slow down and concentrate on understanding the question. It will also help you consider important details that are easily missed, especially if the question is very long.
Eliminate wrong answers
Read all the answer options carefully. Then, instead of picking out the right answer from those options, start by crossing off all the answers that are wrong, narrowing down your choices.
Prioritize the questions
For most multiple choice exams, you do not need to answer the questions in order. Always answer the easier questions that you know first. Then, go back to the more challenging questions. Leave the questions you don’t know at all for last. The idea is that if you start with the easier questions first, you won’t get stuck on a challenging question early in the exam and risk spending too much time on that one question. Mark any questions you’ve skipped in the margins using stars or arrows. As you’re flipping through the exam, this will make it easier for you to find those questions.
What do you do when you don’t know how to approach a question? Quickly skim through the rest of the exam to see if there are any other questions with related information or concepts. This may give you clues on how to answer the question you’re not sure about. Write down in the margins what you remember from your studies related to the concepts in the challenging question. This always helps me organize my thoughts and work my way to finding the solution. Lastly, try to use logic- which answer would make sense based on the context given in the question and what you have learned from your studies?
Be careful with guessing. Read the exam instructions and be aware of how marks are awarded. You may encounter some exams that will deduct marks for each incorrect answer. In this case, you should avoid randomly guessing at a question; only answer the question if you are confident in it. However, other multiple choice exams will not deduct points for incorrect answers. Here, you should answer every question to increase the chances of improving your score. Try to make an educated guess for questions you don’t know how to answer. If you prepared well for the exam, you should be able to recognize related material, which will help you when making your selection.
Bubble your scantron as you go
For multiple choice exams, avoid bubbling in your scantron just before the end of the exam. You will find yourself rushing to finish, and will likely make careless transfer errors. A better idea is that once you reach the end of a page, transfer the answers over to your scantron before you flip to the next page. Or, you may prefer to bubble in each question as you go through the exam. In either case, fill in the scantron with the answers you are confident in, skip the questions you’re unsure about for later! Before handing in your exam, quickly check over your scantron to make sure it is filled in properly and every question is answered.
Try out these tips for your next multiple choice exam! With a little bit of practice, you will be able to master multiple choice exams in no time! Click here for more tips on how to ace your exams!