How to Succeed on Multiple-Choice Tests

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How to Succeed on Multiple-Choice Tests


No matter if you are in middle, high school, or college, or taking a certification test, you must eventually tango with multiple-choice tests. A multiple-choice test is a common way for teachers and professionals to analyze a person’s learning and overall understanding of the material.

While many students feel relieved when they hear the exam is multiple-choice, few understand how to properly prepare for this type of test. We’ve all zoned out when reviewing countless pages of textbooks and notes, preparing ourselves for any topic that could appear on the test.

Do you want to learn what to look out for during a multiple-choice exam? Keep reading to explore different tips and strategies to know what to look for in multiple-choice tests.

Skim Through the Entire Exam

Before you start answering any of the questions, read the instructions, as well as skim through all the test questions. You will gain a better understanding of the format, see how many questions are on the test, and the time allotted. Understanding the layout of the exam allows you to avoid making mistakes that could cost you a high grade.

While skimming through each question, allow yourself to pinpoint questions you know and can answer first. Furthermore, allow yourself time to review the entire test to familiarize yourself with the material and understand the layout of the exam.

Read Each Question Carefully

Take the time to read each question carefully so you can understand and provide the correct answer. Most students think they know how to answer the question after an initial glance instead of taking the time to think and analyze each answer. If you hastily answer questions, you risk making careless mistakes.

Additionally, keep an eye on the lookout for words like “not,” “except,” “sometimes,” “always,” and “never.” Teachers may attempt to trick test-takers because many students choose an answer that’s the opposite of the right answer because they missed a crucial word. Read each question and answer before filling in the bubble because careless mistakes can cost you the grade you deserve.

Answer the Questions You Know First

At any point during the multiple-choice test, you find yourself struggling to answer a question, skip it and go to the next one. Wracking your brain by focusing on tougher questions causes you to waste time. Also, answering the easier questions first can give insight into the solutions for more puzzling questions. Manage your time by answering the easy questions first so there is plenty of time to work on the harder test questions.

Eliminate Wrong Answers

An advantage of taking multiple-choice tests is the opportunity to read a list of choices in each question. Everyone knows there is only one correct answer per question, while the rest are incorrect. Dedicating a short amount of time to cut out answers that contain blatant, incorrect information will help you choose the best answer.

Going through the process of elimination leaves you with two choices for you to analyze and compare back to the question. Eliminating the wrong answers on your multiple-choice test is a great strategy for answering complex questions.

Make Educated Guesses

If you do not know the answer to the questions even after completing the above steps, make an educated guess. You don’t want to leave a question unanswered because it shows to your teacher or whoever is grading the exam that you didn’t try to answer the question. Who knows, your guess could be the correct answer!

Trust Your Instincts

On multiple-choice tests, it’s easy to second-guess yourself and want to change your answer more than once. Unless you’re certain that the answer you filled the bubble in is incorrect, keep your initial answer! While you’re still facing the possibility of an incorrect answer, it’s a question that’s answered and one less question for you to worry about.

Tips to Ace Your Multiple-Choice Test

While many students think taking a multiple-choice test is a relief, this testing style can become challenging. So long as you read each question, cut out the wrong answers, answer questions you know, and make an educated guess. Keep these techniques in mind when approaching a multiple-choice test and you will feel confident and get the grade you deserve!