Taking a multiple choice test has its own challenges than a fill in the blank or true/false test. There are strategies to doing well on this type of test though. Here are a few tips on how to do a multiple choice test.
Remember that your first guess is probably the right one. Read the question thoroughly, but don’t agonize over every single word. Underline key words that get at the heart of the question. By doing this, it’s much easier to understand what the teacher is trying to say. As a rule of thumb, teachers try to make tests understandable. When looking at several options, if there are two answers that seem very similar, the answer is probably not either one of them. However, if two choices are opposite, the answer is probably one of them.
Reading comprehension is important to a successful multiple choice test. When completing a multiple choice test, don’t change your answer unless you are sure that your first guess was wrong. One tip on reading comprehension is to watch out for negatives. These may seem easy to understand, but their placement in a sentence can throw off test takers and change the entire meaning of a sentence. Also look for words that are definitive like “always” and “never.” Teachers don’t like to make these statements in multiple choice questions, usually meaning that an option with those words is probably wrong. Words like “sometimes” and “usually” are much more common and usually indicative of the right answer. Read every answer since the right one may be hiding. For multiple choice questions with more than four answers, this is especially a possibility.
For standardized tests, switching between the answer sheet and the test can be time consuming. Consider writing the answers on the test and then transferring them to the answer sheet at the end of every section. Also, for standardized tests that ask you to read a passage and answer questions, read the questions first. This can save time and make it easier to find the answers. Remember that usually the longest answer is the correct one. Test makers try to include enough details to ensure students can find the information needed, making the correct answer longer than the others.
Always be careful of easy answers. Sometimes these answers can be missing key facts and are intentionally confusing to mix up students. Watch out for these cases, but they can usually be avoided by reading questions carefully. Finally, don’t give up on a question just because it seems difficult. Circle the problem question and come back to it at the end. Sometimes it needs to be read several times or considered from another angle. Chances are, with enough time, the meaning of the question and the correct answer can be determined.
These are a few tips on how to take a multiple choice test. By following this advice, students can improve their performance and grades on these tests. Study and preparation along with test taking tips will help to get the best test grades possible.