Studying for multiple choice tests

Even when students have studied and know their information, sometimes they can psych themselves out and miss multiple choice questions that they know the answer to. If you are one of the students who does well on written parts of exams, but misses multiple choice questions, here are some strategies to try:

Strategy 1: When you read each question, cover up the answers. Read the question and come up with your own answer. Then uncover the answers. If your answer is there, pick it and move on.

Rationale: This will save you from considering each answer option as if it had equal value. In the end it will save you time.

Strategy 2: Go through and answer only questions that you are confident in. Finish the exam, then return to finish the questions you were unsure about.

Rationale: If you dwell on questions you are unsure about, you may run out of time, missing opportunities to answer later questions that you are sure of.

Strategy 3: When considering answer options, eliminate answers that use terminology that you have never heard of.

Rationale: Often students who are feeling a bit insecure will assume that they must have missed a critical section of text if they don’t recognize a term.¬†However, if you have read the book and been in class, you can assume that those answers are distractors to test you on whether you know the “real” terminology.

Strategy 4: Consider the topic you are being tested on. Eliminate answer options that discuss concepts from previous chapters.

Rationale: There are always distractor questions. This is one strategy text books and instructors use for coming up with options.

Strategy 5: Fill in an answer only when you are ready to commit. Once you have answered, never change your answer.

Rationale: If you are unsure of your answer, your best guess is your best guess. Don’t waste time on questions you are likely guessing anyway.

Strategy 6: Do not worry about how many times you have selected a particular letter option. In general, instructors do not either.