Multiple Choice Tests Strategies for Students

mutliple choice test strategies
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Multiple choice tests are one of the most popular forms of assessment utilized by classroom teachers. They are easy for teachers to construct and score. Mastering multiple choice exams are one part mastery of content and one part skillful test taking. The following multiple choice tests strategies will help students improve their scores on a multiple choice assessment. These strategies are designed to increase the chances of a student's answer being correct.

Making it a habit of using each of these strategies on a multiple choice test will make you a better test taker.

  • Read the question at least two times before you look at the answer. Then read the answer choices at least two times. Finally, re-read the question one more time.

  • Always cover up the possible responses with a piece of paper or with your hand while you read the stem or body of the question. Then, come up with the answer in your head before looking at the possible answers, this way the choices given on the test won't throw you off or trick you.

  • Eliminate answers you know aren't right. Every answer you can eliminate increases your odds of getting the question correct.

  • Slow down! Read all the choices before choosing your answer. Do not assume that the first answer is correct. Finish reading all the other choices, because while the first may fit, a latter one may be the better, more correct answer.

  • If there is no guessing penalty, always take an educated guess and select an answer. Never leave an answer blank.

  • Do not keep on changing your answer; usually your first choice is the correct one unless you misread the question.

  • In "All of the above" and "None of the above" choices, if you are certain one of the statements is true do not choose "None of the above" or one of the statements are false do not choose "All of the above".

  • In a question with an "All of the above" choice, if you see that at least two correct statements, then "All of the above" will be the correct answer choice.

  • Tone can matter. A positive answer choice is more likely to be correct over a negative answer choice. 

  • Wordiness is a good indicator. Usually, the correct answer is the choice with the most information. 

  • If all else fails, choose response (b) or (c). Many instructors subconsciously feel that the correct answer is "hidden" better if it is surrounded by distractors. Response (a) is usually least likely to be the correct one.

  • Stay within the lines. Be sure that you have filled the appropriate bubbles carefully WITH A #2 PENCIL. Be sure that there are no stray marks.

  • Take the time to check your work before you hand in the answer sheet. On a timed test, utilize every second of time that you have to go over your answer choices as much as possible. On an untimed test, check over everything multiple times.