Multiple Choice – Test Hacks

Everyone assumes that multiple choice tests are easier than your average “read and respond to the questions” exam. However it only takes a few trick questions or rushed answers to knock down your overall score, especially when teachers insist on subtracting points for wrong answers.

Now my first piece of advice when doing a multiple choice test would be to read each and every question carefully, including all of the answers, and take you time not to be fooled by small details. Another useful tip is to answer the question in your head before looking at the possible answers, so as not to get confused or panicked when all four answers sound both right and wrong at the same time!

My main problem with multiple choice exams is that the questions are often very detailed and specific, meaning that in reality you have to study twice as hard and have an amazing memory for the little details. The reason for this is simple – questions on the fundamentals are too obvious when asked in a multiple choice layout. This means that teachers will hone in on the most obscure facets of information that in any other circumstance they wouldn’t expect you to know off by heart.

Multiple Choice Test Hacks

Consequently, every student knows what it’s like to have multiple choice questions they just don’t know the answer to. Even more infuriating is to have questions you’ve narrowed down to one of two answers, but just can’t be 100% sure which is the correct one.

Here are some tips to help you on your next multiple choice test:

  • Statements that include words such as: “never,” “always,” “guarantees,” “ensures,” etc., create highly restrictive answers that are difficult to defend. Not very often are these the correct options.
  • “All of the above” and “none of the above” options tend to be correct more often than would be predicted by chance alone.
  • Always make sure to eliminate the choices you know are incorrect.
  • If you have absolutely no idea what the answer is and there is no scoring penalty for guessing, choose option B or C. Studies indicate that these are correct slightly more often than other options.
  • Never change your inicial answer! Studies indicate that when students change their answers they usually change them to the wrong one.
  • True comes up more often than false, because when writing the questions, its easier for the teacher to think of true statements.
  • Be wary of long and detailed answers, as they are frequently used as decoys.
  • Check to make sure that two answers don’t say the same thing. Quite often professors will reword identical answers to throw you. If you can correctly identify such cases then you’ve just narrowed your chances down to 50/50.

Hope these hacks have prooved helpful!