Teachers spend a significant portion of their time designing tests that will measure a student’s ability to retain knowledge taught in the classroom. Teachers administer several types of test formats that evaluate the student’s comprehension level of the core material, such as multiple choice, short answer, true/false, matching, and essay questions. Teachers tend to incorporate multiple choice questions more than other formats. Therefore, students need to understand how to take a multiple choice test properly before reporting to class on test day. Students can incorporate a few multiple choice test taking tips that will help guide them to marking the right answers on their bubble sheets.
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Students should never underestimate the difficulty of multiple choice tests, even if they know a few life-saving multiple choice test taking tips. Many students think that they can “Christmas-tree” multiple choice tests and pass with flying colors. As a result, many teachers have started to design harder multiple choice tests that measure the student’s ability to comprehend, not just recall the material. Students who want to know how to take a multiple choice test properly need to realize that teachers have gone beyond testing the superficial recall of knowledge. In fact, many teachers have asked learners to evaluate situations, interpret facts, analyze data, explain cause and effect scenarios, predict future results, and make inferences about the core curriculum. None of these multiple choice test taking tips will work if the student has not attended class, completed homework, read over assigned chapters, or taken thorough notes.
Students who want to learn how to take a multiple choice test have to accept that success begins with studying. Instructors agree that studying ranks at the top of all multiple choice taking strategies. Students who fail to study will overlook the important details mentioned in class or within the textbook. Teachers recommend that students look at their notes daily to retain all of these details. Students who pay attention in class remain ahead of the rest who spend their time learning test taking strategies. Multiple choice tests require more than memorizing book definitions and short passages.
Before beginning the test, students should fill out all of their details on the answer sheet. Clumsy students who know the right answers will not receive the credit they deserve, despite incorporating all of the helpful multiple choice test taking strategies available to them. In addition, students should first incorporate the basic multiple choice test taking strategies, such as covering answers with a scrap piece of paper, circling potential answers, and answering all known questions ahead of time. None of these basic multiple choice test taking strategies are infallible; however, they can help during tough times if the instructor has not worked around them.
After beginning the test, students need to evaluate the sentence structure and word usage of each test question. Reading comprehension stands at the forefront of all multiple choice test strategies. Students who fail to understand the words used in a sentence may not know the correct answer to a multiple choice question. Instructors recommend students familiarizing themselves with key concepts and definitions as one of the best multiple choice test strategies available. Teachers place most of these words in the question stem, making the answer options shorter, less confusing, and legible. Many instructors recommend reading the entire question as one of the top multiple choice test strategies that students can do while taking the exam. This eliminates any confusion that can occur when searching for prospective answers.
Students who know how to take multiple choice tests know that answers with absolute words are incorrect. In addition, test takers should stay away from answers that incite humor. Students who have become familiar with some of the more popular multiple choice test taking tips realize that the majority of “all of the above” answers are correct. Conversely, “none of the above” answers tend to be incorrect. Other multiple choice test taking strategies include staying away from double negatives, looking for grammatical clues, selecting the longest response, searching for verbal associations, and choosing (b) or (c) if all else fails.
Students who know how to take multiple choice tests understand that mistakes happen; therefore, it never hurts to bring a few pencils to undo some of those mishaps. Marking the wrong answer on the bubble sheet with the wrong writing utensil defeats the purpose of learning these test taking strategies. Multiple choice tests can be tricky if the student comes unprepared on test day. Students will succeed if they study and incorporate these effective test strategies. Multiple choice tests simply measure the student’s dedication to the course material. Students need to take the responsibility of listening, recording, reciting, and studying the information learned in the classroom before learning various test taking strategies. Multiple choice tests will continue as a novelty in the public school system for decades to come. Along with learning effective multiple choice test strategies our Student Success System can help you improve on study skills, test prep and more.
Follow these links to learn more about how to take multiple choice tests:
- Taking Multiple Choice Exams
- Strategies for Taking Multiple Choice Tests (PDF)
- Test Taking Strategies for Multiple Choice Tests (PDF)
- Strategies of Multiple Choice Exams
- Tips on Taking Multiple-Choice Tests
- Strategy for Approaching Multiple Choice Questions (PDF)
- Strategies for Taking Multiple Choice Tests for Students