Teachers design true/false questions on tests to measure the learner’s ability to identify the authenticity of facts, statistics, relationships, generalizations, principles, or other statements. Many true/false questions require the learner to access stored information within their brains. Other true/false questions require the learner to use abstract reasoning. Many students can find a true/false question on a test in any discipline, including mathematics, science, language arts, history, health, and even physical fitness. Many instructors incorporate a true/false question at the beginning of a lecture to engage the classroom before moving further into the discussion. A true/false question should only contain one idea that tests the learner’s knowledge on the given subject.
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Students can not complain about the ambiguity of true/false tests. Each true/false question only has one correct response. Unfortunately, many students answer these types of questions incorrectly. Sadly, many students do not understand how to take a true/false test properly, mainly because they fail to study or read the test in its entirety. Students need to study before they consider employing true/false test strategies. True/false test strategies will only help guide students to achieve a better test score if they read the directions carefully. Test-takers can easily overlook important phrases and words in true/false test formats. Instructors agree that underlining and circling key points ranks as one of the top true/false test taking tips, because it provides deeper insight into the question. Other instructors rank looking for clue words as one of the top true/false test taking tips. True/false questions that begin with always, never, only, all, and because in them are usually false. True/false questions with most, generally, seldom, and probably are typically true. Many students agree that looking for key phrases commonly used in textbooks or lectures ranks as one of the top true/false test taking tips.
Students who incorporate effective true/false test strategies never quibble. Unprepared students tend to over-analyze true/false questions by looking for catch phrases or hidden meanings. Test designers never aim to trick students; however, they do expect the student to understand the material presented in the classroom. Students who prepare and incorporate these true/false test tips will automatically identify the right answer. Others may need to employ the process of elimination by dissecting the question using one of the aforementioned true/false test tips.
Students should only consider guessing as a last resort when taking a true/false test. However, students should make an educated guess if they simply do not know the answer offhand. A true/false question presents a 50/50 chance for test takers to select the right answer. Statistically, true/false tests tend to have more questions that are true than false. In addition, students who mark an answer should never change it. Typically, students answer the questions correctly on their first try then on their second attempt will get it wrong, especially if they tried all of the above tips and strategies in this guide on how to take a true/false test. Students who learn effective study habits will find these true/false test strategies more effective than unprepared students. The key to passing any test resides in the learner’s ability to listen, record, recite, and remember the information presented to them in the classroom. Trying to employ this guide on how to take a true/false test as a cheat sheet will only end in the student failing the test.
Follow these links to learn more about true/false test tips:
- Strategies for True-False Tests
- Test Strategies for Objective Exams: True/False (PDF)
- The Academic Success Center: Strategies for True-False Questions
- Learning Strategies Database: Background on Test-Taking and Test-Taking Strategies
- Guessing on a True/False Test (PDF)
- Tips for Taking True/False Tests (PDF)