Many students believe that multiple choice exams require them only to recognise true statements; however, multiple choice exams require many more skills than just recognition. They require students to distinguish between right and wrong and also to use a variety of higher order thinking skills, such as the ability to analyse content, synthesise material, and apply knowledge, in order to determine those distinctions.
- Begin study early
Multiple choice exams require knowledge of detail, and you can’t learn details in a short time frame. Aim to learn details as you progress through the semester and re-visit these details on a regular basis.
- Know work very well
As you study your notes and readings, make lists/tables/etc and highlight key terms/dates/etc. Revisit these throughout the semester. These types of study strategies will assist you in making links between correct and incorrect choices in the exam.
- Try to answer before you read options
This will ensure that you are not distracted by any of the other options.
- Eliminate most obviously wrong
Take some choices out of the equation to make your choice easier. Ask yourself: ‘which of the options is the most accurate?’ or ‘are all parts of the question true?’.
- Avoid ‘never’, ‘always’ or categorical answers
Responses that use absolute words are less likely to be correct than ones that use conditional words, such as ‘usually’ or ‘probably’.
- Usually best to answer in order
This will ensure that you don’t ‘slip up’ on your answer sheet by filling in the wrong bubble for the wrong question.