Objective Tests (Recognition)
On a good test, all answers are plausible; nonetheless, if you have 4 choices and can eliminate 2, you have a 50/50 chance. To eliminate choices, consider the following:
- Is an exact opposite given? Often, if opposites are included, one is the correct response.
- Is an exact synonym given? If so, eliminate both choices.
- Does the same key word(s) appear in 2 choices? If so, one of the two is probably correct.
If you draw a complete blank:
- Read the question separately with each answer; sometimes one answer seems to complete the thought better than the others
- Try to reword the question and think of an example; then reread the choices.
- Look for information on the rest of the test that might help you.
- If one answer is longer than the others, it may be a good guess since instructors often feel the need to make the correct answer especially clear.
Whenever possible, estimate an answer first.
Show ALL of your work; turn it all in.
If your answer does not match a given choice, select the answer that comes closest.
Subjective Tests (Recall)
- List, when possible.
- Don’t volunteer extra information.
- Look for answers in other sections of the test.
Analyze, number, and mark question parts before writing.
- Underline key words.
- Note point distribution.
- Answer the easiest first.
- Outline main ideas/details of all questions in the margin. Turn this in. This helps you organize, helps you move from one question to another, and gives you confidence.
As you write:
- Come to the point in the first sentence.
- Stick to your outline; don’t digress; use specific details.
- Write a concluding sentence/paragraph.
After you write:
- Be sure you have answered all parts.
- Use a carrot to insert words.
- Cross out words/sentences that don’t make sense.
- Improve spelling/punctuation.
- Know the directions ahead of time.
- Skip difficult items.
- Know if there is a penalty for wrong answers.
- If a statement includes qualifiers (usually, rarely), it is usually true.
- Try to think of examples that would make the statement false.
- First, determine what the relationship is between the two columns (terms/definitions; terms/examples)
- Count choices to see if the columns add up (sometimes items can be used more than once).
- Try working from both directions.
- Of course, use leftovers to guess.
- Although these questions are considered objective, they rely on your recalling, rather than recognizing, the correct answer.
- Look for grammatical clues.
- Look over the multiple-choice section for clues.
- Sit back and think about what you do know about the topic; while thinking, jot down key terms; look at the question again and try to use the information you remember.