Tips For Students Taking Multiple-Choice Tests









Taking a multiple-choice test is a unique challenge. The answer is right in front of you on the page – but which one is it? While it is normal to become overwhelmed by the choices on these tests or to be confused by your options, there are several test-taking techniques that can help you find the answers, fill in the right bubbles and make the grade.



  • Know how the test is scored. Understanding how the test is scored will help you develop a test-taking strategy. If you are not penalized for guessing a wrong answer, you should never skip a question. If the questions become harder as the test progresses, you should manage your time accordingly.


  • Read everything. Don’t pick an answer without finishing the question and don’t answer the question without reading all of the options.


  • Try answering the question yourself first. Some students become confused or overwhelmed by the glut of answers and have better results when covering the answers and coming to their own conclusions before looking at their options.


  • Avoid overanalyzing. Most multiple-choice tests are simple assessments of your knowledge of the topic – they are not out to trick you or nitpick. If you see an answer that seems right but that you may think is too simple, it is probably the right answer.


  • Make intelligent guesses. It usually doesn’t hurt to guess on a multiple-choice test, as your chances of guessing correctly are already 20-25 percent. If you can rule out one or two answers that you know are wrong, your chances go up considerably. Remember: if two answers are each other’s opposites, one of the two is usually the correct choice.


  • Watch out for “All of the above” and “None of the above” options. These two options appear to make questions harder, but they can actually help you find the answer. If you can find one true statement among the answers, then you know that “none of the above” is not the answer. If you can find just two true statements, “all of the above” is definitely the answer.


  • Pace yourself. There are usually a large number of questions on multiple choice tests, and they are generally worth the same number of points, so don’t spend a disproportionate amount of time on any one question.


  • Circle key words. Look for modifies like, “sometimes,” “always,” “never,” “often,” “only,” and “generally”. These qualifies can be key in finding the one true statement out of your multiple choices.


  • Study! Just as any other form of test or assessment, knowing and understanding the information is the most certain way to do well on a test. Red and review the material, take notes, make flashcards, and ask questions about topics or concepts that you are struggling with.

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