To get a high mark in an exam, it is for sure that you need to learn the material well beforehand. But it is not all to get a good mark for a test. Different types of exams, with diverse kinds of questions, require you to have different approaches and thought processes. Taking a multiple choice test requires you to have several techniques to finish all of the questions in time or have a better guess in a question that you aren’t sure about the answers. In case you have a multiple choice test coming, check out our guide below for some tips to ace the test and get the highest mark as possible.
1. Answer All of The Questions
Unless you get a minus point for a wrong answer in your multiple choice test, you should answer all of the questions. Mark the questions that you don’t know the answers and come back to answer them after you finish the ones that you are more confident. For the ones that you don’t have the absolute answers, there are a few ways for you to guess to enhance your chance of getting the right answers.
Here are a few fun facts for you to have a better guess at a question:
- According to a study by Poundstone (How to Predict the Unpredictable: The Art of Outsmarting Almost Everyone), between True and False answers, True answers is 56 % more common than False answers.
- From the same study, if you come across a question with 4 choices, B is most likely to be correct (28% of the time). In case the question with 5 options, go for E (which turns out to be the right answer 23 % of the time). The answer C is the least common correct answer which is the right answer for 17 % of the time.
- When you have the “none of the above” or “all of the above” as the answer, go for it as they are likely to be correct 52 % of the time also according to Poundstone.
- Choose the longest answer. The right answers often require qualifiers, while the wrong answers might be shorter as they don’t fully cover all of the factors that can contribute to the right answers.
- Avoid choosing the answers with extremes such as “always” or “never”.
- For questions that you are uncertain about the answer, put a question mark next to the question and come back to it when you have time.
- Your first guess is sometimes the most intuitive. Still, you should reread the questions if you have time and evaluate your first guesses. Just don’t change so many times.
2. Allocate Your Time Wisely
Before you take the test, know how much time you have on each question.
Spend time to read through the paper and answer the easy questions at first. In a multiple choice test, you mostly have equal points for questions of different difficulties. Hence, you should focus on scoring the easy ones that don’t take much of your time first. Doing so will avoid rushing to guess easy questions with potential easy points if you run out of time. Consider spending a small portion of time answering these easy questions.
After that, check how much time is left and how many questions are unanswered. Then divide the time you have for each of the remaining questions to make sure you don’t overspend your time on a single question.
3. Keep Track of Time
As I mentioned above, you should know how much time you have on each question. While you are doing the test, make sure you check the time regularly to see how much time remaining that you have. Don’t spend too much time on a question. Leave the hard questions until the end. And don’t get so agonised over a question. Keep in mind that (in most of the cases), hard questions and easy ones have equal marks. The total mark is the one that you should concern, not the single mark you get from a correct answer.
4. Read the Questions and Answers Carefully
Some questions can be tricky, and that is the reason why you need to read the entire question carefully. Make sure you pay attention to some keywords like “which is not….” or “except for…”. Also read the questions carefully to see what they require you to do. Some questions will require you to choose more than 1 correct answer, and selecting only 1 correct answer will not get you any point at all.
5. Get Rid of Wrong Answers
When you have to guess to find a potentially correct answer, you should first eliminate the obviously incorrect answers. This helps increases the likelihood of getting the correct answer. Even when an answer seems to be wrong; it could be the one that brings you the point if it sounds the least wrong.
When one option of answers is considerably different from other possibilities of answers, it could be highly possible that this option is the incorrect choice. On the other hand, the correct answer would lie among the answers which are similar to each other. Test providers like to provide answers with similar patterns and narrative to confuse you. It is your job is to identify these distractors to get the correct answer.
You should have 2 rounds of elimination. First, you cross out the answers which are obviously incorrect then focus on the remaining options to find the possible distractor and correct answers.
Those are some tips to help you get a good mark in a multiple choice test. Answering all of the questions (especially in a test with no minus point for the wrong answer), reading the questions carefully, and keeping track of the time are a few helpful techniques you should embrace in a multiple choice test. Also, you should also consider taking other useful tips such as getting enough sleep or avoid being too stressed. These are the strategies that would work not only for multiple choice tests but also for other tests you have in your student life.
However, keep in mind that no tip will guarantee you a high mark in a multiple choice test unless you study the material. Make sure you prepare for the exam well beforehand. With these tips, along with the knowledge you have, you will surely ace your multiple choice test easily.