We want a society in which we are free to make choices,
to make mistakes, and be generous and compassionate.
1925 - 2013
English Prime Minister
Testing with success series
Multiple choice tests
Multiple choice questions usually include a phrase or stem
followed by three to five options:
- Read the directions carefully
Know if each question has one
or more correct option
Know if you are penalized for guessing
Know how much time is allowed (this governs your strategy)
- Preview the test
Read through the test quickly and answer
the easiest questions first
Mark those you think you know in
some way that is appropriate
- Read through the test a second time and answer more difficult
You may pick up cues for answers from the first
reading, or become more comfortable in the testing situation
- If time allows, review both questions and answers
possible you mis-read questions the first time
Improve your odds, think critically:
Cover the options, read the stem, and try to answer
Select the option that most closely matches your answer
Read the stem with each option
Treat each option as a true-false question, and choose the
Strategies for answering difficult questions:
- Eliminate options you know to be incorrect
If allowed, mark words or alternatives in questions that
eliminate the option
- Give each option of a question the "true-false test:"
This may reduce your selection to the best answer
- Question options that grammatically don't fit with the stem
- Question options that are totally unfamiliar to you
- Question options that contain negative or absolute words.
Try substituting a qualified term for the absolute one.
for always; or typical for every to see
if you can eliminate an option
- "All of the above:"
If you know two of three options
seem correct, "all of the above" is a strong possibility
- Number answers:
toss out the high and low and
consider the middle range numbers
- "Look alike options"
probably one is correct; choose
the best but eliminate choices that mean basically the same thing,
and thus cancel each other out
- Double negatives:
Create the equivalent positive
- Echo options:
If two options are opposite each
other, chances are one of them is correct
- Favor options that contain qualifiers
The result is
longer, more inclusive items that better fill the role of the
- If two alternatives seem correct,
compare them for
then refer to the stem to find your best answer
- Always guess when there is no penalty
or you can eliminate options
- Don't guess if you are penalized for guessing
you have no basis for your choice
- Use hints from questions you know
to answer questions you do not.
- Change your first answers
when you are sure of the
correction, or other cues in the test cue you to change.
Remember that you are looking for the best answer,
only a correct one, and not one which must be true all of the time,
in all cases, and without exception.
Testing with success series