Multiple Choice Test TipsCredit:


Multiple choice tests are one of the most common ways you will be evaluated throughout college. Just like any other test, there are a number of techniques that you can use to improve your results.

Answer the question BEFORE you look at your choices

Nothing feels better than reading a question, deciding on what you think the answer is, and then seeing that same answer as one of the choices given. Even if your answer isn’t there, often the thought process you went through before looking at the available answers will give you some insight on which answer is correct. Be careful though – sometimes even when you find your answer it won’t be the correct one, especially when there are other answers like “both a and b” or “all of the above”. Make sure you read all of the options before choosing an answer.

Go with your gut

Often you’ll get to a point in a test where there are two answers that seem like they could be correct. Here it’s best to choose the one that seems best to you and to continue writing. It is much more common to switch from a right answer to a wrong answer here.

Stop wasting your time!

I know you really want to figure out that question, but if you don’t know the answer now five minutes of pondering probably won’t help. Instead skip the question and come back to it at the end. Often other questions in the test will give you the answer your looking for, or at least hint at it.  

Compare the answers

Many times you’ll find that answers have a list of details, many of which are similar with each other. For instance, if the question is “What is the chemical makeup of dihydrogen monoxide” and the answers are a) 2 parts hydrogen one part oxygen b) 2 parts hydrogen 2 parts oxygen c) 1 part bromine 2 parts hydrogen d) 3 parts hydrogen one part oxygen, we probably know that c) is not the correct answer. We can see this because the other answers only differentiate based on the number of parts of each chemical, not the chemicals themselves.

When in doubt, guess C

If you have absolutely no idea what the answer is, guess C. I’ve found throughout my multiple choice test taking days that teachers seem to like C more than other answers. Maybe they’re trying to hide the answer, or maybe they just like how it looks like a horseshoe. All I know is that C has been the correct answer far more times than any other in my experience.