Multiple test questions are becoming common by the day. Time have evolved and have become precious and wasting time to mark easy type questions is a path many don’t want to travel. Aside the time factor, there are machines that mark them and this takes away the stress of doing it.
This is the reason why exams like College entrance exams and most classroom tests uses multiple choice questions.
Aptitude test to most jobs are in multiple choice. Licensing examinations and most examinations that are into qualifying students into their respective professions also uses multiple choice.
Promotional exams from one grade to another are mostly in multiple choice questions. If multiple choice questions are this wide spread, then knowing how to answer them will not only be beneficial to only students, but all kinds of people.
The article looks at how to answer multiple choice questions correctly to enable you get the desired mark you wish for.
We know there are instances when when people sit for an examinations that they did not prepare for . It could also be that you are taking a course that you don’t know the head or tail of it. We will give you steps that will help you pass even in that situation.
How to answer multiple choice questions.
Read the questions carefully
In a multiple choice exams, you need to read through the questions carefully. Don’t be tempted to pick an answer that seem correct to you without reading the entire question. It might surprise you that after reading the question carefully, that particular answer may not answer the question correctly.
Always answer it in your mind
Exercising your mind in the course of responding to a multiple choice question is critical.
You must always answer the question in your mind. This according to experts,will help prevent you from talking yourself out of the correct answer.
Begin by Eliminate wrong answers.
It is the best approach to start by eliminating answers that you are pretty sure are wrong from the options provided.
This will help reduce the risk of picking a wrong answer. This approach also applies to questions you believe you truly know the answer.
When you cross out the answers that you think are wrong,it will help save the time you would have spent in thinking about them. It also pushes you closer to picking the right answer.
Select the best answer.
The instruction to most multiple choice questions will even tell you to pick answer that best suit a particular question. This means that they may be other answers that are right, but may not suit the question at that point in time. You will then have to take the time to read the question and select the best answer that suit it.
Most students rushed in taking answers that seem right,without looking out for the answers that best suit the question.
Read every answer option.
Take the time to read every answer option before making a choice. Most students thinks this approach is for those who are not smart. But, I can tell you, it will be a great mistake not to follow this approach. As indicated earlier, not all answers in the options best suit the question. Reading every answer option helps you prevent this trap and take you closer to getting the right answer.
Answer the questions you know first.
Don’t make the mistake, most students make by trying to answer the questions from the first to the last.
You need to answer those you know first. For example, if I answer number one(1), but don’t know how to answer number 2 and 3. You should leave them and answer number four(4).
This will help you to get to questions that you can answer well first. Most students make the mistake of working their way from the first to the last in a systematic order. Those who do this, waste a lot of time, as they do spend quality time figuring out answers to questions they don’t know. They will later discover after the exams that they were questions a head of them that they could have answered effortlessly without wasting time.
Many students have fallen victim to this and you must not join them.
There is something very important to note here. When you are skipping a question to go to others, you must remember to mark it in the question paper. The marking must be in the question paper and NOT the answer booklet.This will help you to remember to return to it later.
Make an educated guess, in case you have no clue to a question
If there are no penalties for taking a wrong answer, you make an educated guess when you have no option.
Making an educated guess should come as a last resort and even after you have crossed out those answers that are not related to the question as discussed above.
You must remember that there are certain examinations that a wrong answer always attract a penalty. For example, if the value of a correct answer is 1 point. The penalty for picking a wrong answer could be 1/2 a point.
Remember we said an educated guess and not any kind of guess.
It’s usually best to stick with your first choice–but not always.
You should try to stick to answers you have selected. Usually changing answers after you selected them does not always help.
However, if you are convinced beyond reasonable doubt that your first answer is wrong, you can change it for the correct one. This should be after you have examined the question critically again.
It must be noted that the answer options provided will often include the most common wrong answer among the choices or answers.They may seem logical but are ultimately incorrect.
Though, multiple choice tests are not usually intentionally designed to trick or confuse students, they are designed to test students’ knowledge and ability.
“All of the above” and “None of the above”
This is what the experts say about the above. They say when you come across “All of the above” and “None of the above” answer choices, you must do the following.
a) Do not select “All of the above” if you are pretty sure any one of the answers provided is incorrect.
b)Do not select “None of the above” if you are confident that at least one of the answer choices is true.
Words you must Pay attention to.
You must pay attention to these words not, sometimes, always, and never.
Remember that an answer that includes always must be irrefutable. If you can find a single counterexample, then the answer is not correct.
Again, the same holds true for the word never. If an answer option includes never a single counterexample will indicate the answer is not the correct.
Click here to read:Mathematics: How to succeed in a subject that many have failed.
How to pass a multiple choice test without knowing anything
It has been argued that multiple-choice exams would be random, without patterns of right or wrong answers. Moreover, since tests are written by humans, and by nature, it will be impossible for any test to be truly random.
William Poundstone is of the view that this is a fundamental flaw. He is the author of “Rock Breaks Scissors: A Practical Guide to Outguessing and Outwitting Almost Everybody,” and has claimed to have found several common patterns in multiple-choice tests. He said the pattern he found out also applies to the computer-randomized exams like the SATs.
William Poundstone said he has examined about 100 tests — 2,456 questions in total from varied sources. These sources includes: middle school, high school, college, and professional school exams; driver’s tests; licensing exams for firefighters and radio operators; and even newspaper quizzes. According to Poundstone, he found statistical patterns across all sources.
He said he has gotten the strategy that will help you maximize your returns by guessing correctly on any exam. he added that it applies to when you are struggling with a subject in school or you want to retake your driver’s license test.
He further indicated that knowledge of the subject matter is always the best test-taking strategy. But if cases where “a guessing strategy is useful to the extent that it beats random guessing,” he suggests you always guess when you’re unsure. Guessing smartly will only improve your chances of being correct.
We take a look at some of Poundstone’s tactics for outsmarting any multiple-choice test.
a. Ignore conventional wisdom.
You’ve probably been given test-taking advice along the lines of “always guess the middle answer if you don’t know” or “avoid any answer that uses the words ‘never,’ ‘always,’ ‘all,’ or ‘none'” at some point in your life. This is what Poundstone has to say about it. He said this conventional wisdom doesn’t hold up against statistics.
He rather found those kind of questions to be helpful. In fact, he found that the answers “none of the above” or “all of the above” were correct 52% of the time. Choosing one of these answers gives you a 90% improvement over random guessing, he said.
b. Look at the surrounding answers.
Poundstone found out that correct answer choices hardly repeated consecutively, so looking at the answers of the questions you do know will help you figure out the ones you’re stuck on.
He make this clear with an example.For example, if you’re stuck on question No. 2, but know that the answer to No. 1 is A and the answer to No. 3 is D, those choices can probably be eliminated for No. 2. Of course, “knowledge trumps outguessing,” Poundstone reminds us. Cross out answers you know are wrong based on facts first.
c. Choose the longest answer.
The famous author also noticed that the longest answer on multiple-choice tests was usually correct.
According to him,”Test makers have to make sure that right answers are indisputably right.”
“Often this demands some qualifying language. They may not try so hard with wrong answers.” If one choice is noticeably longer than its counterparts, Poundstone says it’s likely the correct answer.
d. Eliminate the outliers.
Let us take an example like SATs, they are usually randomized using computers, negating any patterns usually found in the order of the answers.
Poundstone said that, no matter their order, answer choices that are incongruent with the rest are usually wrong.