10 Best Strategies for Multiple Choice Exams
Multiple choice exams are one of the most preferred way of testing candidates' understanding of concepts for a particular subject. That is why you will find that these days most of the certifying agencies use this pattern. With the popularity of multiple choice exams, it is important to know how to score well before you sit down to write your exam. Many of my students often ask about the best strategies to get a good score in multiple choice exams.
Here are some of the most important points to remember during such an exam:
1. Eliminate choices:
Have you ever thought how much chances you can increase
simply by eliminating a wrong choice? Let us look at it this way - out of the
four choices, only one is correct, i.e. 25%
probability of being correct. So if you eliminate one wrong choice, then three choices
remain, i.e 33% probability of being correct. If you eliminate two choices, your probability of answering
correctly increases to 50% as you are left to choose between two choices. And
if you are able to eliminate three wrong answers,..Wow!..you
got the right answer!! So, the more wrong answers you are able to eliminate,
the more your chances increase for choosing the correct answer.
2. Right pace:
Adopting the right pace is important. If you are not sure of the answer, donít spend too much time on any one question; you can mark it
and check it back later.
3. Allocate time according to difficulty level:
If you are taking up paper and pencil exam, try to run through the whole set of questions once quickly. Do not spend more than a few
seconds on each questions lest you run out of time in the end. You will find some questions whose answers you already know. Mark them
as you go along. Next there will be some questions which you can do with a little bit of effort and some calculation. Mark them out in your second run
through the set of questions. SO, now you will find that most of the right answers you knew have already been marked. Now spend the rest of the time on
the questions that you found really tough initially. However, this strategy may not work for most of the online computer based exams.
4. Leaving a question unmarked:
In general, you should never leave a question unanswered, make sure you at least guess. However, read the
instructions carefully before you begin the test and ensure that there is no
negative marking. In case, if you are taking up a test where negative marking
is involved, then you have to be very careful. Try eliminating as many wrong
choices as you can. If you have absolutely no idea about the right answer, then
it is better to leave that question unanswered in negative marking tests.
5. Guess work:
Even when you have to do a plain guess work, you should
adopt a strategy. Have a default choice in mind before you take the exam, such
as B or C. Apply this for every question you need to guess (unless you have
already eliminated that choice).
6. Avoid complicated mindset:
Some people have a habit of making things look harder than they really are. Do not have that sort of mindset. Recognize that some
questions are very straightforward, and you should not get confused if the answer is obvious.
7. Do not jump to conclusions:
It is always better to read every answer, even if you are
sure that a particular choice is correct. You might find that choice D reads
"both A and B are correct" or "all of the above." So, do not jump to conclusion
8. Choosing the best answer:
Often you are asked to select the "best answer" out of the choices. It is very possible that two or more selections can be correct in a specific situations. In such a situation, try to think
in terms of general rules, not the exception cases.
9. Challenging questions:
There maybe some questions which are in a slightly more
challenging format than the rest of the questions. For example, questions that
ask, "Which of the following statements are true" with statements after each.
The answers will take the form of I only, I and III, II and IV, etc. You should
devote time to evaluate each statement independently (decide if itís true or
false) before looking at the choices.
10. Confidence and presence of mind:
Finally, in addition to your subject knowledge, your confidence level and presence of mind will help you immensely. Best of luck!!
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