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Multiple choice test: how to study and pass

abril 4, 2021
examen tipo test Multiple choice test: how to study and pass

The multiple choice test is one of the tools with which teachers will evaluate your knowledge during your life as a student. In this article you will learn all the necessary techniques to not only pass them, but also get the best possible grade. Do you dare to try our tips?

Multiple choice test: why you like it so much

There are many types of exams, but students in particular tend to prefer one in particular: multiple choice exams. Why? We are going to analyze some reasons.

Multiple choice questions

Multiple choice questions are those whose correct answer is already written on the exam. This answer is accompanied by others, usually 2 or 3 more, that are incorrect and try to deceive the student. Although in these questions it is not necessary to develop the answer, it is possible that it is necessary to do a parallel development to arrive at the correct result.

However, there are times when even if you have not studied, you can know or deduce the correct answer. What’s more, you may even be right answering randomly without having a clue.

Ease of copying on a multiple choice test

Those who often resort to cheating (don’t do it!) Are delighted when they face a test-type exam. Instead of having to see everything the partner has written, they only need to look at what answer they have marked. This makes it much easier to “mimic” the answers to the questions. In this article I explain everything you need to know about cheating on a test.

How to study for a multiple choice test

In other places you may be told that for a multiple choice test it is not important to memorize. This is not true at all. It will depend on the subject you are studying. If it is about mathematics, where they pose a problem and you must choose the correct result, you will have to memorize the formula to apply. On the other hand, if you study history and they ask you for the date of the discovery of America, obviously you must have memorized it previously.

This I tell you so that you do not relax and think that because it is a multiple choice exam, you have the pass assured. As in any other type of evaluation test, you will have to bend your elbows and learn, that is what it is about. If you are interested in knowing more, I recommend this other article about study techniques for multiple choice exams and other types of exams.

How to pass a multiple choice test

Although when it comes to passing an exam you can’t do magic, I can give you tips to get an extra in your grades.

Before the test

Although you may already know them, it is always good to remember these tips to pass a multiple choice test:

  • Bring a pencil and pen. When you are answering, you may have doubts or later change your mind. For this reason, you must answer all your questions in pencil. If you are required to write the answers in pen, pass them on before handing in the test.
  • Arrive on time. If you rush to the exam because you are running late, you will start the test more tense than normal and that will negatively affect your mood and concentration.
    Get enough sleep. You need your full attention to discern between the good and bad answers. If you are falling asleep, it will not be easy for you.
  • Putting this into practice will give you an extra advantage over other students who, although they have studied the same as you, have not followed the advice.

How to pass multiple choice exam.

During the exam

Answer the easy questions

In the first place, in a multiple choice test you will have to answer the easier questions. Why? Well, first of all, doing this will give you confidence. You will feel that you are moving forward and that you are able to pass. In addition, if after doing this you already have more than half of the questions answered, and you are sure that you have answered correctly, you will have a guaranteed pass. Isn’t it true that this way you will feel more confident to take the rest of the exam?

Check out other multiple choice test questions

As is normal, you may come across questions for which you are not sure of the answer. Fortunately, on a multiple choice test, there are questions that are answered in another part of the test itself. Let’s give an example so you can see it more clearly. A question tells you:

“What kind of animal is the emperor penguin?”

  • A mammal
  • A bird
  • A reptile

And later you find another question that answers that:

“The emperor penguin is a bird that lives in….” and their corresponding responses.

Therefore, you should pay close attention to small details like this that can give you points.

Decide if you will answer all the questions

The time has come when you have answered everything you knew and you must decide whether to answer the rest of the questions whose answer you are not sure. In this situation there are three scenarios:

Incorrect answers do not penalize

If you are lucky enough to face a multiple choice test where the wrong questions do not subtract, you are in the best case. Answer all of them. By mere chance you will be right and you will have extra points.

Incorrect answers penalize, but unanswered answers do not

This is usually the most common case. In this situation we have several factors to take into account:

  • The number of questions you have already answered.
  • The number of responses to each question.
  • How much each wrong answer penalizes.

Let’s start with the basics. Count all the answers that you are sure are correct. With that amount you have enough to pass or reach the grade you wanted in the multiple choice test? Perfect. Don’t risk it. You know what they say: bird in hand is better than hundreds flying. By answering one more question, you risk lowering your grade. This could cause you to suspend when you already have the guaranteed pass.

Now suppose you have to risk replying to pass or grade. The other two variables (number of responses and penalty) must be analyzed together to make a decision.

Usually in a multiple choice test, there are 3 or 4 answers. Of course, there is usually one that is a bit weird and we can easily dismiss it. So what is the probability of getting it right? Below I show you the percentage depending on the answers:

  • You have doubts between 2 answers: 50%.
  • There are 3 possible answers: 33%.
  • If you have 4 answers and you cannot rule out any: 25%.

As you can see, the more possible answers there are, the more difficult it will be to answer.

We move on to the penalty. Normally, a correct answer adds one point and an incorrect answer subtracts one third. That is, by hitting 1 question and failing 3, you would stay with the same grade. This being the case, it is advisable to answer only when you are in doubt between 2 or 3 answers.

Now, I had less sympathetic teachers who gave multiple choice tests where an incorrect answer subtracted the same as a correct one added. So if you are in this case, you should only respond in desperate situations. It is much easier to lose a grade than to earn it.

Finally, remember that this is all pure statistics. Well, have a lucky day and answer all of them correctly or, on the contrary, make a mistake. Make the decision using your head.

Points are deducted for incorrect answers and blank questions

The opposite happens here than in the first case, but the strategy to follow is the same. As all unanswered questions are going to subtract, it is better to answer them all and hope to get one right. This tactic is valid if the penalty is the same for the unanswered as for the incorrect ones.

Review your answers

Once you have finished, before submitting, review your answers. Read the question again and check that you really understood the question correctly and that you have marked the answer that you consider correct. Sometimes, with nerves, we can make mistakes in things as simple as marking with an “X”.

How to prepare a multiple choice exam

I hope that all these tips and techniques help you prepare and take the multiple choice exams in the best possible way. Although all this allows you to get better grades, do not forget that the basis of everything is to make an effort and study. Do you have any advice that I haven’t posted? Leave me a comment.