Taking Objective Tests


True/False Questions

·         If any part of a true-false statement is false, the whole statement is false.

·         Most true-false tests or sections of tests contain more true than false statements (it’s easier to write true statements than false ones).  Guess at the answers you don’t know. 

·         Be wary of qualifiers like always, never, some, and most.

·         Be wary of negatives:  not, cannot, and words starting with negative prefixes (un, in, il, non).  Negatives make the meaning of a statement more complicated and you have to take more time to understand them.  Circle negative terms and then restate the idea in positive terms in order to understand it more quickly.  Then put the negatives back in and decide if any part of the statement is false. 


Multiple Choice Questions

·         Read the directions carefully:  are you supposed to mark the “best answer”?  The “correct answer”?  “All correct answers”?

·         Read all the options before marking the answer.  More than one may be correct, one may be more correct than the others, or the options themselves may help you understand the question. 

·         If an answer doesn’t come to you quickly, mark the question and move on; a later test item may jog your memory about one you are stuck on. 

·         As you work through options, cross out the ones that seem wrong.  Often, process of elimination is the only way to get an answer. 

·         Try putting the question into true-false terms; make a complete statement of the stem and each option. 

·         Guess.  When guessing, remember that “all of the above” is more often correct than wrong.  Also, the longer an option, the more likely it is to be right.


Matching Questions

·         When studying for matching tests, put ideas into columns of associated terms (names in one, inventions in the other, for example).

·         On a matching test, start with the first item in the left-hand column; work down the right-hand column until you find a match.  Don’t stop at the first likely looking match; a better one may appear further down the list.  

·         Work down the left column, eliminating as many choices from the right column as you can.  Circle or mark through the items on the right that you have eliminated. 

·         Guessing is more dangerous on matching tests than on other kinds of exams.  If you make one incorrect match, you have probably actually made two. 


Info from: UI Tutoring and Academic Assistance Programs