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10 Tips for Multiple Choice Questions

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  1. Ask the teacher ahead of time if there is a penalty for guessing. Normally there is not a penalty on a classroom test.

  2. Read the question carefully and think of an answer before you see your choices. Read the choices to see if your answer is there. If so, it is probably right. Read the other answers quickly to be certain.
  3. If your answer is not one of the choices, then read all the choices carefully and start to eliminate choices.
  4. Cross out any answers that are obviously wrong.
  5. When you narrow your choices to two, try each answer with the question to see if they both make sense. Sometimes you'll find a hidden clue, like a subject/verb agreement that gives it away.
  6. If you are confused by "all of the above" and "none of the above" questions and they tend to take up too much time, leave all of those blank and go back to them. These questions have an element of logic to them, and some people take longer than others to work out logic problems. If you find that they require a little extra concentration, you may need to treat them as a separate section.
  7. Mark any questions that you leave blank so you'll know to come back to them.
  8. If you are stumped about a word, dissect it for clues. Think about the meanings of the prefix or suffix. Compare it to other words that start with the same letters. For example, the prefix "epi" is found in the word epidermis, which refers to the top layer of the skin. What can you discern, then, about a plant called an "epiphyte?" Would it have roots that stretch deep into the dirt or would it grow on the surface of something?
  9. Don’t second-guess yourself. If you make an educated guess the first time around, don’t go back and start changing your answers around.
  10. Keep an eye on the clock to give yourself time to re-visit the questions you left blank.

Bonus tip: If all else fails, choose B or C! A few studies show that those answers are correct at a slightly higher rate than A or D.

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