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Test Tips For Multiple-Choice Psychology Exams

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Test Tips For Multiple-Choice Psychology Exams

Multiple-choice psychology tests can be tough! Get prepared with these tips and techniques. (Photo courtesy Clinton Cardozo).

While multiple-choice exams may seem challenging, you can prepare yourself by understanding the structure of a multiple-choice test and how to approach these types of exams. Remember, the correct answer is right there in front of you! By carefully analyzing each question and choices offered, you can increase your chances of performing well on each multiple-choice test you take.

The Structure of a Multiple-Choice Question

Each question consists of just three parts:

  1. The first part a multiple-choice problem is the basic section that asks a question, gives and incomplete sentence, or poses a problem that you are expected to solve.

  2. The next part of the question is a number of distracting alternatives. These are the incorrect answers that are designed to test your true knowledge of the subject. Some of these alternatives may seem correct, so it is important to know the topic well to avoid selecting an incorrect answer.

  3. The final part of a multiple-choice problem is the correct answer to the question or problem that is posed.

Techniques For Exams

In addition to following good study habits, there are steps you can take during an exam to ensure you choose the correct answer.

  • Read the question carefully! The most common exam errors occur when students fail to accurately or thoroughly read each question.

  • Read all of the choices. Don’t stop reading all of your options simply because you think you’ve already found the correct choice.

  • If you are struggling with a question, try reposing each option as a true-or-false question.

  • Even if you are unfamiliar with the question, try to use common sense or logic when selecting the best possible answer.

  • Take notice of all-or-nothing words or phrases. Examples include words such as "Every," "Always" and "All." These are less likely to be correct than words that offer room for exceptions or alternatives such as "Some," "Many" or "Few."

  • Answer questions in the order they come. If you spend a great deal of time skipping around, you are likely to mistakenly leave some questions unanswered. If you are stuck on a question, put a mark off to the side and come back to it when you have answered the rest of the questions.

  • Guess! Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so never leave any question on a multiple-choice test blank.

While no amount of strategy can compensate for poor study habits, understanding the structure of a multiple-choice test and using good test-taking techniques can improve your performance. Combining these techniques with preparation and knowledge of the subject is the best route to academic success.

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