Depending on the types of questions on your test, you can take advantage of different techniques that will help you answer those questions. Your professor or TA can tell you about the type of questions you should be expecting on your test.
Click on the types of questions below to see related tips to help you during your test.
Multiple Choice Questions
- Read through the question. If you don’t know the answer, skip it and come back to it. You may encounter information elsewhere that will help you answer the question.
- Identify key words. Circle or underline words such as all, always, never, none, not, few, many, some and sometimes.
- Read the question before you look at the answer choices. Come up with the answer in your head before looking at the possible answer choices.
- Take questions at face value, don’t get caught up looking for tricks.
- Eliminate answers you know are incorrect.
- Read all the choices before choosing your answer and don’t rush to conclusion. Make sure you’re selecting the best answer.
- Don’t just select an answer because you remember learning the information in the course; it may be a true statement, but it may not be answering the question that is being asked.
- Don’t keep changing your answer. Your first instinct is usually correct.
True & False Questions
- A statement must be 100% true or else it is false.
- Carefully read the question and look for qualifiers or keywords that provide clues to the correct answer. Qualifiers, such as "sometimes, often, many, few, generally", are more likely to reflect a true statement. Stricter qualifiers, such as "always" or "never", are more likely to reflect a false statement.
Short & Long Answer Questions
- Carefully read over the questions. Start with the ones you know how to complete.
- Make a plan and brainstorm ideas: build a brief structure of the essay.
- Make sure to use names, dates and examples discussed in the course.
Problem-Solving / Computational
- Identify the information you need to solve the problem. Is there information that is not applicable?
- What theories, rules and/or exceptions apply?
- What particular steps do you need to take to complete the question?
- Be as detailed as possible. You don’t want to lose marks for missing information. Show your workings!