Fall 2008 - Approaches to Writing Multiple-Choice Examinations


Suggestions for Taking Multiple–Choice Examinations


A key to success in taking multiple–choice examinations is to make steady progress through the questions.  Do not spend a disproportionate amount of time on a single question with which you are having trouble.  Move on, and come back to it if time is left at the end.  Chances of correctly completing the greatest number of questions are increased if each question is attempted seriously at least once.  It may help to determine the proportionate number of questions to answer in the first half hour of the examination, check how much ground was actually covered in that time and adjust the pace accordingly.

When pressed for time, a good strategy is to omit questions that are expected to require more than average time and use the time to complete a larger number of more quickly answered questions. For example, if a cluster of questions with a common introduction is not readily grasped, skip the entire cluster on the first attempt.  Look for questions that deal with more familiar subject matter.

When answering a question, look for the quickest way possible to arrive at the correct choice and mark it on your answer sheet. If a question is encountered for which all choices appear to be incorrect, simply move on.  It later may be determined that one of the answers is correct.  Also, develop shortcuts for eliminating impossible answers by checking out boundary conditions, inspecting other aspects of certain suggested solutions, or substituting numerical values.

Because there is no guessing adjustment, mark an answer choice on the answer sheet for every examination question.