TAKING OBJECTIVE TESTS   back

The University of Alabama
Center for Academic Success
124 Osband
348-5175

To improve your skill in finding the one correct answer to true/false, multiple choice, matching, and sentence completion questions, follow these tips:

  1. Know your instructorís style of organization, interpretation, and manner of dealing with details. Inquire before exam time about what to expect.
  2. Before answering questions, preview the entire test to see whatís ahead and plan the time you can spend with each question.
  3. Read the directions and make sure you understand them. When in doubt, ask.
  4. Know the scoring policy! Are you penalized for guessing?
  5. Keep an eye on the time and pace yourself.
  6. Attempt to answer each question.
  7. Donít spend too much time on any one question. If you feel yourself becoming frustrated and anxious, mark the question, move on to the next, and return later.
  8. Watch out for qualifying words, such as seldom, normally, generally, never, always, all, some, and often which may change the meaning of a statement. If possible, mark them so you wonít overlook their effect.
  9. Read the question carefully before deciding on an answer. Eliminate half-true statements as answers.
  10. Treat multiple-choice questions like true/false questions. Read the stem of the question with each answer choice. Sometimes the grammar involved will eliminate incorrect answers. If in doubt, use your reasoning and problem-solving ability, rather than choosing the first option that sounds good. Eliminate items you know are not relevant, thereby narrowing your choice.
  11. With matching questions, mark first those that you are absolutely sure of as matches. Donít limit yourself to checking the first column only. Look at the second column for familiar definitions, titles, etc., which might furnish clues.
  12. Pay attention to the number of blanks and to the information contained in the incomplete statement for clues in sentence completion. Also watch for singular or plural verb forms.
  13. When you have no idea about which choice is correct, make an educated guess, eliminating less likely choices.
  14. Go over your answer sheet to be sure that you have answered all questions in the proper order.