Test Taking Strategies

Strategies for True-False Tests

1. Statements with the word reason or the word because are more likely to be false.

2. Statements containing any of the following words (absolute words that don't allow for exceptions) are more likely to be false:

absolutely
all
always
every
invariably
must
never
no
none
not
only
solely
totally

3. Statements containing any of the following words (qualifying words that allow for exceptions) are more likely to be true:

frequently
generally
likely
many
most
occasionally
often
probably
some
sometimes
somewhat
usually

4.Teacher-made true-false tests are more likely to have more true statements than false statements

5. Longer statements are slightly more likely to be false (it's hard to make true-sounding false statements!).

6. Standardized tests are more likely to have equal numbers of true and false statements.

7. Any part of a statement that is false makes the entire statement false.

8. When in doubt, guess true.

Strategies for Multiple-Choice Tests

1. Use the strategies for the true-false statements regarding the absolute words and the qualifying words.

2. If the choices are numbers, choose a middle-range number.

3. Don't choose ridiculous options.

4. Don't choose jokes, insults, or ridiculous options.

5."All of the above" tends to be the right answer.

6. Choose between similar looking/sounding answers.

7. Choose longer, more inclusive answers (esp. answers that include words from several of the options in the same question).

8. Avoid choosing answers that include words that you don't know or have never seen before.

Strategies for Matching Question Tests

1. There aren't any. You must know the information. When you take the test, read the directions carefully to find out if answers can be used more than once. If not, cross off an answer as you use it. The best strategy for matching question tests is to study and to arrange the material into columns so that the pattern is familiar to you.

Example:

Authors

Spencer Holst

John Cheever

Guy de Maupassant

Amy Tan

Short Story Titles

"The Zebra Storyteller"

"The Country Husband"

"The Jewelry"

"A Pair of Tickets"

Strategies for Essay Exams

1. Repeat the question in the first sentence and include a general overview of the answer.

Example:
Question: Identify three of the theories psychologists have suggested to explain forgetting.
Answer: Three of the theories that psychologists have suggested to explain how forgetting occurs include fading theory, retrieval theory, and reactive interference theory...

2. Read the directions carefully; you may be given a choice among questions or have other specific guidelines to follow as you write.

3. Read all the questions, especially if you are given a choice among questions.

4. Jot cues beside each question and circle or underline important words in the question to make sure that you understand the question and give the type of answer being asked for.

5. Manage your time.

6. Start with the easiest questions first.

7. Leave off introductions and get to the point immediately.

8. Use transitions.

9. Avoid wordiness and rambling.

10. Be neat –neat papers get better grades, even when they have wrong answers.

11. Write only on one side of the paper and leave wide margins.

12. Be legible.

13. Use blue or black ink.

14. Think before you write to avoid careless errors.

15. PROOFREAD your answers. Students often leave out important words that cost them points.


Last Updated: 6/7/12