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Tips on Taking Multiple-Choice Tests

TIPS ON TAKING MULTIPLE-CHOICE TESTS
GERALD
INTERCOAST COLLEGE, WEST COVINA,CA

Suppose you have a tight schedule and can only afford to spend 6 hours studying for a major exam.

One common question is whether you should "mass" the hours together right before the exam (to keep the material fresh in memory), or whether you should "space" the hours apart over a few weeks.

Quite a bit of research suggests that spaced practice is generally superior to massed practice. For example, all things being equal, you'll get more mileage out of three 2-hour blocks than one 6-hour block, even though the total amount of time studying is identical in both cases.

So if you have a particularly busy schedule and can only spend a few hours studying, be sure to use them well. Late-night cramming is usually a recipe for poor retention, mental and physical fatigue, and careless mistakes on the exam.

This kind of studying in a group is highly efficient because it allows others to pick the material, thereby exposing gaps in your knowledge (just as an exam does). Moreover, if the questions people ask are comparable in difficulty to exam questions, you'll be able to estimate your performance on the upcoming exam (e.g., if you can answer 80% of the study questions, you'll probably get about 80% correct on the exam).

The only serious drawback to this method is that it can be a waste of time if you or your partners haven't finished reading all the material in advance. Group time should be reserved mainly for practice -- not for review and discussion.

Tips on Taking Multiple-Choice Tests
Vanessa
Intercoast College, West Covina, CA

When studying for an exam, the most effective approach is to closely simulate the behavior you'll ultimately be required to perform. Spaced practice is better than massed practice. Don't ever psych yourself out.

Look over the test and pace yourself. take short breaks. Don't skip around, Don't be afraid to change your first answer, and if more than one answer seems correct, ask yourself whether the answer you're considering completely addresses the question. If the test answer is only partly true or is true only under certain narrow conditions, then it's probably not the right answer. If you have to make a significant assumption in order for the answer to be true, ask yourself whether this assumption is obvious enough that the instructor would expect everyone to make it. If not, dump the answer overboard.

If you think an item is a trick question, think again. Very few instructors would ever write a question intended to be deceptive. If you suspect that a question is a trick item, make sure you're not reading too much into the question, and try to avoid imagining detailed scenarios in which the answer could be true. In most cases, "trick questions" are only tricky because they're not taken at face value.

If, after your very best effort, you cannot choose between two alternatives, try vividly imagining each one as the correct answer. If you are like most people, you will often "feel" that one of the answers is wrong. Trust this feeling research suggests that feelings are frequently accessible even when recall is poor e.g., we can still know how we feel about a person even if we can't remember the person's name. Although this tip is not infallible, many students find it useful.

Tips on Taking Tests
Amber Jackson
Intercoast College, West Covina, Ca

These are good tips. Just the normal ones that you should usually do. They work miracles when taking a test. I apply some of theses tips when I'm taking a test, and they seem to work a lot for me.

Preparing for the Exam and Taking the Test
Patrick Almazan, College Freshman
Intercoast College, West Covina, CA

I like how the article, "Tips on Taking Multiple-Choice Tests" is organized into two main sections. When preparing for an exam it is wise to do practices tests that can exercise your brain before taking the real exam. Examples of a practice test would be like a made up multiple choice exam for Psychology. You can form study groups where each partner asks a question and everyone answers to their best abilities. You learn by hearing their responses to the question as well as you test yourself too. When studying its also imperative that you space out your study time rather than mass studying or cramming before the exam. When taking the test you should survey the questions and pace yourself during the exam; don't spend too much time on any one question.

Tips on Taking Multiple- Choice Tests
Jeanette Mojica, College Freshman
InterCoast Colleges, West Covina, CA

If you think an item is a trick question, think again. Very few instructors would ever write a question intended to be deceptive. If you suspect that a question is a trick item, make sure you're not reading too much into the question, and try to avoid imagining detailed scenarios in which the answer could be true. In most cases, "trick questions" are only tricky because they're not taken at face value.

Tips on Multiple Choice Testing
Joshua B
Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minneapolis, MN

This is a wonderful approach to test taking. This article starts off by giving tips on how to prepare well in advance of the test. One tip that stood out to me dealt with the problem of "mass practice" I often struggle with scheduling and I tend to get overwhelmed if I cannot do it all at once. I wind up not doing anything at all. This article emphasizes the importance of spacing out practice or study time as to make scheduling more efficient. I like this article quite a bit. It made several good points and I'm sure it would be helpful to anyone who is studying for a Psych exam!


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