None of the Above

Welcome back. This week is an exciting time with Homecoming being this weekend, but it might also be a stressful time for you…because this is the middle of the semester and many of you might be taking your first college midterms.  This week I am going to give you some tips on surviving midterms, dealing with stress and how to turn the semester around if your grades are not quite what you would like.  We will end the week with some homecoming fun.


Today let’s discuss midterm exams.  I remember my first semester and my first midterm, it was for history and it was 100 multiple choice questions.  I have a love-hate relationship with multiple choice tests.  You know the answer is staring you in the face, but then your professor throws in choices like all of the above or none of the above and you start second guessing yourself.  I have some tips to help you through your next multiple choice exam.

1.  Look over the test and pace yourself.  Get a grasp on how many questions there are, are some questions worth more than others?  Make sure you pace yourself so you leave yourself ten minutes before the test is over so you can look over your answers and make sure you answered all questions.

2.  It is not a race.  You will not get bonus points if you are the first one done so take your time.  If you need to, take a deep breath or two between pages or sections.

3.  Do not skip around.  Believe it or not, you will fare much better if you answer the questions in order.  Why?  I have taken the answer what you know first approach before and found out that I forgot to answer a question or two because of my question skipping.

4.  Read the question and all possible answers.  Circle key phrases if needed.  Many times we will start to read a question and assume we know the answer, but because we did not read the entire question we missed a key phrase that indicates what the answer should be.

5.  While not always true, if you are stuck and not sure what the answer is and you must guess you can use my guessing strategies that work 60% of the time:  if there are 4 choices and one of the choices is long, then it could be the answer.  If the question asks you to fill in the blank of a sentence, look at the grammar, if an proceeds the blank then the answer will begin with a vowel. (these tips should not replace studying and I do not guarantee this works 100% of the time)

Click here for a cool site with more tips on test taking strategies.

Do you have any tricks/tips for taking a multiple choice test, tell us in the comment section.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lindsey Taflinger on October 12, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    My best piece of advice is to read the directions on the test! I took an entire exam once without reading the directions and realized when I finished that part of the directions said “Write your name on this test and turn it in for a free A!” I was wondering why everyone finished so early! LOL (:
    Also, allow adequate study time for yourself, you’ll be glad you did. If you do well on your midterms and had a strong start this semester a lot of professors will make the final exam optional!


  2. Posted by Betsy Parchem on October 12, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    My best piece of advice is if you’re having trouble with a question, circle it and come back to it later. Even if you think you know the answer and you’ve chosen one, circle it just in case and come back to it. The answer may come to you after a bit of time, or the professor may include a queston further along in the exam that gives you a hint toward the answer.


  3. Posted by Stephanie Williams on October 12, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    i don’t really have any advice besides the ones you said in the blog, but one good advise is if you know a answer is totally not right cross it off so you know not to put that down as an answer


  4. Posted by Rachel Slovacek on October 12, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    I dont really have anythng special but elimination and working on the test paper then writing my final answers down while i check them on the scantron 🙂


  5. Posted by Travers Swan on October 15, 2009 at 10:21 am

    I review my answers after I finish, checking to make sure I didn’t make any stupid mistakes. But I usually go with my first answer with multiple choice tests.


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