IB World School

Tips for Taking Multiple Choice Tests

Unlike other types of tests, multiple choice tests are great because they give you the answer to the question! All you have to do is know which answer choices are the wrong ones and which one is the correct one. Not only is the answer there in front of you, but there are some pretty cool tricks to use which will help you be sure the answer you choose is correct. 

Note: It is important to do these tips in the following order:

  1. Reading or listening to the directions is the most important part of any test. If you skip this part, you might do work that you didn’t have to do or make lots of mistakes. 
  2. Brain Dump- Everything in your brain is fair game! Once your teacher tells you to begin your test, you may use your scrap paper to write down anything you want! Is there something you’re afraid you might forget? Write it down. You can write out multiplication charts, formulas, history facts, and more.
  3. Reading each question carefully is also important. Take your time and go slowly. Make sure you understand each and every word in the question and pay attention to any of those key words like EXCEPT, ALL, NOT, BEST, TRACE, EXPLAINS, or others.
  4. Be Slick and Predict means to make your best guess at what the answer might be BEFORE looking at the test’s answer choices. It will be hard not to look at the answers because they will be right there staring back at you, but try to resist! After reading the question, look down or away from the screen so you are not tempted. Then, think of what the question is asking and try to remember everything you know about what the answers could be. Next, look back at the test and see if any of the answers you came up with in your brain match what the test has. If so, it just may be the correct choice after all! 
  5. Slash the Trash means to get rid of all the wrong answers from your choices. Look at your answer choices. Does one seem very odd or silly?  That’s probably the trash—cross it out!
  6. Jail the Detail means to pick out the key words in each question. Each question will have key words that are hints as to what you should be looking for in the answer choices. (Use the highlighter or circle these details to put them in jail!
  7. Plug It In, Plug It In-  Once you have chosen your answer, plug it into the question or statement to see if it still makes sense.
  8. Skip it- If you tried all the steps and still don’t know the answer, skip it and come back to it later. As you move on through the test, be on the look out for questions that may give away the answer to the one you skipped!
  9. Check it out- Once you have answered all the questions, go back over your work from the beginning of the test to the end. Only change the answers that you really think you answered wrong.